Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Christenson Returns to U.S. Men’s Team for VNL

The U.S. Men’s National Team is gearing up for the final four matches of the Volleyball Nations League Preliminary Round in Osaka, Japan. This crucial stage will determine which eight teams will qualify for the Final Round, taking place in Bologna, Italy from July 20-24. Currently sitting in fifth place with a record of 6-2, the U.S. Men had a strong start in the first week of the VNL, going 4-0. However, they faced some setbacks in the second week, with losses to Iran and Poland.

Coach John Speraw remains optimistic, stating, “I think we had a good week, but with some disappointing losses. There were lessons learned that will make us better.” To aid them in their quest for victory, the U.S. Men’s team has brought in two-time Olympic setter Micah Christenson, who will make his 2022 VNL debut in Osaka.

The U.S. Men’s roster also boasts eight Olympians, including outside hitters T.J. DeFalco, Garrett Muagututia, and Aaron Russell, middle blockers David Smith and Mitch Stahl, opposite Kyle Ensing, and libero Erik Shoji. However, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, who was on the VNL roster for the first two rounds, will be sitting out this week due to injury.

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The team will face strong opponents, including VNL leader France (7-1), Germany (3-5), Canada (2-6), and Argentina (2-6). With their talented roster and the addition of Christenson, the U.S. Men’s National Team is ready to give it their all and secure their spot in the Final Round.


Q: What is the Volleyball Nations League (VNL)?

The Volleyball Nations League is an annual international men’s volleyball competition that features the world’s top national teams. It was created by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) as a replacement for the World League, aiming to provide a platform for high-level competition and global promotion of the sport.

Q: How does the VNL Preliminary Round work?

In the VNL Preliminary Round, all participating teams face each other in a round-robin format. Each team plays a total of 15 matches over the course of five weeks. The top eight teams with the best win-loss records advance to the Final Round, where they compete for the championship title.


The U.S. Men’s National Team is currently in Osaka, Japan for the final four matches of the Volleyball Nations League Preliminary Round. With a record of 6-2, they are vying for a spot in the Final Round in Bologna, Italy. Coach John Speraw is confident that the team has learned valuable lessons from their previous matches and will perform even better moving forward.

To strengthen their lineup, two-time Olympic setter Micah Christenson has joined the team and will make his 2022 VNL debut. This addition, along with the presence of other Olympians such as T.J. DeFalco, Garrett Muagututia, and Aaron Russell, gives the U.S. Men’s team a formidable roster.

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Facing tough opponents like France, Germany, Canada, and Argentina, the U.S. Men’s National Team is prepared to give their all and secure a spot in the Final Round. With their talent, experience, and determination, they aim to make their mark in the Volleyball Nations League. To stay updated on their journey, be sure to follow the team’s progress on their official website.