U.S. Men's National Team competing at VNL

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 9, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team rolled to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-19) victory over Canada in a Volleyball Nations League (VNL) match on Saturday in Osaka, Japan.

The U.S. Men (9-2), who have already secured a slot in the VNL Final Round, have one match left in the Preliminary Round. Less than 24 hours after the Canada match, the U.S.  will play Argentina (5-6) on Saturday at 8:40 p.m. PT.

The U.S. Men’s hit .600 against Canada behind setter Micah Christenson. Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco led the way with a match-high 17 kills (.696) along with an ace.


Libero Erik Shoji also had a great game, leading the team with eight digs and seven successful receptions.

“We watched a lot of video on Canada,” Shoji said. “We know they’re a great team and they were going to come out firing. We wanted to have a good game plan, block and defense together, and we did that.”

The U.S. led Canada in blocks (5-1) as well as kills (47-34) and aces (5-2).

Opposite Kyle Ensing finished with 13 points on 10 kills (.625), one block and two aces. Outside hitter Kyle Russell scored 11 points on 10 kills and one block.

Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk scored six points on four kills, one block and one ace. Middle David Smith scored six points on five kills and one block.

Christenson scored three points on one kill, one block and one ace.

The U.S. used an 11-2 run in the first set to go from a 12-10 deficit at the technical timeout to a 21-14 lead. The U.S. Men won the first point of the second set on a challenge and never trailed. Canada led 14-13 in the third set before a 4-point U.S. run put the set and the match out of reach.

Shoji said the U.S. Men would not take Saturday’s match against Argentina lightly. The last time the two teams played, Argentina knocked the U.S. Men out of the Tokyo Olympic Games by sweeping them in their final pool play match.

“We want to win,” Shoji said. “Argentina is a great team. They beat France today. We’ve got to rest up, get back, recover, and hopefully win tomorrow”

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
July 4-9
USA def Germany, 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18)
USA def France,  3-2 (15-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-14, 15-8)
USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-19)

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

Final Round – Bologna, Italy
July 20-24