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A Motivated Bulgaria Finds A Way to Win

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You couldn't tell Team Bulgaria was 0-7 in World League play this year the way they played tonight. It was evident Friday night at the post-match press conference that Bulgarian captain, Todar Aleksiev, was not happy with their 1-3 performance in front of a large group of Bulgarian fans. He sat in the empty press conference room alone with a disappointed look. Saturday night the Bulgarians played an inspired first two sets and survived disastrous third and fourth sets to win their first 2014 World League match, 3-2. Team USA started the same lineup as the past three matches with the exception of starting Kawika Shoji in the setter position for Micah Christenson who struggled with a tight back and was subbed out in the first set on Friday night. Sander, Shoji and Holt started in the front row. Lee, Anderson and Rooney were in the back. The two teams traded kills throughout the first half of the set with neither team having more than a 3 point advantage. After the second technical ti

USA Goes 7-0 in World League with 3-1 Win Over Bulgaria

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Team Bulgaria started out strong in the first set at the Sears Centre behind strong local Bulgarian fan support. However, Team USA recovered with a switch of setters late in the first set to eventually defeat the visitors 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-16). Sean Rooney also added his 2014 World League best performance with 13 points on 10 kills, 2 blocks and an ace. Team USA started the same lineup as last weekend against Serbia. Matt Anderson, David Lee and Taylor Sander in the front row (L to R). Sean Rooney, Max Holt and Micah Christenson were in the back. Team USA struggled with serve receive and serving including six service errors. Bulgaria stretched their 8-6 lead to four points (11-7) shortly after the first technical time out with a Nikolay Nikolov ace off Taylor Sanders arms. Taylor soon returned the favor by ripping an ace off of Todor Aleksiev to bring it to 11-9. In addition to serve receive challenges, USA hitters were suffering from set placement. Coach John Speraw replace