Team USA Men’s Vollyball played their final match of the 2017 Summer Deaflympics today at the Mustafa Dagistanli Sports Hall. The men were pumped up to face Japan in the competition to determine the 7th and 8th places in the games. A small but enthusiastic crowd was on hand to cheer on the teams.
The US men began the first set by taking an early lead. Japan was able to tie the set with a strong defense and by taking advantage of a few American errors. The match remained close to the end, but Japan took the set 25-22.
A determined USA team took the floor and an early lead again in the second set. But Japan’s outstanding defense once again allowed them to tie the score. The set stayed close, with both teams displaying solid hitting. Japan won the set 25-19.
It was a familiar start to the 3rd set. The US men again came out strong and gained several points on Japan. And then came Japan, hot on our heels. But this time, the Americans were not accepting defeat. Solid blocking and well placed hits led to a US victory of 25-18.
Japan started the 4th set fired up and took the lead right away. The US struggled to catch up, but were simply unable to crack the strong defense of the Japanese team. The set and match were won by Japan, 25-16.
It was perhaps a disappointing finish for the US men. But in the eyes of the fans, the coaches, the staff, the families and even the many spectators from all around the world, the American men did not disappoint. This group of talented players wowed us with their skills, impressed us with their sportsmanship, and filled us with American pride every time they a stepped onto the court. The amazing experience these games have provided is like none other. The Deaflympics is so much more than final scores and medal counts. The US Men’s Deaf Volleyball Team embodies the spirit of the Deaflympics – congratulations and thanks to each member of our outstanding team!