Rome, Italy June 24, 2016 - USA claimed victory over Belgium in their opening match on the second FIVB Volleyball World League weekend at Rome’s PalaLottomatica, winning 3-2 (17-25, 25-20, 25-21, 21-25, 15-10) as Matt Anderson once again led from the front.
In a topsy-turvy match, Anderson continued his impressive form from last week's tournaments with 22 points, backed up with 14 points from William Priddy. Belgium were led by Gert Van Walle who top scored in the game with 24 points.
The match was a tight one, with the two teams facing without fear. Belgium shows to be a young but competitive team; Usa has still to find their own team balance, with Aaron Russell in the starting six, immediately substituted with Priddy.
The first set began with a very aggressive start by Belgium that had his captain Gert Van Walle immediately into the match, while Usa had difficulties to find the right approach, most of all in the attack sector. This set was never in doubt, with the Belgian lead up to the final score of 25-17.
The second set saw, the USA gain control of the match with Anderson once again clinical at the net for the USA, with their defence capabilities impressive as they wrapped up the second set 25-20.
With the second set in the bag, the momentum was with the USA, and with replacement Priddy joining Anderson in attack mode, they also took control of the third set, with Belgium unable to gain any momentum as they went 2-1 down, with a 25-21 set loss to the North American side.
That momentum was seemingly taking the USA to a four set triumph but Belgium were not done yet as Van Walle, taking the task to the American's with an impressive haul of points as he ensured the game went into a deciding set in front of a expectant crowd.
Despite Van Walle's heroics it was the USA that controlled the tie-breaker and they swept ahead, without ever looking like losing the points to claim the win 3-2 in sets after a 15-10 fifth set decider, with Anderson once again proving to be the difference for the USA.