Tuesday, 28 May 2024

MNT Update: DeFalco Named Match MVP in Poland

It’s been an eventful week for U.S. men’s volleyball players competing overseas. In Poland, T.J. DeFalco showcased his skills as he led Asseco Resovia Rzeszów to a victory against his former team, Indykpol AZS Olsztyn. DeFalco’s outstanding performance earned him the title of match MVP.

DeFalco’s Stellar Performance

On February 9, DeFalco dominated the court, scoring 25 points and leading his team to a 3-1 victory. His impressive stats included 21 kills, three blocks, and one ace, with a remarkable hitting efficiency of .571. DeFalco’s stellar performance undoubtedly played a crucial role in Asseco Resovia Rzeszów’s triumph.

Other Notable Performances

Several other U.S. players made their mark in the Polish league. Jake Hanes, playing for BBTS Bielsko-Biała, led all scorers with 26 points in a thrilling 3-2 victory against GKS Katowice. Libero Erik Shoji and middle blocker David Smith, representing Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, contributed to their team’s 3-0 sweep over Barkom Każany Lwów. Setter Matt West, playing for Cerrad Enea Czarni Radom, displayed his skills as a substitute in their match against Ślepsk Malow Suwałki.

International Success

U.S. players have also been making waves in other countries. Aaron Russell, an outside hitter for the JT Hiroshima Thunders in Japan, demonstrated his prowess by leading his team to a comfortable sweep over the VC Nagano Tridents. Micah Christenson, playing for Zenit Kazan in Russia, showcased his skills as a setter in their 3-0 victory against Zenit St. Petersburg. In France, libero Kyle Dagostino helped Nice secure a 3-0 win over Plessis-Robinson.

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Türkiye League Suspended

Türkiye league play has been temporarily suspended following a devastating earthquake in the country. All U.S. men’s players competing in Türkiye have confirmed their safety, and USA Volleyball extends its condolences to those affected by the tragedy.

German League Update

In Germany, the top teams are currently engaged in home and away matches. The Berlin Recycling Volleys finished the regular season in first place, while SVG Lüneburg secured the third spot. In a recent match, Lüneburg defeated Berlin in a convincing 3-0 victory. The match showcased noteworthy performances from U.S. players Gage Worsley, Jordan Ewert, Joe Worsley, and Colton Cowell.

Exciting Matches in Italy

In the Italian league, Gabi Garcia and Cucine Lube Civitanova secured fourth place with a 3-1 victory over Top Volley Cisterna. Garcia’s impressive performance contributed significantly to their success.

CEV Tournaments

In CEV Champions League action, Garcia and Civitanova finished at the top of their pool, setting up a thrilling quarterfinal match against Micah Ma’a, Thomas Jaeschke, and Halkbank. Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, featuring Erik Shoji and David Smith, also advanced to the playoffs after a strong performance in pool play. The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including Cody Kessel, secured their place in the quarterfinals after defeating Türkiye’s Ziraat Bank Ankara.

Alumni Update

In other news, three-time Olympic middle blocker David Lee has transitioned to coaching in India’s men’s volleyball league. Lee is currently coaching the Bengaluru Torpedoes, bringing his wealth of experience to guide the team.

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