COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 15, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team used tough serving to beat a young French team, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16 on Thursday at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup.

The U.S. Men (2-1) will play Brazil (2-1) tonight at 8:40 p.m. PT.

One night after falling to Iran, which came back from an 0-2 deficit, the U.S. Men led France in kills (39-31), blocks (7-5) and aces (8-3). They scored 21 points on French errors while committing 14.

The U.S. hitting efficiency behind setter Micah Christenson was .524. France hit .368.

“We learned our lessons from the last match,” U.S. Team Captain David Smith said. “I am proud of the team for all the focus all the way through.”

The U.S. Men were particularly tough from the service line, finishing with eight aces and 11 errors. The team had 28 service errors in its five-set loss to Iran. Opposite Matt Anderson had several important serving runs and finished with five aces.

Anderson’s service run in the second set took the U.S. Men from a 17-15 lead to 23-15 and included three aces.

“We executed our game plan today much better than we did our last match,” said Anderson, who led all scorers with 17 points on five aces, 10 kills and two blocks.

France was playing without star outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth, who led his team to the 2017 FIVB World League title. On Thursday, it was led by opposite Jean Patry, who had eight points.

U.S. Starters vs. France
Outside hitters: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell
Middle blockers: Max Holt and David Smith
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji

U.S. Statistics vs. France
Kills: Russell 13, Anderson 10, Sander 9, Holt 3, Smith 3, Christenson 1
Blocks: Russell 2, Anderson 2, Sander 1, Holt 1, Christenson 1
Aces: Anderson 5, Sander 2, Christenson 1
Digs: E Shoji 6, Christenson 2, Sander 2, Anderson 2, Holt 2

FIVB World Grand Champions Cup
U.S. Men’s Roster

1. Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7. Kawika Shoji(S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
14. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
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 Nate Ngo
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coach: John Crawley
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall
Strength Coach: Tim Pelot

All times PT

Sept. 12: Brazil def. France, 27-25, 27-25, 25-22
Sept. 12: Iran def. Italy, 25-19, 23-25, 28-26, 29-31, 15-11
Sept. 12: USA def. Japan, 25-21, 25-18, 25-13

Sept. 12: Italy def. Brazil, 15-25, 27-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12
Sept. 12: Iran def USA, 20-25, 17-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-12
Sept. 13: France def. Japan, 25-15, 25-23, 25-23

Sept. 14: Brazil def. Iran, 25-22, 25-19, 25-13
Sept. 14: USA def. France, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16
Sept. 15: Italy vs Japan, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22

Sept. 15 at 8:40 p.m.: USA vs Brazil
Sept. 15 at 11:40 p.m.: France vs Italy
Sept. 16 at 3:15 a.m.: Japan vs Iran

Sept. 16 at 7:40 p.m.: Italy vs USA
Sept. 16 at 10:40 p.m.: Iran vs France
Sept. 17 at 2:15 a.m.: Brazil vs Japan