Playing the No. 1 team in the world less than 24 hours after beating Bulgaria took its toll on the U.S. Men, who gave themselves chances to win but fell to Poland 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-22) on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 3, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team is in Osaka, Japan for the final four matches of the Volleyball Nations League Preliminary Round.
At the end of the week, the top eight teams will qualify for the Final Round on July 20-24 in Bologna, Italy. The U.S. Men are in fifth place at 6-2.
The U.S. Men went 4-0 in their first week of VNL, but were 2-2 in the second week, with losses to Iran and Poland.
“I think we had a good week, but with some disappointing losses,” U.S. John Speraw said. “There were lessons learned that will make us better.”
The schedule is not easy, but the U.S. had some help flown into Osaka in the form of two-time Olympic setter Micah Christenson, who will make his 2022 VNL debut.
With Christenson, there will be eight Olympians on the U.S. Men’s roster for the matches against VNL leader France (7-1), Germany (3-5), Canada (2-6) and Argentina (2-6).
The seven other Olympians are outside hitters T.J. DeFalco, Garrett Muagututia and Aaron Russell, middle blockers David Smith and Mitch Stahl, opposite Kyle Ensing and libero Erik Shoji.
Two-time Olympic outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, who had been on the VNL roster for the first two rounds, is sitting out this week due to injury.
Rounding out the roster are outside hitter Cody Kessel, middles Jeff Jendryk and Tyler Mitchem, opposite Jake Hanes, setter Josh Tuaniga and libero Kyle Dagostino.
In the individual players statistics, Tuaniga, who has started every 2022 VNL match, is third among setters with 232 successful sets and one error in 324 attempts.
Smith is fourth among blockers with 17 for an average of a little more than two per match.
Russell is fourth among servers with 16 aces, an average of two per match.
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for Round 3 of
2022 Volleyball Nations League
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
5 Kyle Ensing (OPP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA, Keystone)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
9 Jake Hanes (OPP, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ., Great Lakes)
10 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Florida, Stanford Univ., Florida)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California, Aloha)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA, Southern 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)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)
27 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis Univ., Great Lakes)
Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer, Mike Wall
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Consultant Coach: Mike Sealy
Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Sports Psychologist: Bernard Whitney
Team Doctor: James Suchy
U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2022 VNL (All times PDT)
All matches to be shown on VolleyballWorld.tv
Preliminary Round 1 – Brasilia, Brazil
USA def Slovenia, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-14)
USA def Netherlands, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-16)
USA def Japan, 3-2 (17-25, 25-15, 25-21, 26-28, 15-9)
USA def Brazil, 3-1 (21-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-20)
Preliminary Round 2 – Sofia, Bulgaria
USA def Serbia, 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20)
Iran def USA, 3-0 (25-18, 29-27, 27-25)
USA def Bulgaria, 3-1 (25-12, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23)
Poland def USA, 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-22)
Preliminary Round 3 – Osaka, Japan
July 4 at 11 p.m.
USA vs Germany
July 6 at 8 p.m.
USA vs France
July 8 at 11:40 p.m.
USA vs Canada
July 9 at 8:40 p.m.
USA vs Argentina
Final Round – Bologna, Italy