by Phil Bush
The USA played very well in their opening match against a very good Serbia team. Even when they got behind because of a run by Serbia, the team stayed to its game plan and ended up winning 3-0. It was good to see the Americans struggle and not panic, sometimes it's important to remind themselves of the game plan and stay focused on it...even if you have to struggle a bit mid-match.
|Phil Bush, FIVB Broadcaster|
Over the previous three decades, you'd be hard pressed to find someone in athletics with a greater level of expertise in volleyball production and promotion than Phil Bush. He will be entering his fourth year working for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as a broadcaster on the FIVB “Match of the Week.” He has also handled 17 seasons working for FSN South, ESPNU, CSS and Sun Sports providing both play-by-play and color analysis on volleyball broadcasts. Through his MavRen Marketing & Productions company, Bush has worked in the production and promotion of volleyball events for over 25 years.
Tuesday, 11:45AM ET
Germany will pose another significant challenge, and with the Germans having won a marathon five-set match less than a month ago in Bulgaria in the World League Final, they will be confident of their ability to handle the pressure if the match gets into a fifth set.
On the American side, the Serbian match showed a team that is confident, and will keep running their system. There will be times when they are challenged, but the USA showed their ability to come back and come back again. World League was clearly a great learning experience for Team USA, and they have a chance to show that they have progressed one more step in their quest to repeat a s Olympic gold medalists.
Looking ahead to the key points to the match:
- Avoid and/or react to runs by the opponent: Much as they did against Serbia, the Americans need to stay with the plan, but when hit with any kind of a run by the Germans, make adjustments to stop it and get back on serve.
- Focus on passing: It was good against the Serbs, but it can still get better against the Germans. If Suxho can keep the middles in the game to prevent Germany from primarily focusing on the Anderson/Stanley – left/right combination, then things can go well for Team USA.
- Remember the adjustments made during World League: Know the game plan needs to be followed and not to deviate unless Germany really surprises Team USA.
- Serve Tough: The world knows that Stanley is the best server in the world. The USA has room to get more points from others, and while it may not be jumpers, the USA showed at times against Serbia that strong serving can take a team all the way out of its offense.
Taking after his father, who was a volleyball star in the 1980's and 1990's, Grozer is known as having one of the most vicious attacks in the world with an equally impressive repertoire of serves and blocks. After suffering from an injury that kept him away from the team in 2011, the big opposite entered 2012 with something to prove and didn't disappoint. Playing for his Polish club team Asseco Resovia Rzeeszow, not only did he win a championship, but was elected the MVP being the first foreign player to receive that award. Soon after, he helped his German squad qualify for the Olympics by recording more than 60 combined points against Cuba and the Czech Republic.
This is a huge match because it would make the USA 2-0 with momentum going into the murderers row of Brazil and Russia, which may be two of the hardest matches that a team has ever had in a single pool of the Olympics!
Next Match: USA vs. Brazil - August 2nd at 3:00 PM ET
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