Players on the U.S. Men's National Team celebrate

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 4, 2023) – One day after a long and emotional win over Türkiye, the U.S. Men’s National Team took a quick sweep (25-11, 25-12, 25-14) of Tunisia on Wednesday at the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier in Tokyo.

At the qualifier, which runs Sept. 30-Oct. 8, eight teams each play seven matches in a round robin over nine days. The top two teams will qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.


The U.S. Men (4-0) lead the group ahead of second place Slovenia (4-0). After getting Thursday off, the two teams will play each other at 12 a.m. PT on Friday.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw went with a new starting lineup against Tunisia. Jeff Jendryk and Taylor Averill started at middle blocker and Garrett Muagututia and Thomas Jaeschke started at outside hitter.

“I thought it was a good match all the way around,” Jaeschke said. “Each set we started well, and we played each set consistently solid as a team; good defense, good blocking, good serving.”

Micah Christenson started at setter, Matt Anderson at opposite and Erik Shoji at libero. They made way for Micah Ma’a, Kyle Ensing and Kyle Dagostino, respectively, in the second set.

The U.S. led Tunisia in kills (40-22), blocks (13-3) and aces (6-0). The U.S. scored 17 points on Tunisia’s errors while giving up 12 points on errors. The match was timed at 1 hour, 12 minutes.

Jaeschke said it wasn’t hard for the team to stay focused against Tunisia (0-4).

“Obviously the stakes are a lot higher, so no, it’s not hard for us to keep the focus, I would say quite the opposite,” Jaeschke said.

“It’s super important to make that a 3-0  victory and move on.”

Ensing led all scorers with a match-high nine kills (.692 hitting efficiency) and a match-high four blocks. Jaeschke added 10 points on eight kills, one block and one ace.

Averill totaled nine points on five kills, two blocks and two aces, which he served in a row in the first set.

Jendryk finished with eight points on five kills and three blocks.

Anderson scored seven points on six kills and one block. Muagututia scored seven points on five kills, one block and one ace.

Ma’a scored three points on two kills and a block and Christenson scored two points on two aces. The two combined to set the U.S. to a .486 hitting efficiency.

Shoji was credited with seven digs. Dagostino was credited with three digs and three successful receptions. Muagututia led the team in both categories with 11 digs and six successful receptions.

U.S. Men’s Roster for 2023 Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier

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)
Kyle Ensing (OPP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
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
Team Leader: Nate Ngo
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Mental Performance Coach: Andrea Becker
Second Assistant: Morteza Shiari
Second Assistant: Michael Wall
Team Doctor: Lori Boyajian-O’Neill

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

All times PT
Sept. 30 USA def Egypt, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-19)
Oct. 1 USA def Finland, 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-17)
Oct. 3 USA def. Türkiye, 3-1 (25-17, 26-28, 32-30, 25-20)
Oct. 4 USA def. Tunisia 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-14)
Oct. 6 at 12 a.m. USA vs Slovenia  (world No. 8)
Oct. 7 at 12 a.m. USA vs Serbia (world No. 9)
Oct. 8 at 3:25 a.m. USA vs Japan (world No. 5)