U.S. Men's National Team
Photo courtesy Volleyball World

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 22, 2023) – After a difficult quarterfinal, the U.S. Men’s National Team made it look easy in their semifinal, sweeping Italy (25-19, 25-18, 25-19) on Saturday in Gdansk, Poland.

The U.S. Men (12-2) will face host Poland (12-2) for gold at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday. The U.S. Men played France in the 2022 VNL final, which the French team won.


The U.S. Men led Italy, the defending world champion, in kills (44-33) and blocks (10-6). The U.S. scored 18 points on Italy’s errors while giving up 13. Italy led in aces (4-3).

Opposite Matt Anderson led all scorers with 17 points on 17 kills. His hitting efficiency was .640.

Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke added 16 points on 12 kills, two blocks and two aces.

“I think things worked well on our side,” Jaeschke said. “They played well. We did some things later in sets that helped us get some space.”

When asked about playing the final against Poland in Gdansk, Jaeschke said: “I know it’s going to be about 10,000 people in here cheering for Poland so it’s going to be a great match.”

Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco scored 11 points on eight kills and a team-high three blocks. DeFalco and libero Erik Shoji led the team in digs with 10 each. Shoji led in successful receptions with three.

Middle blocker David Smith scored six points on three kills, two blocks and one ace. Middle Max Holt had four points on three kills and one block.

Setter Micah Christenson scored three points on a kill and two blocks. He set the U.S. Men to a .416 hitting efficiency.

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for Final Round

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)
14 Micah Ma’a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA, Aloha)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
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)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer and Javier Weber
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Mental Performance Coach: Andrea Becker
Team Leader:
David Dantes
Strength and Conditioning Coach:
 Tim Pelot
Second Assistant Coach: Mortez Shiari
Team Doctor: Steven Stovitz

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
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 USA def Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-23)
June 24 USA def Poland 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19)

Week 3 in Anaheim, California, USA
July 5 USA def Cuba 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-15)
July 7 Argentina def USA 3-2 (25-18, 23-25, 23-25, 43-41, 15-12)
July 8 USA def France 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 27-25)
July 9 USA def Bulgaria, 3-0 (29-27, 25-19, 25-21)

Final Round in Gdansk, Poland
(All times PT)
July 19
USA def France 3-2 (25-21, 25-18 17-25, 24-26, 15-9)
July 22
Poland def Japan 3-1 (19-25, 28-26, 25-17, 25-21)
USA def Italy 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19)
July 23
Bronze medal at 8 a.m. Japan vs Italy
Gold medal at 11 a.m. USA vs Poland