U.S. Men's National Team celebrating point vs. China.
U.S. Men's National Team celebrating point in win over China

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 21, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team earned its second Volleyball Nations League (VNL) preliminary round win in as many days on Wednesday with a 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-18) blanking of China in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The U.S. Men (5-1) have a day off before playing Iran (2-4) on June 23 at 7:30 a.m. PT.

Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke led the U.S. with 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks, and one service ace. Once again, the U.S. men featured a balanced attack with outside hitter T.J. DeFalco (11), opposite Jake Hanes (10), and middle blocker Taylor Averill (nine) all adding high kill totals. Middle blocker Max Holt contributed five kills in six attacks as the U.S. finished with a 51-40 team advantage in kills.

“It’s very special being part of this team because we have so many options at any given time,” DeFalco said. “I’m very fortunate to be part of a team that has those options we can roll out on any night.”

The U.S. got off to a slow start and trailed 18-12 before rallying to tie the first set. China scored consecutive points for a 23-21 lead and eventually had two set points, but the U.S. kept fighting back and took the opener. The U.S. Men led most of the competitive second set though China tied it late. In each of the first two sets, Head Coach John Speraw substituted in setter Micah Christenson and opposite Matt Anderson late in the set and the U.S. finished strongly in each set.

Volleyball Nations League is the world’s premier annual international indoor volleyball tournament. The top 16 teams in the world play four matches a week for three weeks of preliminary competition. The top eight teams at the end of the preliminaries will go to the Final Round.

The U.S. Men will host the third round of preliminary play in Anaheim, California, on July 4-9.

Get tickets for the Anaheim matches at volleyballworld.com

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for Week 2
2023 Volleyball Nations League

No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State, Western Empire)
Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
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, Hawaii)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State, Ohio Valley)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
19 Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii, Northern 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., Hawaii)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matt FuerbringerJavier Weber
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Manager: David Dantes
Team Doctor: James Suchy

U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2023 VNL
All matches will be broadcast on volleyballworld.tv

Week 1 in Ottawa, Canada
June 7 USA def Netherlands 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-21)
June 8 USA def Italy 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-19)
June 10 USA def Canada 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20)
June 11 Brazil def USA 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 15-25, 21-25)

Week 2 in Rotterdam, Netherlands
(All times PT)
June 20 USA def Serbia 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21)
June 21 USA def China 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-18)
June 23 at 7:30 a.m. USA vs Iran
June 24 at 4 a.m. USA vs Poland

Week 3 in Anaheim, California, USA
July 5 at 6:30 p.m. USA vs Cuba
July 7 at 6:30 p.m. USA vs Argentina
July 8 at 6:30 p.m. USA vs France
July 9 at 6:30 p.m. USA vs Bulgaria