The U.S. Men's National Team took silver at the 2022 VNL Finals after a 3-2 loss to France. The U.S. won the third and fourth sets but could not complete the comeback in the fifth.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 19, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team has 16 players in Cuneo, Italy this week to play warm-up matches for the 2022 FIVB World Championship.
Fourteen players from the 16 will be selected to compete in the World Championship, which begins for the U.S. Men on Aug. 26 in Katowice, Poland where they will take on Mexico in pool play. They will also play Bulgaria and then host and defending champion Poland in pool play.
The roster in Cuneo is:
Setters: Micah Christenson and Josh Tuaniga
Opposites: Matt Anderson, Kyle Ensing and Kyle Russell
Outside hitters: T.J. DeFalco, Cody Kessel, Garrett Muagututia, Jacob Pasteur and Aaron Russell
Middle blockers: Taylor Averill, Jeff Jendryk, Tyler Mitchem and David Smith
Liberos: Erik Shoji and Mason Briggs
Seven players on the roster were on the team for the 2018 World Championship where the U.S. Men took bronze: Anderson, Averill, Christenson, Jendryk, Aaron Russell, Smith and Shoji.
Only Anderson and Averill did not play in the 2022 Volleyball Nations League earlier this year where the U.S. Men took the silver medal.
“The VNL run was very good for us,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “It showed we are capable of playing some very good volleyball and I think it puts us in a good place heading into the World Championship.”
Speraw said the VNL success helped the team move on from the disappointment of the team’s 2021 Olympic Games experience in Tokyo, where it did not advance from pool play.
“We have a different dynamic,” he said. “Some of it is players taking on greater leadership roles. Players being more free in their roles, with maturity and time. It’s new players bringing good energy. It is hard to articulate, but it is a different feeling.”
On Thursday, the U.S. Men beat Italy in a test match 3-2, with 14 of the 16 players seeing time on the court. Aaron Russell and Mason Briggs were not on the roster.
The teams agreed to play five sets no matter what. The U.S. Men won the first three sets (25-23, 25-22, 25-22), then lost the two extra sets (23-25, 11-15).
On Friday, the U.S. and Japan played four sets of a test match and tied 2-2. The U.S. Men won sets two and three (25-22, 26-24). Japan won sets one and four (25-21, 25-18).
U.S. Men’s 16-Person Roster Competing in Cuneo, Italy
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)
7 Jacob Pasteur (OH, 6-4, Westminster, Md., Ohio State Univ., Chesapeake)
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)
27 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis Univ., Great Lakes)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
All Times PT
All matches are being livestreamed at VolleyballWorld.tv
8:30 a.m. USA vs Mexico
8:30 a.m. USA vs Bulgaria
11:30 a.m. Poland vs USA
Round of 16 matches