COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 20, 2024) – The U.S. Men’s National Team, playing before a highly supportive and enthusiastic crowd, defeated Brazil in another Volleyball Nations League five-setter, 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-9) on Thursday in Manila, Philippines.

The U.S. Men (4-6) return to action at 8 p.m. PT tomorrow night (June 21) against Germany (4-6). Brazil fell to 6-4 with the loss.

Middle blocker Max Holt broke open the fifth set with a key block and a pair of aces. He recorded a match-high four blocks and totaled 15 points with nine kills, adding five digs.

“We knew Brazil was going to fight and give it their all. They are a world-class team, and we respect them very much. We love it here. These fans are incredible with the support they showed to us. I don’t know how many U-S-A chants we had today, but we felt like the home team tonight,” Holt stated. “We expect more the day after tomorrow and to finish strong here. We’re trying to get better with each match, and this was a huge step for us. We’re trying to go step-by-step to Paris. This is a start.”

Holt and Taylor Averill combined for 19 kills and just two errors in 25 total attacks in the middle for a .680 hitting efficiency from the middle position. Averill added a block to finished with 11 points.

Five U.S. players scored at least nine points with outside hitter T.J. DeFalco leading the way with 21 points on 18 kills and three aces, while hitting at a .417 clip. Opposite Matt Anderson also reached double digits with 12 points on 11 kills and a block, and led the team with six successful receptions.

Brazil finished with a 65-56 advantage in kills, but committed 33 errors, eight more than the victors. The U.S. held slight advantages in blocks (8-5) and aces (8-7).


Outside Garrett Muagututia scored nine points on seven kills and two aces. He served six consecutive points midway through the third set to help the U.S. take a 2-1 match lead. Muagututia and libero Erik Shoji each contributed five successful receptions and five digs.

In addition to running the offense that hit .295 against the strong Brazilian squad, setter Micah Christenson shared the team’s lead with DeFalco with eight digs.

Opposite Alan Souza of Brazil led all scorers with 23 kills and 26 points.

The U.S. Men led by four points multiple times in the opening set. Brazil scored three consecutive points to pull within a point on an ace, 20-19, and had a chance to tie before an Averill block extended the lead. Holt finished the set with a block. Averill led the team with five points (four kills to go with his block) and Anderson posted four kills.

Brazil used strong serving, including four aces, to even the match with a second set victory. DeFalco (four kills) and Holt (three kills) led the U.S. attack.

A Holt block tied the third set at 13. After yielding the next point, the U.S. Men went on a 6-0 run with a Muagututia ace giving them the lead they would never relinquish in the set, 15-14. A Holt block, back-to-back DeFalco kills, and an Anderson kill stretched the lead to five points.

The lead shrank to two points on two occasions late in the set, but Anderson registered a kill and a strong pass that led to a Muagututia kill. The U.S. made only two errors in the third set, while Brazil totaled 10.

Brazil, which cut its errors in half in the fourth set to again rally and even the match, led from start to finish. The lead reached six, 17-11, before the U.S. chipped away and made it 21-19 on a Christenson dump and a DeFalco ace. That was as close as the set would get. DeFalco led all players with eight points on six kills and two aces in the set.

The deciding set began with 10 side-outs before Anderson gave the U.S. its first lead with a kill on an overpass and Holt hung in the air to come up with a critical block and a 7-5 lead. After surrendering the next point, the U.S. took control of the set with kills by DeFalco and Averill and consecutive aces by Holt. DeFalco closed out the match with the team’s final two kills.

Holt paced all players with five points in the fifth set, adding a pair of kills to his block and aces. The U.S. hit an astounding .800 in the set with eight kills and no errors in 10 total attacks.

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster
for 2024 Volleyball Nations League – Week 3
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State, Western Empire)
Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
Jake Hanes (Opp, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ., Great Lakes)
10 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Florida, Stanford Univ., Florida)
11C Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California, Aloha)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State, Ohio Valley)
14 Micah Ma’a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA, Aloha)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
19 Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii, Northern California)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., Univ. of California Irvine, Southern California)
22 Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ., Aloha)
29 Jordan Ewert (OH, 6-5, Antioch, Calif., Stanford, Northern California)

Reserve player
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer
Second Assistants: Javier Weber and Erik Sullivan
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Team Manager: David Dantes
Sports Psychologists: Andrea Becker, Peter Naschak
Doctors: Andrew Gregory

U.S. Men’s Schedule for 2024 VNL
All times PDT
Matches will be shown live and on-demand on

Week 1 in Antalya, Türkiye
May 22 at 10 a.m. Poland def. USA 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 26-24)
May 24 at 7 a.m. France def. USA 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-21)
May 25 at 10 a.m. Bulgaria def. USA 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21)
May 26 at 7 a.m. USA def. Türkiye 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-21)

Week 2 in Ottawa, Canada
June 4 at 1:30 p.m. USA def. Argentina 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 26-24)
June 6 at 1:30 p.m. Italy def. USA 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20)
June 7 at 5 p.m. USA def. Serbia 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-14)
June 8 at 1:30 p.m. Canada def. USA 3-1 (25-16, 19-25, 26-24, 28-26)

Week 3 in Manila Philippines
June 19 Iran def. USA 3-2 (26-28, 25-23, 25-18, 26-28, 15-13)
June 20 USA def. Brazil 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-9)
June 21 at 8 p.m. USA vs Germany
June 23 at 4 a.m. USA vs Japan

Final Round on June 27-30 in Łódź, Poland