U.S. Men competing in VNL

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 5, 2022) – It wasn’t always pretty, but the U.S. Men’s National Team will gladly take its 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18) win over Germany in a Volleyball Nations League (VNL) match in Osaka, Japan.

The U.S. Men (7-2) will play Tokyo Olympic gold medalist France (7-1) at 8 p.m. PT on Wednesday. The U.S. is trying to finish in the top eight and advance to the Final Round on July 20-24 in Bologna, Italy.


The U.S. led the match in kills (59-47), blocks (4-3) and aces (7-2), but also gave up 31 points on errors to Germany, which had 27 scoring errors.

Two-time Olympic setter Micah Christenson made his 2022 VNL debut and scored five points on three kills, one block and one ace while setting the U.S. to a .426 hitting efficiency.

“It’s great to be back with the guys,” Christenson said. “That’s the part that you miss the most. The competition with your brothers out here.

“It wasn’t as clean as we’d like, but that’s kind of the process. We’re glad to get out of here with a 3-1 victory and we have things to work on, which is great.”

Outside hitter Aaron Russell is working on his connection with Christenson. The two have not competed together since 2019 thanks to COVID in 2020 and Russell’s hip surgery in 2021. But the process appears to be going well as Russell led all scorers with 23 points on a match-high 19 kills (.471), a match-high three aces and one block.

Opposite Kyle Ensing finished with 13 points on 12 kills and one ace. Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco added 12 points on 11 kills (.474) and one ace and led the match in successful receptions with 14.

Middle blocker David Smith scored eight points on five kills, two blocks and one ace. Middle Jeff Jendryk added five points on five kills. Opposite Jake Hanes, who substituted for Ensing, scored four points on four kills.

Libero Erik Shoji finished with a match-high 11 digs and 10 successful receptions.

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for Round 3 of
2022 Volleyball Nations League

No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
5 Kyle Ensing (OPP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA, Keystone)
8 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, Aloha)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA, Southern 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)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)
27 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis Univ., Great Lakes)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer, Mike Wall
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Consultant Coach: Mike Sealy
Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Sports Psychologist: Bernard Whitney
Team Doctor: James Suchy

U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2022 VNL (All times PDT)
All matches to be shown on VolleyballWorld.tv

Preliminary Round 1 – Brasilia, Brazil
June 7-11
USA def Slovenia, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-14)
USA def Netherlands, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-16)
USA def Japan, 3-2 (17-25, 25-15, 25-21, 26-28, 15-9)
USA def Brazil, 3-1 (21-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-20)

Preliminary Round 2 – Sofia, Bulgaria
June 22-26
USA def Serbia, 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20)
Iran def USA, 3-0 (25-18, 29-27, 27-25)
USA def Bulgaria, 3-1 (25-12, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23)
Poland def USA, 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-22)

Preliminary Round 3 – Osaka, Japan
USA def Germany, 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18)

July 6 at 8 p.m.
USA vs France

July 8 at 11:40 p.m.
USA vs Canada

July 9 at 8:40 p.m.
USA vs Argentina

Final Round – Bologna, Italy
July 20-24