Banachowski Guides Junior National Team to Best-Ever Finish at World Championships

July 28, 2007

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - The United States Junior National Team, led by UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski, placed fourth at the FIVB U-20 Junior World Championships to record Team USA's first-ever finish in the top four of the tournament.

Team USA dropped the bronze medal match on Friday in a marathon battle with Japan, falling 25-16, 14-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23. Locked in a tie for most of the final set, the U.S. squad had match point at 15-14 before Japan evened the score. The two teams traded points until Japan eventually won the game 25-23.

'I'm happy with the performance considering that we had trained only two weeks before coming here,' said Banachowski.

Team USA went 4-1 in pool play, rebounding from an opening-day loss to Germany by sweeping matches with Egypt, Thailand and the Dominican Republic. In the final match before the classification round, the U.S. beat China, which went on to earn the silver medal, in four sets to tie for first place in Pool A.

In the classification match, the U.S. dropped a three-set decision to Brazil, the defending champions which went on to win its fourth straight World Championship.

Information courtesy of USA Volleyball