COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 4, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team took France to five sets, but finally lost, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-12 in the FIVB World League Final Round on Tuesday in Curitiba, Brazil.

To advance to the semifinals, the United States must win its second pool play match on Wednesday against Serbia.

The U.S. Men led 8-5 in the fifth set, but France used a 7-1 run to pull ahead at 13-9. The U.S. Men also led the first set, 20-15, but went on to lose 27-25.

“I think we’ve improved a lot over the last five or six weeks,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “I thought we played better than the first time we played France in France (in pool play). But I’m disappointed that we didn’t take care of a couple things on our side of the net.”

The U.S. Men led in block (10-9) and scored 43 points on French errors while committing 35. France led in kills (59-56) and the teams tied in aces (2-2). The U.S. had a .328 hitting efficiency while France hit .213.

Opposite Ben Patch led the U.S. Men with 18 points on 16 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Taylor Sander added 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, making his first start for the United States in 2017 after recovering from injury, scored 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace.

Setter Micah Christenson led the U.S. in blocks with three and also had one of the team’s two aces.

The teams played in the Arena da Baixada, a soccer stadium with a retractable roof that holds more than 42,000. Temperatures in the stadium hovered just above 50 degrees, but neither team blamed the cold for their errors.

2017 FIVB World League Final Round
July 4-8 in Curitiba, Brazil
U.S. Men’s Roster

3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7C. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
13. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
14. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. TJ DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Leader: Mike Wall
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Robert Neilson
Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

TV Schedule and Results

Date and OpponentResultLocationTV (all times EDT)
June 2SerbiaL (25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21)Novi Sad, SerbiaJune 2: 9:30-11:30 p.m. NBCSN
June 3CanadaL (23-25, 25-19,18-25, 25-23, 15-11)Novi Sad, SerbiaJune 3: 3-5 p.m. NBCSN
June 4BelgiumL (25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 28-26)Novi Sad, SerbiaJune 4: 6-8 p.m. UniHD
June 9ItalyW (25-22, 25-23, 25-23)Pau, FranceJune 9: 6-8 p.m. NBCSN
June 10RussiaW (25-20, 25-22, 25-22)Pau, FranceJune 10: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. UniHD
June 11FranceL (25-20, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21)Pau, FranceJune 11: 3-4:30 p.m. NBCSN
June 15IranW (25-17, 25-22, 30-28)Katowice, PolandJune 15: 12-2 p.m.. NBCSN
June 17RussiaL (31-29, 17-25, 25-19, 27-29, 15-13)Lodz, PolandJune 17: 6:30-8:30 p.m. NBCSN
June 18PolandW (26-31, 25-17, 27-25, 25-20)Lodz, PolandJune 18: 6-8 p.m. NBCSN
July 4Final Round pool playBrazil def Canada, 25-21, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19Curitiba, BrazilJuly 4, 2 p.m. on Universal HD
July 4Final Round pool playFrance def USA, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-12Curitiba, BrazilJuly 4, 4:40 p.m. on UniHD
July 5Final Round pool playRussia vs CanadaCuritiba, BrazilJuly 5, 2 p.m. on UniHD
July 5Final Round pool playSerbia vs USACuritiba, BrazilJuly 5, 4:30 p.m. on UniHD
July 6Final Round pool playBrazil vs RussiaCuritiba, BrazilJuly 6, 2 p.m. on UniHD
July 6Final Round pool playFrance vs SerbiaCuritiba, BrazilJuly 6, 4;30 on UniHD
July 7Final Round semifinalsCuritiba, BrazilTBD: UniHD
July 8Final Round finals