U.S. Men Finish VNL Prelims with 5-Set Win over Argentina
The U.S. Men’s National Team finished the Preliminary Round of the Volleyball Nations League the hard way with a 3-2 (29-27, 22-25, 20-25, 25-13, 17-15) win over Argentina on Sunday
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 19, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team battled its way to the Volleyball Nations League Final Round and will have to keep playing hard if it hopes to advance to the semifinals.
The U.S. Men (10-2) finished the preliminary round in third place behind Italy and Poland. It will face longtime rival and defending VNL champion Brazil (8-4) in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT in Bologna, Italy. All matches are being shown on VolleyballWorld.tv.
The winner will play the victor of the quarterfinal between Poland and Iran. The U.S. Men’s two Preliminary-Round losses were to both of these teams.
The U.S. will use the 14-man roster it used for its final preliminary round matches in Osaka with one change. Opposite Kyle Russell has traveled to Bologna as the backup to Kyle Ensing. And yes, libero Kyle Dagostino is also on the roster, giving the team all three Kyles and two players with last name Russell (no relation).
Also on the roster are setters Micah Christenson and Josh Tuaniga, outside hitters Aaron Russell, T.J. DeFalco, Garrett Muagututia and Cody Kessel, middle blockers David Smith, Jeff Jendryk, Mitch Stahl and Tyler Mitchem and libero Erik Shoji.
Among the top individual U.S. performances in the Preliminary Round, Aaron Russell finished ninth among all scorers (154 points) and fourth among servers (1.75 aces per matcha0. Ensing is ninth among all attackers (10.83 per match). Smith is fourth among all blockers (2 per match). Tuaniga is fourth among setters (21.42 successful sets per match). Dagostino is 12th in digs (4.42 per match).
The U.S. Men beat Brazil in pool play, relying on VNL novices Jake Hanes, Cody Kessel and Tyler Mitchem to throw the South Americans off balance. Brazil’s other VNL losses were to China, Poland and France.
The last time the U.S. Men played for a medal at VNL was in 2019 when they hosted the final round and won silver in Chicago.
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster for Final Round of
2022 Volleyball Nations League
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
5 Kyle Ensing (OPP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA, Keystone)
8 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, Aloha)
15 Kyle Russell (OPP, 6-9, Loomis, Calif., UC Irvine, Northern California)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA, Southern 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., Aloha)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton Univ., Rocky Mountain)
27 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis Univ., Great Lakes)
Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer, Mike Wall
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Consultant Coach: Mike Sealy
Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Sports Psychologist: Bernard Whitney
Team Doctor: James Suchy
U.S. Men’s Schedule for the 2022 VNL (All times PDT)
All matches to be shown on VolleyballWorld.tv
Preliminary Round 1 – Brasilia, Brazil
USA def Slovenia, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-14)
USA def Netherlands, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-16)
USA def Japan, 3-2 (17-25, 25-15, 25-21, 26-28, 15-9)
USA def Brazil, 3-1 (21-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-20)
Preliminary Round 2 – Sofia, Bulgaria
USA def Serbia, 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20)
Iran def USA, 3-0 (25-18, 29-27, 27-25)
USA def Bulgaria, 3-1 (25-12, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23)
Poland def USA, 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-22)
Preliminary Round 3 – Osaka, Japan
USA def Germany, 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18)
USA def France, 3-2 (15-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-14, 15-8)
USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-19)
USA def Argentina, 3-2 (29-27, 22-25, 20-25, 25-13, 17-15)
Final Round – Bologna, Italy
9 a.m. USA vs Brazil
Noon Italy vs Netherlands