COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 8, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team finished the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier undefeated on Sunday when it beat Japan 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12) in Tokyo.

The U.S. Men finished the tournament 7-0 and were awarded the “traditional World Cup” for winning the group. Japan hosted the World Cup every four years from 1965-2019. The Olympic Qualifier tournaments kept the round robin format. The U.S. Men last won the World Cup in 2015.


A crowd of more than 10,000 watched a variety of players compete for both teams.

The U.S. Men started Micah Christenson at setter, Matt Anderson at opposite, Thomas Jaeschke and Garrett Muagututia at outside hitter, Taylor Averill and David Smith at middle blocker and Erik Shoji at libero.

After the U.S. Men had won the first set and the World Cup, Head Coach John Speraw brought in Micah Ma’a at setter, Kyle Dagostino at libero and Kyle Ensing at opposite. Jeff Jendryk later took Averill’s place at middle blocker.

The U.S. Men led Japan in blocks (13-5) with Smith leading the team with three. Jendryk and Ensing each had two.

The two teams were level in kills (64-64), while Japan did better from the service line (6-2 in aces) and in unforced errors (27-30). The U.S. hitting efficiency was .405. Japan hit .274.

Jaeschke led the U.S. with 19 points on 17 kills (.500), one block and one ace. Smith added 14 points with 11 kill (.625) and three blocks. Muagututia scored 13 points on 12 kills and one block.

Ensing scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks.  Ma’a totaled seven points on six kills and one block. Jendryk had six points on four kills and two blocks.

Anderson totaled five points on four kills and one block. Averill scored five points on three kills, one block and one ace.

Christenson scored one point with an ace. Dagostino was credited with seven digs and 11 successful receptions. Muagututia led in successful receptions with 12.

U.S. Men’s Roster for 2023 Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier

No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State, Western Empire)
Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
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)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California, Hawaii)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State, Ohio Valley)
14 Micah Ma’a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA, Aloha)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
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., Hawaii)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer and Javier Weber
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Leader: Nate Ngo
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Mental Performance Coach: Andrea Becker
Second Assistant: Morteza Shiari
Second Assistant: Michael Wall
Team Doctor: Lori Boyajian-O’Neill

U.S. Men’s Schedule and Results for the 2023 VNL
All matches will be broadcast on

All times PT
Sept. 30 USA def Egypt, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-19)
Oct. 1 USA def Finland, 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-17)
Oct. 3 USA def. Türkiye, 3-1 (25-17, 26-28, 32-30, 25-20)
Oct. 4 USA def. Tunisia, 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-14)
Oct. 6 USA def. Slovenia, 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 25-18)
Oct. 7 USA def Serbia, 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-17)
Oct. 8 USA def Japan 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12)