A U.S. men's volleyball player leaps to attack the ball

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 20, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team (11-2) will play Italy (11-2) at 11 a.m. PT on Saturday in the semifinals of the Volleyball National League Final Round in Gdansk, Poland.

Japan (11-2) will play Poland (11-2) in the other semifinal at 8 a.m. PT. The medal matches will be Sunday.

On June 8 (it feels like a hundred year ago now), the U.S. Men took a 3-0 preliminary round victory over the Italians (25-15, 25-18, 25-19).

Only two players who started that match for Italy also started Italy’s semifinal match on Wednesday against Argentina, which Italy swept (25-17, 25-13, 25-14): opposite Yuri Romano and libero Fabio Balaso.

Among the players the U.S. Men can probably expect to see Saturday is setter Simone Gianelli, MVP and Best Setter of the 2022 FIVB World Championship, which Italy won. They will also probably see Gianluca Galassi, named Best Middle Blocker at the World Championship.

Other players Italy used against Argentina who were not on the roster for the U.S. match are outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto, who led Italy’s scoring against the South Americans, outside hitter Daniele Lavia and middle Roberto Russo, who had three blocks against Argentina.

The U.S. Men hope to be at full strength on Saturday, including outside hitter Aaron Russell who was ill for the semifinal match against France.

The U.S. Men are also hoping that their 3-2 (25-21, 25-18 17-25, 24-26, 15-9) win over France in the quarterfinals prepared them for the test to come in the semis.

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for Final Round

No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State, Western Empire)
Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
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)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California, Hawaii)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State, Ohio Valley)
14 Micah Ma’a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA, Aloha)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
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., Hawaii)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer and Javier Weber
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Mental Performance Coach: Andrea Becker
Team Leader:
David Dantes
Strength and Conditioning Coach:
 Tim Pelot
Second Assistant Coach: Mortez Shiari
Team Doctor: Steven Stovitz

U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2023 VNL
All matches will be broadcast on volleyballworld.tv

Week 1 in Ottawa, Canada
June 7 USA def Netherlands 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-21)
June 8 USA def Italy 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-19)
June 10 USA def Canada 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20)
June 11 Brazil def USA 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 15-25, 21-25)

Week 2 in Rotterdam, Netherlands
June 20 USA def Serbia 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21)
June 21 USA def China 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-18)
June 23 USA def Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-23)
June 24 USA def Poland 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19)

Week 3 in Anaheim, California, USA
July 5 USA def Cuba 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-15)
July 7 Argentina def USA 3-2 (25-18, 23-25, 23-25, 43-41, 15-12)
July 8 USA def France 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 27-25)
July 9 USA def Bulgaria, 3-0 (29-27, 25-19, 25-21)

Final Round in Gdansk, Poland
(All times PT)
July 19
USA def France 3-2 (25-21, 25-18 17-25, 24-26, 15-9)
July 22
8 a.m. Japan vs Poland
11 a.m. USA vs Italy