COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 23, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team won the silver medal at the Volleyball Nations League for the second straight year on Sunday as it fell to host Poland 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 25-18) in Gdansk.

The U.S. Men finished the 2023 VNL with a 12-3 record and ranked No. 2 in the world. They started the VNL preliminary round ranked sixth.


Setter Micah Christenson and middle blocker David Smith were named to the VNL Dream Team.

Poland led the U.S. Men in kills (59-51), aces (7-3) and held the edge in blocks (9-8). Poland scored 24 points on U.S. errors and gave up 23.

Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco led the U.S. with 14 points on 13 kills (.435 hitting efficiency) and one ace. He led in digs with seven and in successful receptions with six.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell played in his first match of the Final Round after recovering from illness. He came in as a substitute in the second set and started the third and fourth, finishing with 11 points on nine kills and two blocks.

Opposite Matt Anderson finished with 10 points on nine kills and one ace.

Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke started the match, was replaced by Russell in the second set, then re-entered the match in the fourth set to replace Anderson at opposite. Jaeschke finished with nine points on seven kills and two blocks.

Middle Max Holt scored seven points on four kills and three blocks. Smith finished with six points on six kills (.546 hitting efficiency).

Libero Erik Shoji was credited with six successful receptions and four digs.

Middle Taylor Averill, who subbed into the match for Holt in the third and fourth sets, scored two points on a kill and an ace.

Opposite Jake Hanes, outside hitter Garrett Muagututia and setter Micah Ma’a all played as substitutes in the third set. Hanes and Muagututia each scored with a kill and Ma’a scored with a block.

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for Final Round

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)
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)
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
Mental Performance Coach: Andrea Becker
Team Leader:
David Dantes
Strength and Conditioning Coach:
 Tim Pelot
Second Assistant Coach: Mortez Shiari
Team Doctor: Steven Stovitz

U.S. Men’s Results for the 2023 VNL
Week 1 in Ottawa, Canada
June 7 USA def Netherlands 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-21)
June 8 USA def Italy 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-19)
June 10 USA def Canada 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20)
June 11 Brazil def USA 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 15-25, 21-25)

Week 2 in Rotterdam, Netherlands
June 20 USA def Serbia 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21)
June 21 USA def China 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-18)
June 23 USA def Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-23)
June 24 USA def Poland 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19)

Week 3 in Anaheim, California, USA
July 5 USA def Cuba 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-15)
July 7 Argentina def USA 3-2 (25-18, 23-25, 23-25, 43-41, 15-12)
July 8 USA def France 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 27-25)
July 9 USA def Bulgaria, 3-0 (29-27, 25-19, 25-21)

Final Round in Gdansk, Poland
(All times PT)
July 19
USA def France 3-2 (25-21, 25-18 17-25, 24-26, 15-9)
July 22
Poland def Japan 3-1 (19-25, 28-26, 25-17, 25-21)
USA def Italy 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19)
July 23
Bronze medal Japan def Italy 3-2 (25-18, 25-23, 17-25, 17-25, 15-9)
Gold medal Poland def USA 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 25-18)