The U.S. Men’s National Team battled but couldn’t get past Poland and fell 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21) on Tuesday at the FIVB World Championship in Katowice, Poland
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 4, 2022) – Dave Smith, Dave Smith, he’s here, he’s there, he’s every friggin’ where!
With apologies to Ted Lasso, U.S. middle blocker David Smith led the U.S. Men on Sunday with 17 points as the team fought to a 3-2 (25-21, 25-17, 22-25, 19-25, 15-12) win over Türkiye at the FIVB World Championship in Gliwice, Poland.
The U.S. Men (3-1) will face a rematch with Poland (4-0) in the quarterfinals at noon PT on Thursday (Sept. 8).
After the second set, it looked like the U.S. Men could win in three sets. But Türkiye came back to win the third and fourth sets.
With the score tied 12-12 in the fifth set, Smith scored with a kill to give the U.S. the lead. He served for the final two points, which were scored on a Türkiye error and final kill off the block by outside hitter Aaron Russell.
“Everybody on this court is going to be good,” Smith said. “Türkiye threw some things at us that maybe we weren’t prepared for. I think it’s going to make us better moving forward.”
Smith scored on 14 kills (.722 hitting efficiency) and a match-high three blocks.
“That one was tough,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said via social media. “Playoffs often have moments like tonight and those moments can provide great learning experiences… Winning that fifth set took guts.”
Setter Micah Christenson returned after missing the team’s last pool play match against Poland and set the U.S. Men to a .338 hitting efficiency. He also scored three points on two kills and one block. Libero Erik Shoji was credited with nine digs and two excellent receptions.
Driven by opposite Adis Lagumdzija, who finished with 31 points on 29 kills and two blocks, Türkiye led the U.S. in kills 65-60. The U.S. Men led in blocks 7-6 and in aces 3-0. The U.S. scored 36 points on Türkiye errors while committing 29.
U.S. opposite Matt Anderson scored 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace. Anderson was credited with seven digs, including one that led to Russell’s final point.
Russell scored 13 points on 12 kills and one ace. Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco finished with 10 points on nine kills and one ace.
Middle Jeff Jendryk totaled eight points on seven kills (.700) and one block. Opposite Kyle Ensing, who finished the fourth set for Anderson, scored three points on three kills. Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia, who played the fifth set for DeFalco, scored one point with a kill.
Opposite Kyle Russell and middle Taylor Averill also played as substitutes.
U.S. Men’s 14-Person Roster for the FIVB World Championship
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1 Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State, Western Empire)
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)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California, Hawaii)
15 Kyle Russell (OPP, 6-9, Loomis, Calif., UC Irvine, Northern California)
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)
19 Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii, Northern California)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., Univ. of California Irvine, Southern California)
21 Mason Briggs (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
22 Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ., Hawaii)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)
Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer, Mike Wall, Javier Weber
Performance Analyst and Team Manager: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall
Consultant Coach: Morteza Shiari
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Doctor: Daniel Green
U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2022 FIVB World Championship
in Katowice, Poland
All Times PT
All matches are being livestreamed at VolleyballWorld.tv
USA def Mexico, 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-12)
USA def Bulgaria, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 26-24)
Poland def USA, 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21)
Round of 16
USA def Türkiye, 3-2 (25-21, 25-17, 22-25, 19-25, 15-12)