COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 16, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team got 21 points from outside hitter T.J. DeFalco and out-blocked France 14-6, but it wasn’t enough as the U.S. fell, 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 31-29, 25-22) on Wednesday at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Rimini, Italy.

The U.S. Men (5-6) will play Netherlands (2-9) on Thursday at 9 a.m. PT. All matches are being shown on

Besides the superior blocking the U.S. Men tied France in kills (57-57) and aces (3-3). The U.S. was hurt by 37 scoring errors, including 24 service errors. France had 25 scoring errors.

“I thought they kept a lot of good service pressure on us,” outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke said of France. “They play volleyball very well so if you’re going to beat them, you’re going to have to put a whole match together. I thought at moments we did, and at very few moments we didn’t.”

The U.S. block party was led by opposite Kyle Ensing, who had a match-high five. Middle blocker Mitch Stahl had three and middle Max Holt and DeFalco each had two. Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and setter Kawika Shoji also each had a block.

DeFalco had a match-high 19 kills, Jaeschke totaled 12 and Holt finished with 10. Ensing totaled seven kills, Stahl had six and Kawika Shoji with three.

Ensing had two aces and Stahl finished with one.

Shoji set the U.S. Men to a .313 hitting efficiency. Libero Erik Shoji was credited with 14 digs and eight successful receptions.

France was led by star outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth, who finished with 16 points, but got help from substitute opposite Stephen Boyer.

U.S. Men’s National Team 14-Person Roster for June 16

No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OP, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State Univ.)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
5 Kyle Ensing (OP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
7 Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ.)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
9 Jake Hanes (OP, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ.)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State Univ.)
15 Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., Brigham Young Univ.)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., Univ. of California Irvine)
21 Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
22 Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ.)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Brian Thornton and Matthew Fuerbringer
Athletic Trainers: Aaron Brock and Timothy Pelot
Team Manager and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo

U.S. Men’s Schedule for FIVB Volleyball Nations League (all times Pacific)

May 28: USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20)
May 29: Brazil def USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-19)
May 30: USA def Argentina, 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-19)

June 3: Russia def USA, 3-1 (25-22, 25-29, 17-25, 25-19)
June 4: Poland def USA, 3-0 (25-17, 28-26, 25-17)
June 5: USA def Australia, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-17)

June 9: Iran def USA, 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-23)
June 10: USA def Germany, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 29-27)
June 11: Serbia def USA, 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 19-25, 27-25)

June 15: USA def. Italy, 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-21)
June 16: France def USA, 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 31-29, 25-22)
June 17 at 9 a.m.: Netherlands vs USA

June 21 at 9 a.m.: Slovenia vs USA
June 22 at 4 a.m.: Bulgaria vs USA
June 23 at 4 a.m.: USA vs Japan

June 26: Semifinals 1 and 2
June 27: Bronze and Gold medal matches