COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 21, 2024) – The U.S. Men’s National Team kept its hopes for a spot in the Volleyball Nations League Final Round alive with a 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23) victory over Germany on Friday in Manila, Philippines.

The U.S. Men (5-6) complete VNL preliminary round play against Japan (7-3) Sunday, June 23 at 4 a.m. PT. Germany fell to 4-7 with the defeat.


Opposite Matt Anderson led all scorers with 20 kills (with a .419 hitting efficiency) and 23 points, and outside hitter T.J. DeFalco finished with 18 kills and 20 points. Anderson led the team with three aces, all of which came in the third set.

“The point of us being in this VNL right now is competition and getting that grittiness back into our team that we can take on anybody. Our ultimate hope is peaking in Paris when we get out there and having a better showing than in Tokyo,” stated Anderson, who acknowledged the great fan support in this round. “The fans here have been absolutely amazing. It is awesome to play here and it kind of feels like home matches when we are here.”

The U.S. held a slight edge in kills (54-52) but finished with twice as many blocks (10-5), with seven of those blocks coming in the final two sets. Middle blockers Jeff Jendryk and David Smith each registered four blocks. Jendryk recorded six kills and Smith added five.

Libero Erik Shoji paced the U.S. squad with 14 digs and five successful receptions. Setter and captain Micah Christenson totaled seven digs, two kills and a block. Garrett Muagututia also registered seven digs with Anderson and DeFalco each contributing five.

A DeFalco kill gave the U.S. a 23-19 lead in an error-plagued first set where the two teams combined for 19 errors. Germany scored four of the next five points to pull within a point, 24-23, but Anderson scored the winning point with his sixth kill of the set.

Germany committed only two errors in the second set after 10 in the opening set and served strongly to even the match. After falling behind 4-2, Germany went on a 4-0 run, capped by an ace, and never trailed in the set again. Anderson served three aces and totaled seven points in the set, and DeFalco recorded six kills.

The U.S. jumped out to a 10-4 lead in set three with Muagututia contributing an ace, two digs, a block cover, and teaming with Smith for a double block in which Smith got the block. Trailing 17-13, Germany recorded back-to-back aces to complete a 4-0 run to even the set.

The U.S. Men scored the next two points to take a 19-17 lead and though they never trailed, they did surrender two set points before an Anderson kill and a Germany hitting error after a great dig by Christenson gave the U.S. a 2-1 match lead. Anderson and DeFalco each registered five kills in the set. Jendryk and Smith each recorded two blocks in the set as the U.S. recorded five blocks to one.

The U.S. trailed for most of a close fourth set before scoring the final three points to take the set, 25-23, and the match. A strong dig by Shoji and Anderson’s 23rd point of the match evened the set at 23 before back-to-back blocks by DeFalco and Jendryk sealed the victory. DeFalco led the way with six points in the set, while Anderson finished with five and Jendryk added four.

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)
Jake Hanes (Opp, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ., Great Lakes)
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)
29 Jordan Ewert (OH, 6-5, Antioch, Calif., Stanford, Northern California)

Reserve player
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)

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 at 4 a.m. USA vs Japan

Final Round on June 27-30 in Łódź, Poland