USA Volleyball makes its final homestand of the World League competition this weekend, hoping to recapture momentum before their fans and win their last two home matches against Germany.
Last weekend's road trip to Brazil resulted in two lost matches, each a three-set shutout from the strong Brazilian team USA had upset in the World Arena the week before.
"We made far too many mistakes," Coach Doug Beal said at a post-game press conference in Brazil. "We gave away about half of our points against a team that we cannot afford to give away even one point."
"We let our surroundings dictate the game today," added team captain Tom Hoff. "There were nearly 9,000 screaming fans dressed in yellow T-shirts."
The surroundings should work to their benefit as they take on Germany Saturday and Sunday in the World Arena. The United States is currently in third place, trailing Netherlands by a game. If Brazil can take another pair of matches from Netherlands and USA can beat the winless German team, USA will move a game ahead of Netherlands, who they'll face abroad in the decisive final weekend of pool competition, each team vying for the chance to advance to the eight-team round robin play in Poland.