BEIJING The United States took sole possession of first place in the Beijing Olympics Group A volleyball Thursday night, downing Bulgaria in four sets, 27-29, 25-21, 25-14, 26-24.
Clayton Stanley pounded 18 kills and Ryan Millar added 14 to lead the U.S. (3-0), which is the only unbeaten team remaining in Group A, with two dates
of pool action remaining before the start of the medal-round quarterfinals.
"We've got a bit of an advantage coming out of our pool first it would be nice not to have to face Brazil and Russia until later," said Millar, the former BYU standout and interim co-head coach who recently moved to Alpine.
Next up for the United States is a Saturday morning match against host China (2-1) at the Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium, a different venue than the Capital Gymnasium, where the Americans played their first three matches.
"They're playing great volleyball right now they're the surprise of the tournament," said Millar of the Chinese team. "Last time they played us, they beat us. But we're in a really nice spot right now, with three (wins) in a row. It's where we want to be."
Matey Kaziski paced Bulgaria (2-1) with 15 kills.Coming into the Olympics, the United States was ranked No. 3 in the FIVB world rankings, and Bulgaria No. 4.