The U.S. Men's National Team coaching staff named the 19 players on the long-list for the 2021 Volleyball Nations League tournament on May 28 - June 27 in Rimini, Italy.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 27, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team is in the “bubble” and ready for the opening weekend of the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on May 28-June 27 in Rimini, Italy.
The U.S. Men kick off VNL in a strong group with all their opponents ranked among the world’s top 10: Canada (No. 10), Brazil (No. 1) and Argentina (No. 5).
“We understand week 1 will be a very difficult one for us, but our mindset is to get out there and groove together as a team and get our competitive legs under us again,” setter Micah Christenson said. “We are always going out there to win, but our goal is to get us ready for the Olympic Games.”
In the 2019 VNL, the U.S. Men defeated Argentina (4-1) in the Preliminary Round but lost to Brazil (0-3) and Canada (1-4). The U.S. Men went on to earn a spot in the semifinals against Brazil. This time, the match went five sets and the U.S. Men won a thriller (25-21, 17-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-9).
“I always love playing against Brazil because you can always count on a great match,” Christenson said. “Two high-level teams with great history makes for wonderful volleyball and entertainment.”
The U.S. Men’s have reached the podium in both years of the VNL earning silver (’19) and bronze (18). While they always go out to win, they will use VNL to gear themselves up for the Olympic Games. All that said, after over a year apart, the team is looking forward to competing together again.
“It feels awesome to be back with the team again,” Christenson said. “To be able to get back on the court and compete with the USAV family and my brothers out there is always an incredible feeling, especially after not having the chance last summer.”
The VNL will be broadcast in the United States on the FIVB’s streaming service Volleyball World TV.
U.S. Men’s National Team 19-Person Roster for FIVB Volleyball Nations League
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OP, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State Univ.)
3 Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., Brigham Young Univ.)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
5 Kyle Ensing (OP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
7 Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ.)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
9 Jake Hanes (OP, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ.)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State Univ.)
13 Ben Patch (OP, 6-8, Layton, Utah, Brigham Young Univ.)
15 Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., Brigham Young Univ.)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
19 Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., Univ. of California Irvine)
21 Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
22 Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ.)
U.S. Men’s Schedule for FIVB Volleyball Nations League (all times Pacific)
May 28 at 9 a.m.: USA vs Canada
May 29 at noon: USA vs Brazil
May 30 at 7 a.m.: USA vs Argentina
June 3 at noon: Russia vs USA
June 4 at 9 a.m.: Poland vs USA
June 5 at 9 a.m.: USA vs Australia
June 9 at 7 a.m.: Iran vs USA
June 10 at 7 a.m.: Germany vs USA
June 11 at 7 a.m.: USA vs Serbia
June 15 at noon: Italy vs USA
June 16 at 10:30 a.m.: USA vs France
June 17 at 9 a.m.: Netherlands vs USA
June 21 at 9 a.m.: Slovenia vs USA
June 22 at 4 a.m.: Bulgaria vs USA
June 23 at 4 a.m.: USA vs Japan
June 26: Semifinals 1 and 2
June 27: Bronze and Gold medal matches