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The U.S. Men's Volleyball Team celebrates
The U.S. Men’s National Team celebrates during it match against Italy.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 24, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team finished the preliminary round of FIVB Volleyball Nations League on an up note with a 25-23, 25-17, 29-27 win over Italy on Sunday in Modena, Italy.

The U.S. Men (11-4) finished the preliminary round in third place. Italy (8-7) finished eighth. The U.S. Men will play in the Final Round on July 4-8 in Lille, France.


The matches will be shown on FloVolleyball.tv, which is a subscription service.

In the Final Round, the U.S. Men will open in Pool B with Poland and Russia. Pool A will include France, Serbia and Brazil.

At the start of Sunday, Italy still had a chance to qualify for the Final Round. But after Poland beat Australia, it was mathematically impossible.

The U.S. Men led Italy in kills (46-32), blocks (13-3) and aces (5-2). Italy scored 30 points while committing 15.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw started another new lineup, with Matt Anderson and T.J. DeFalco at the outsides, Kyle Ensing at opposite, Max Holt and David Smith at middle blocker, Micah Christenson at setter and Erik Shoji at libero.

Anderson led all scorers with 19 points on a match-high 15 kills (.636), two blocks and two aces. DeFalco added 15 points on 13 kills and two aces.

Holt scored 11 points on seven kills, three blocks and one ace. Smith added 10 points on six kills and a match-high four blocks. Ensing scored seven points, including two blocks. Christenson scored two points on blocks and set the U.S. to a .488 hitting efficiency.

Ensing was credited with 10 digs and Shoji had eight. Shoji was credited with 19 receptions, 84 percent positive. DeFalco had 21 receptions, 48 percent positive. Anderson had 16 receptions, 69 percent positive.

Italy’s leading scorer Ivan Zaytsev was held to 12 points and no other player scored in double digits for Italy.

Outside Hitters: Matt Anderson and T.J. DeFalco
Middle Blockers: Max Holt and David Smith
Opposite: Kyle Ensing
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitute: Dan McDonnell (MB)

Kills: Anderson 15, DeFalco 13, Holt 7, Smith 6, Ensing 5
Blocks: Smith 4, Holt 3, Anderson 2, Ensing 2, Christenson 2
Aces: Anderson 2, DeFalco 2, Holt 1
Digs: Ensing 10, Shoji 8, Anderson 5, Christenson 5, DeFalco 4, Holt 2, Smith 1

U.S. Men’s 14-Man Travel Roster for Modena, Italy

1. Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
8. T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
10. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Phoenix, Ariz., UC Irvine)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Hawaii, Southern California)
12. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
15. Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
18. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
20C. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
26. Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager: Andrea Becker
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coach: Greg Walker

Schedule and Results (all times PT)
At Ningbo, China

May 25: USA def Argentina, 25-27, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 15-10
May 26: USA def Bulgaria vs USA, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20 
May 27: USA def China, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18

At Goiânia, Brazil
June 1: USA def Japan, 23-25, 13-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-10
June 2: USA def Korea, 25-23, 25-21, 25-11
June 3: Brazil def USA,  21-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 20-18

At Ottawa, Canada
June 8: Germany def USA, 25-19, 25-22, 25-13
June 9: USA def Australia, 20-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-17
June 10: USA def Canada, 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20

At Hoffman Estates, Ill., USA 
June 15: USA  def Serbia, 25-22, 25-16, 25-14
June 16: USA def Poland, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19
June 17: USA def Iran, 29-27, 25-20, 26-24

At Modena, Italy
June 22: France def USA, 25-21, 23-25, 26-28, 25-20, 15-12
June 23: Russia def USA, 25-23, 25-15, 25-23
June 24: USA def Italy, 25-23, 25-27., 29-27

Final Round: July 4-8 in Lille, France