COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 3, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team had Brazil on the ropes, but couldn’t deliver the knockout punch and lost to archrival Brazil, 21-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 20-18 on Sunday in Goiânia, Brazil.

The U.S. Men (5-1) suffered its first loss in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. It also lost the chance to take over first place in the standings after league-leading Poland (5-1) fell to Germany on Sunday.

The United States will move on to Ottawa, Canada where it will face Germany, Australia and Canada on June 8-10. The FIVB has chosen to live stream the matches.

The U.S. Men held match point three times in the fifth set. Service errors killed the first two and an attack from Brazil’s Evandro Guerra ended the third.

The U.S. fought off match points at 17-16 and 18-17. But at 18-18, Matt Anderson, who moved from opposite to left side for the fifth set, served into the net and Brazilian middle blocker Isac Santos, who was brought into the match in the second set, sealed the win with an ace.

Middle blocker David Smith also entered the match in the fifth set and helped the U.S. Men’s cause with a big block. Liberos Erik Shoji and Dustin Watten continued to alternate throughout the match as they did against Korea.

The U.S. Men led in kills (67-53), but had a 28.2 success percentage while Brazil’s was 47.7. Brazil led in blocks (14-8) and the teams were tied in aces (4-4). The U.S. made 40 scoring errors while Brazil had 28.

Anderson led all scorers with 23 points on 22 kills and one ace. Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke totaled 18 points on 17 kills and one ace. Outside hitter Aaron Russell, who was pulled for the fifth set in favor of Anderson at outside and Ben Patch at opposite, added 16 points on 13 kills, two blocks and one ace.

The U.S. Men won a controversial first set that saw Brazil get a yellow card for arguing with the officials on two different calls. With Brazil still angry, the U.S. won the second set easily.

Brazil made changes in the second set, bringing in Isac for Mauricio Souza and backup setter William Arjona for Bruno Rezende. Brazil set its emotions aside and got off to fast start in the third set and rode the crowd of 15,000 to the 25-19 win. The fourth set stayed close until Brazil used a 6-2 run to lead 19-14.

There was more controversy at 17-17 in the fifth set when Brazil’s coach grabbed the second referee to call for a challenge as Patch made a kill that seemed to give the U.S. the lead. A replay showed that Anderson’s shoulder had touched the net and the point went to Brazil.

Outside hitters: Aaron Russell and Thomas Jaeschke
Middle blockers: Max Holt and Jeff Jendryk
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: Ben Patch, David Smith, T.J. DeFalco, Dustin Watten, Taylor Averill, Kawika Shoji

Kills: Anderson 22, Jaeschke 17, Russell 13, Jendryk 5, Holt 5, Patch 5
Blocks: Jendryk 4, Russell 2, Holt 1, Smith 1
Aces: Anderson 1, Jaeschke 1, Russell 1, Christenson 1

2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League

U.S. Men’s 14-Man Travel Roster for China

1. Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
8. T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Hawaii, Southern California)
12. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
13. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
17. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola)
18. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
20C. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager: Andrea Becker
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Doctor: William Stetson

Schedule and Results (all times PT)
At Ningbo, China

May 25: USA def Argentina, 25-27, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 15-10
May 26: USA def Bulgaria vs USA, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20
May 27: USA def China, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18

At Goiânia, Brazil
June 1: USA def Japan, 23-25, 13-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-10
June 2: USA def Korea, 25-23, 25-21, 25-11
June 3: Brazil def USA,  21-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 20-18

At Ottawa, Canada
June 8 at 1:40 p.m.: Germany vs USA
June 9 at 1:10 p.m.: USA vs Australia
June 10 at 1:10 p.m.: Canada vs USA

At Hoffman Estates, Ill., USA
June 15 at 5:30 p.m.: USA  vs. Serbia
June 16 at 5:30 p.m.: USA vs. Poland
June 17 at 2:30 p.m.: USA vs. Iran

At Modena, Italy
June 22 at 8:30 a.m.: USA vs France
June 23 at 8:30 a.m.: USA vs Russia
June 24 at 11:30 a.m.: Italy vs USA

Final Round (must qualify): July 1-4 in Lille, France