COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 17, 2018) – Two college players who competed for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2017 squared off against each other On Jan. 13 in Chicago.
Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco and Long Beach State beat middle blocker Jeff Jendryk and Loyola of Chicago, 25-15, 25-17, 25-21.
DeFalco, who is in his junior season with The Beach and was named the NCAA Player of the Year in 2017, was the second leading scorer for Long Beach finishing with 11 points on seven kills and a match-high four aces.
Long Beach’s leading scorer was opposite Kyle Ensing, who played on the 2017 U.S. Pan American Cup Team and on the Men’s Junior National Team. Ensing scored 14.5 points on 12 kills (.632 efficiency), one ace and three block assists.
Setter Josh Tuaniga, who was also on the Junior National Team, scored 3.5 points and set his team to a .456 hitting efficiency.
Jendryk scored 7.5 points on seven kills and one block assist.
DeFalco recently confirmed to the Long Beach Press-Telegram that he will finish his career with the Beach, although he has received offers from overseas.
Outside hitter Aaron Russell, setter James Shaw and Sir Safety Conad Perugia continue to lead the league as the defeated setter Kawika Shoji, outside hitter Jake Langlois and Gi Group Monza, 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 on Jan. 14. Russell was named the match MVP as he led his team with 16 points on 16 kills (.577 efficiency). Shaw played as a substitute. Shoji set his team to a .400 hitting efficiency and scored on a block. Langlois played as a substitute.
Setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Taylor Sander and Cucine Lube Civitanova defeated Diatec Trentino, 25-13, 28-26, 20-25, 25-14 on Jan. 14. Christenson score four points on three kills and one ace and set his team to a .494 hitting efficiency. Sander played as a substitute.
Middle blocker Max Holt and Azimut Modena defeated outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Calzedonia Verona, 25-21, 25-20, 25-15 on Jan. 14. Holt scored nine points on nine kills (.900 efficiency). American setter Jennings Franciskovic played as a substitute. Jaeschke led his team with 13 points on 12 attacks and one ace.
Opposite Ben Patch was the leading scorer for Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia in its win over BCC Castellana Grotte, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-9 on Jan. 14. Patch scored 21 points on 19 kills (.580 hitting efficiency) and two aces.
Middle blocker Taylor Averill started the first two sets and scored two points on two kills as his Revivre Milano beat Bunge Ravenna, 25-21, 27-25, 25-20 on Jan. 14.
Libero Dustin Watten and Cerrad Czarni Radom beat MKS Bedzin and setter Jonah Seif, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 on Jan. 12. Watten was credited with 10 receptions, 70 percent positive. Seif started the first two sets and scored three points on a kill, a block and an ace. He set his team to a .324 hitting efficiency.
Middle blocker David Smith and Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie swept PGE Skra Belchatow, 26-24, 25-21, 25-19 on Jan. 14. Smith scored six points on four kills and two blocks.
CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Russell, Shaw and Italy’s Perugia remain undefeated after three pool play matches. On Jan. 17, Perugia beat Belgium’s Knack Roeselare, 21-25, 27-25, 25-15, 21-25, 15-12. Russell scored 11 points on 10 kills and one block. Shaw played as a substitute and scored one point on one kill.
Christenson, Sander and Italy’s Civitanova are 2-1 in pool play after beating Turkey’s Fenerbahce SK Istanbul, 25-22, 25-11, 21-25, 25-12 on Jan. 17. Sander led Civitanova with 19 points on 16 kills (.652 efficiency) and three aces. Christenson scored five points on two kills and three aces. He set his team to a .588 hitting efficiency.
Setter Michael Saeta and France’s Chaumont are 2-1 in pool play after falling to Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, 29-27, 22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 17-15 on Jan. 16. Saeta played as a substitute and scored one point on a kill.
Outside hitter Matt Anderson and Russia’s Zenit Kazan improved to 3-0 after beating Poland’s Jastrzebski Wegiel, 25-13, 25-23, 25-12 on Jan. 16. Anderson scored 11 points on 10 kills (.667 hitting efficiency) and one block. He was credited with 16 receptions, 56 percent positive.