Ottawa, Canada, June 10, 2018 - Benjamin Patch got into the groove to help the USA win the North American derby with Canada and continue their dance towards the VNL finals with a 3-1 victory (23-26, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20).
Halfway through the clash between these two old rivals, DJ twins Nervo came on to spin their new record.
Patch loved every moment and said the atmosphere at TD Place helped inspire him to 18 points and produce a serving masterclass as the US notched their seventh win from nine to head into week four in excellent shape.
“It was a team effort, it wasn’t just about one person, “ said Patch. “I enjoyed the some sick music. There was a great vibe and we as a team are feeling good.”
Canada needed to bounce straight back after Saturday’s defeat to Germany and knew a win over their North American friends would see them leapfrog Speraw’s side who have endured a mixed stay in Ottowa.
But they were out blocked by the Americans 14-3 with Matthew Anderson scoring 15 vital points while Maxwell Holt weighed in with five blocks and 10 spikes.
Stephen Marr was again a threat for Stephane Antiga’s side, bagging 11 spikes and three aces as Nicholas Hoag and Graham Vigrass also contributed well.
Losing their first match was tough to take for the Americans but they played with the kind of intensity against the Canadians which was difficult to cope with .
The home team certainly started well, flying into a 16-13 lead while not allowing the US to gain any foothold in the set.
It may have been level at 18-18 with Micah Christenson producing some brilliant blocks but the force was with Canada and Tyler Sanders applied the deftest of finishing touches to seal the first set.
Speraw needed a response - and he got one. With Patch serving superbly Canada just couldn’t get the ball back during that spell and it wasn’t long before this enthralling match was level.
Nervo gave the players a bit of extra rest by entertaining the crowd with their new song 'Worlds Collide.’
And following that musical intervention, both teams came out rocking. Canada came from behind but with Holt and Defalco contributing superbly and Patch’s too hot to handle service game, it was left to a spectacular spike from Defalco to seal the deal.
Tempers boiled over soon after with the US furious with Brazilian ref Luis De Oliveira over a series of contested calls.
Coach Speraw received a yellow card during the arguments but the momentum was with the visitors.
Smith was blocking brilliantly and when Anderson fired them ahead for the first time since the start of the set, the game was up for Canada who now have to save their season with six games on the road - starting against Olympic champions Brazil in Bulgaria on Friday.