COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 1, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team lost a marathon to world champion Poland, 17-25, 34-32, 26-28, 25-23, 15-9 in an FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) match on Saturday in Katowice, Poland.
The U.S. Men fall to 0-2 in the VNL preliminary round, but pick up a point for going five sets. The U.S. will close the first weekend against Australia at 5 a.m. PT on Sunday. The match will be show on FloVolleyball.tv, a subscription service.
An estimated crowd of 8,952 packed Spodek Arena to cheer on both teams.
“It’s always amazing to play against Poland in Poland. I love it,” outside hitter T.J. DeFalco said. “Both teams played very hard. It was a really good game. I made some mistakes in the end that I cannot afford and it makes a difference.”
DeFalco led the U.S. with 20 points on a team-high 17 kills, one block and two aces. Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia added 19 points on 16 kills and a team-high three aces.
Opposite Kyle Russell scored 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Mitch Stahl had 12 points on six kills, a team-high four blocks and two aces.
“We had our chances in a couple of different sets and I’m sure they felt the same way,” said U.S. Head Coach John Speraw. “They just came out on top. Playing in Poland is always a great experience, because of this crowd. I love it! We appreciate their enthusiasm and I’m sure they are making Poland better.”
The U.S. Men’s serving was strong as they led Poland in aces (12-5), but also had a few more errors (28-24).
The U.S. Men led in kills (58-54). The U.S. hitting efficiency was .321 while Poland’s was .338.
Poland led in blocks (12-10) and scored 46 points on U.S. errors while committing 37.
U.S. STARTERS VS POLAND
Outside hitters: T.J. DeFalco and Garrett Muagututia
Middle blockers: Mitch Stahl and David Smith
Opposite: Kyle Russell
Setter: Kawika Shoji
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: Kyle Ensing (Opp), Josh Tuaniga (S), Micah Ma’a (S)
U.S. STATISTICS VS POLAND
Kills: DeFalco 17, Muagututia 16, Russell 12, Stahl 6, Smith 5, K Shoji 1, Ensing 1
Blocks: Stahl 4, Russell 2, Smith 2, DeFalco 1, Shoji 1
Aces: Muagututia 3, K Shoji 2, DeFalco 2, Stahl 2, Smith 1, Russell 1
2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League
U.S. Men’s Schedule (all times PT)
Brazil def USA, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23
Poland def USA, 17-25, 34-32, 26-28, 25-23, 15-9
June 2 at 5 a.m.: USA v Australia