COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 23, 2024) – In its final tournament competition before the Summer Olympics in Paris, the U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Japan, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-19) before a boisterous crowd in Manila, Philippines. The U.S. finished with a 5-7 record.

Opposite Kyle Ensing led all players with13 kills and paced the U.S. with 14 points. Middle blocker Taylor Averill recorded eight points on four kills and a match-high four blocks as the U.S. finished with a commanding 10-3 advantage in blocks.

“Japan is an incredible team, their entire team. They are such a complete volleyball team. It wasn’t the result we were looking for, but I had fun. This crowd was unbelievable. I had a blast,” said Averill, who is looking ahead to the Olympics. “We start crushing the gym. We start gearing up. This is the tournament you dream to be in, so I feel blessed to be in this position. I believe in our guys. We are going to get the rest we need and come back strong.”


Outsides Jordan Ewert and Cody Kessel combined for 15 points. Ewert scored eight points on five kills, two aces, and a block, with Kessel adding seven points on six kills and a block.

Libero Erik Shoji and Ewert shared the team lead with seven digs, and Ensing totaled five. Ewert recorded three successful receptions with Shoji and Kessel adding two. Starting setter Micah Ma’a contributed a block, an ace, and four digs.

Kento Miyaura led all players with 18 points and five aces, including three in a row late in the match, for Japan (9-3), which advanced to the VNL Finals in Łódź, Poland.

Coming out of a timeout trailing 11-7, the U.S. went on a 7-2 run in the opening set to take a 14-13 lead. Two Averill blocks and an Ensing kill put the U.S. ahead. Japan used six aces, including on the final two points, to take the set. Ensing paced the U.S. with five points.

The U.S. led by as many as five points, 12-7, in the second set, but Japan rallied and scored the final three points, clinching the set on a kill to end the longest rally of the match. The U.S. recorded six kills with Holt and Averill each recording two. Ensing scored four points with three players adding three.

Blocks by Ewert and Ma’a, and an ace by Ewert helped give the U.S. an early 8-6 lead in the third set. Another Ewert ace and a Japan hitting error made if 17-13, but Japan finished the match on a 12-2 run, scoring the final seven points.

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster
for 2024 Volleyball Nations League – Week 3
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State, Western Empire)
Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
10 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Florida, Stanford Univ., Florida)
11C Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California, Aloha)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State, Ohio Valley)
14 Micah Ma’a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA, Aloha)
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., Aloha)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)
29 Jordan Ewert (OH, 6-5, Antioch, Calif., Stanford, Northern California)

Reserve player
Jake Hanes (Opp, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ., Great Lakes)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer
Second Assistants: Javier Weber and Erik Sullivan
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Team Manager: David Dantes
Sports Psychologists: Andrea Becker, Peter Naschak
Doctors: Andrew Gregory

U.S. Men’s Schedule for 2024 VNL
All times PDT
Matches will be shown live and on-demand on

Week 1 in Antalya, Türkiye
May 22 at 10 a.m. Poland def. USA 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 26-24)
May 24 at 7 a.m. France def. USA 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-21)
May 25 at 10 a.m. Bulgaria def. USA 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21)
May 26 at 7 a.m. USA def. Türkiye 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-21)

Week 2 in Ottawa, Canada
June 4 at 1:30 p.m. USA def. Argentina 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 26-24)
June 6 at 1:30 p.m. Italy def. USA 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20)
June 7 at 5 p.m. USA def. Serbia 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-14)
June 8 at 1:30 p.m. Canada def. USA 3-1 (25-16, 19-25, 26-24, 28-26)

Week 3 in Manila Philippines
June 19 Iran def. USA 3-2 (26-28, 25-23, 25-18, 26-28, 15-13)
June 20 USA def. Brazil 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-9)
June 21 USA def. Germany 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23)
June 23 Japan def. USA 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-19)

Final Round on June 27-30 in Łódź, Poland