Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

The U.S. Men Win Five Set Thriller Against the Netherlands at VNL

The U.S. Men’s volleyball team showcased their resilience and determination with a thrilling five-set comeback victory against the Netherlands at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Rimini, Italy. This nail-biting match saw the U.S. Men battle their way to a hard-fought win, with a final score of 21-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13.

The U.S. Men’s team, despite facing fatigue, managed to turn the tide in their favor and deliver an impressive performance. Taylor Sander commented, “Yeah, it was not an easy game. I think a lot of us were a little bit tired, but I think we responded well and we started to play better. I think that’s something that’s important for us is that we started bad, we had no energy, and then we were able to fight.”

This victory for the U.S. Men brings their record for the fourth week to 6-6. Their next challenge will be against Slovenia (9-3) on Monday, June 21 at 9 a.m. PT. Currently sitting in seventh place, the U.S. Men are eager to continue their winning momentum and improve their standing in the tournament. You can catch all the matches on VolleyballWorld.tv.

OFFICIAL STATISTICS

Head Coach John Speraw made some strategic decisions, starting players such as Taylor Sander and Garrett Muagututia at outside hitter, Matt Anderson at opposite, David Smith and Mitch Stahl at middle blocker, Micah Christenson at setter, and Erik Shoji at libero. Dustin Watten and Kyle Ensing also made notable contributions as substitutes.

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Although the U.S. Men initially stumbled in the first set, they quickly bounced back in the second set, leveling the playing field. The turning point came with an exciting play where Muagututia and Christenson stumbled but Christenson managed to set the ball while falling, and Muagututia secured the point.

Set three was a closely contested battle, with the U.S. Men trailing by just one point. However, they fell short with a score of 25-23, giving the Netherlands a 2-1 lead in the match.

The U.S. Men came out strong in set four, taking an early 3-0 lead and maintaining their dominance throughout the set. Sander’s consecutive blocks and Muagututia’s impressive kills were instrumental in forcing a fifth set.

In the final set, the Netherlands initially had the upper hand, but the U.S. Men fought valiantly, staying close behind. A crucial moment came when Sander delivered an ace off the tape, tying the set at 13-13. On the next point, the Netherlands challenged a ruling, suspecting that their attack had touched the block. However, the replay confirmed that the ball had gone untouched through the block and out long. Sander ended the match with an ace from the serving line.

The U.S. Men outperformed the Netherlands in kills (67-51), blocks (8-3), and ace serves (12-7). Muagututia and Sander shared the top scorer position with 21 points each, closely followed by Anderson with 19 points. Stahl was the leading blocker with three blocks, while Christenson and Stijn van Tilburg from the Netherlands tied for the top spot in aces with four each. Shoji and Watten both made significant contributions with seven digs each.

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Looking ahead, the U.S. Men will face Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Japan in the final preliminary week from June 21-23. With one week left in the tournament, the team is excited and focused on further improving their performance. Sander expressed, “We got one week left, one round left, so we’re excited and hopefully we can continue to get better.”

U.S. Men’s National Team 14-Person Roster for June 17

  • Matt Anderson (OP, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State Univ.)
  • Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., Brigham Young Univ.)
  • Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
  • Kyle Ensing (OP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
  • Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
  • Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ.)
  • T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
  • Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California)
  • Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State Univ.)
  • Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
  • Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., Univ. of California Los Angeles)
  • David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., Univ. of California Irvine)
  • Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ.)
  • Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ.)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Brian Thornton and Matthew Fuerbringer
Athletic Trainers: Aaron Brock and Timothy Pelot
Team Manager and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo

U.S. Men’s Schedule for FIVB Volleyball Nations League (all times Pacific)

  • May 28: USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20)
  • May 29: Brazil def USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-19)
  • May 30: USA def Argentina, 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-19)
  • June 3: Russia def USA, 3-1 (25-22, 25-29, 17-25, 25-19)
  • June 4: Poland def USA, 3-0 (25-17, 28-26, 25-17)
  • June 5: USA def Australia, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-17)
  • June 9: Iran def USA, 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-23)
  • June 10: USA def Germany, 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 29-27)
  • June 11: Serbia def USA, 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 19-25, 27-25)
  • June 15: USA def Italy, 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-21)
  • June 16: France def USA, 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 31-29, 25-22)
  • June 17: USA def Netherlands, 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13)
  • June 21 at 9 a.m.: Slovenia vs USA
  • June 22 at 4 a.m.: Bulgaria vs USA
  • June 23 at 4 a.m.: USA vs Japan
  • June 26: Semifinals 1 and 2
  • June 27: Bronze and Gold medal matches
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Q: How did the U.S. Men’s volleyball team perform against the Netherlands?
A: The U.S. Men’s team showcased their resilience and fought their way to a thrilling five-set comeback victory against the Netherlands.

Q: Who were the key players in the U.S. Men’s victory?
A: Taylor Sander and Garrett Muagututia were instrumental in securing the win for the U.S. Men, with fantastic performances as outside hitters. They shared the top scorer position with 21 points each.

Q: What were the key statistics in the match?
A: The U.S. Men outperformed the Netherlands in kills, blocks, and ace serves. They recorded 67 kills compared to the Netherlands’ 51, achieved eight blocks while the Netherlands managed three, and served 12 aces to the Netherlands’ seven.

Q: What is the U.S. Men’s record in the tournament so far?
A: With this victory, the U.S. Men’s record for the fourth week now stands at 6-6. They are determined to improve their standing in the tournament.

Q: What is the U.S. Men’s upcoming schedule?
A: The U.S. Men will face Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Japan in the final preliminary week from June 21-23.