Opposite/Outside Hitter, 6-10
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2021) – Veteran Matt Anderson returned to the U.S. Men’s National Team lineup on Friday, but the team couldn’t find its rhythm and fell to Poland 3-0 (25-17, 28-26, 25-17) at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Rimini, Italy.
The U.S. Men (2-3) will finish their second group against Australia at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday. All VNL matches are being live streamed at VolleyballWorld.tv.
Anderson started the match at outside hitter instead of opposite, where he usually plays for the U.S. Men, as Head Coach John Speraw continued to experiment with his lineups while he chooses his Olympic squad.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson, a two-time Olympian, hadn’t played with the U.S. Men since the FIVB World Cup in September 2019. He also did not play professionally during the fall/winter of 2020-21.
He led the U.S. Men with nine points on nine kills (.438). He was also credited with five digs and nine successful receptions.
“I tried not to be as critical with myself on the court,” Anderson said. “I just tried to find my rhythm out there and I think I settled down a little bit toward the end. Obviously, there’s a lot to work on still.”
Speraw started Anderson and Garrett Muagututia at outside hitter, Kyle Ensing at opposite, Max Holt and Mitch Stahl at middle blocker, Micah Christenson at setter and Erik Shoji at libero.
Ben Patch substituted for Ensing in the first and second sets and started the third. Josh Tuaniga substituted for Christenson in the first set and started the third. Speraw also brought in middle blocker Taylor Averill to play the third set for Holt, T.J. DeFalco to play the third set for Anderson and Thomas Jaeschke to play the third set for Muagututia.
Poland led the match in kills (40-32) and blocks (10-8) and scored 26 points on U.S. errors while giving up 16 on errors. The teams tied in aces (2-2).
“Poland came out and they served really tough,” Anderson said. “They made some big plays at the beginning of the first and the second sets. I think we responded at times and found some energy to rebound and fight back.”
Stahl, the only player to complete the entire match, scored eight points on four kills, three blocks and one ace. Holt also had three blocks.
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for June 4
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OP, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State Univ.)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
5 Kyle Ensing (OP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State Univ.)
13 Ben Patch (OP, 6-8, Layton, Utah, Brigham Young Univ.)
15 Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., Brigham Young Univ.)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
19 Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii)
21 Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
22 Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ.)
Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Brian Thornton and Matthew Fuerbringer
Athletic Trainers: Aaron Brock and Timothy Pelot
Team Manager and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
U.S. Men’s Schedule for FIVB Volleyball Nations League (all times Pacific)
May 28: USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20)
May 29: Brazil def USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-19)
May 30: USA def Argentina, 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-19)
June 3: Russia def USA, 3-1 (25-22, 25-29, 17-25, 25-19)
June 4: Poland def USA, 3-0 (25-17, 28-26, 25-17)
June 5 at 9 a.m.: USA vs Australia
June 9 at 7 a.m.: Iran vs USA
June 10 at 7 a.m.: Germany vs USA
June 11 at 7 a.m.: USA vs Serbia
June 15 at noon: Italy vs USA
June 16 at 10:30 a.m.: USA vs France
June 17 at 9 a.m.: Netherlands vs USA
June 21 at 9 a.m.: Slovenia vs USA
June 22 at 4 a.m.: Bulgaria vs USA
June 23 at 4 a.m.: USA vs Japan
June 26: Semifinals 1 and 2
June 27: Bronze and Gold medal matches