Outside hitter Aaron Russell and opposite Kyle Ensing each scored 14 points on Tuesday as the U.S. Men’s National Team won its opening match of the 2022 Volleyball Nations League 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-14) over Slovenia
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 9, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team put the pressure on early and never let up in its 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-16) win over Netherlands on Thursday in a Volleyball Nations League match in Brasilia, Brazil.
The U.S. Men (2-0) will play Japan (2-0) at 2 p.m. PT on Friday. All matches are shown live and on-demand on VolleyballWorld.tv, a subscription service.
The U.S. Men were prepared for Netherlands to use the same lineup it used against Japan in its previous match. However, Netherlands went with a younger lineup, including Stijn van Tilburg, who finished his college career at the University of Hawaii in 2019.
The U.S. Men adjusted quickly.
“We thought they were going to roll out their first team guys, but maybe they are resting them,” U.S. outside hitter Aaron Russell said. “I thought we did a good job changing on the fly tonight. It was a good win for us.”
For a second straight match, Russell and opposite Kyle Ensing were the match scoring leaders and each again scored 14 points. Russell scored on 11 kills (.529 hitting efficiency), one block and a match-high two aces. Ensing scored on 11 kills (.500), two blocks and one ace.
The U.S. Men’s serving was on point. They led Netherlands in aces 5-0 and had only nine service errors. The U.S. also led Netherlands in kills (42-26) and blocks (8-5). The U.S. Men scored 20 points on Netherlands’ errors while committing 15.
Starting setter Josh Tuaniga and substitute James Shaw combined to set the U.S. Men to a .456 hitting efficiency. Netherlands hit .183. Libero Kyle Dagostino had a good night and was credited with nine digs and six successful receptions.
Among the other U.S. scorers, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke finished with nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace.
Middle blocker and Team Captain David Smith scored five points on three kills and two blocks and middle Jeff Jendryk scored five points on three kills, one block and one ace.
Opposite Jake Hanes, who played as a substitute, scored three points on three kills.
Tuaniga and Shaw each finished with two points. Tuaniga had two kills and Shaw had a kill and a block.
Middle Tyler Mitchem made his senior national team debut, playing as a substitute in the third set and scored a point with a kill.
In sets 1 and 3, the U.S. Men jumped out to big leads and Netherlands couldn’t come back. Netherlands held a brief lead in the second set, but the U.S. Men rallied.
VNL will only get harder from here, Russell said.
“Things definitely get more difficult,” he said. “We know Japan plays great defense. Brazil is just an all-around good team. We’ve got to rest up tonight and make sure that we take care of business tomorrow so we can be in a good position the day after.”
U.S. Men’s National Team 25-Person Roster for
2022 Volleyball Nations League
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
3 James Shaw (S, 6-8, Woodside, Calif. Stanford, Northern California)
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)
9 Jake Hanes (OPP, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ., Great Lakes)
10 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Florida, Stanford Univ., Florida)
13 Patrick Gasman (MB, 6-10, Clovis, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii, Northern California)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
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)
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 Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Consultant Coach: Mike Sealy
Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Sports Psychologist: Bernard Whitney
Team Doctor: James Suchy
U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2022 VNL (All times PDT)
All matches to be shown on VolleyballWorld.tv
Preliminary Round 1 – Brasilia, Brazil
USA def Slovenia, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-14)
USA vs Netherlands, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-16)
June 10 at 2 p.m.
USA vs Japan
June 11 at 11 a.m.
USA vs Brazil
Preliminary Round 2 – Sofia, Bulgaria
June 22 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Serbia
June 23 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Iran
June 25 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Bulgaria
June 26 at 6:30 a.m.
USA vs Poland
Preliminary Round 3 – Osaka, Japan
July 4 at 11 p.m.
USA vs Germany
July 6 at 8 p.m.
USA vs France
July 8 at 11:40 p.m.
USA vs Canada
July 9 at 8:40 p.m.
USA vs Argentina
Final Round – Bologna, Italy