Tuesday, 28 May 2024

U.S. Men’s Volleyball Celebrates Homecoming with a Resounding Win

U.S. Men Celebrating

This week, members of the U.S. Men’s National Team had the opportunity to play on home soil for the first time since June 17, 2018. Their homecoming celebration took place in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, where they faced off against Japan in an exhilarating FIVB Volleyball Nations League match at the Sears Centre. The U.S. Men’s team made the most of this momentous occasion, sweeping Japan with a remarkable score of 25-15, 25-19, 25-19.

A Memorable Return to Home Soil

The U.S. Men’s team last competed in the United States in 2018 for the VNL at Hoffman Estates, where they emerged victorious against Serbia, Poland, and Iran. However, their team captain and outside hitter, Taylor Sander, missed out on those matches due to the imminent arrival of his son, Atli. This homecoming match held a special significance for Sander, as he was able to play in front of a home crowd in Illinois with his son and wife, Rachel, cheering him on.

“I haven’t played in the States in a long time. I was with my baby last summer. Being able to play in front of a home crowd is something special. Thanks to all the fans who came out,” said Sander, expressing his gratitude for the support.

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Impressive Performances

Taylor Sander and middle blocker David Smith led the charge for the U.S. team, each scoring an impressive 13 points. Sander showcased his skills with nine kills, one block, and three aces, while Smith dominated the game with six blocks, three aces, and four kills. Another standout player was Thomas Jaeschke, a Wheaton, Illinois native, who made a triumphant return to the team after recovering from an ACL injury suffered during a match against Serbia in Hoffman a year ago. Jaeschke’s nine points, comprising eight kills and one ace, contributed to the team’s success.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw credited the team’s victory to their solid block and defense, attributing the team’s exceptional energy to Jaeschke’s return to the court. “Great to see Thomas Jaeschke back on the court. I think the guys were excited for him, and that’s a large part of why I think the energy was so great,” said Coach Speraw.

Team Comparison and Statistics

The U.S. team outperformed Japan in several key areas. They led in kills (37-30), blocks (12-3), and aces (8-2). Both teams made 18 scoring errors, but the U.S. outshined Japan in hitting efficiency, with a .492 hit percentage behind setter Micah Christenson, while Japan hit .385.

Here are the statistics for the U.S. team’s starters against Japan:

  • Outside hitters: Taylor Sander and Thomas Jaeschke
  • Middle blockers: David Smith and Jeff Jendryk
  • Opposite: Ben Patch
  • Setter: Micah Christenson
  • Libero: Erik Shoji

Kills: Sander 9, Patch 9, Jaeschke 8, Jendryk 6, Smith 4, Christenson 1
Blocks: Smith 6, Jendryk 3, Christenson 2, Sander 1
Aces: Sander 3, Smith 3, Jaeschke 1, Christenson 1

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Q: When was the last time the U.S. Men’s team played on home soil?
A: The U.S. Men’s team last played in the United States on June 17, 2018, at Hoffman Estates during the VNL.

Q: Who were the standout performers for the U.S. team?
A: Taylor Sander and David Smith delivered exceptional performances, leading the team with 13 points each.

Q: How did Thomas Jaeschke contribute to the team’s victory?
A: Thomas Jaeschke, who had recovered from an ACL injury, scored 9 points and brought a surge of energy to the team.


The U.S. Men’s National Team celebrated their homecoming in style with a resounding victory against Japan in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League. This historic match marked their long-awaited return to U.S. soil, delighting fans and players alike. With outstanding performances from Taylor Sander, David Smith, and Thomas Jaeschke, the team displayed remarkable skill and determination. This win not only highlights their talent but also sets the stage for future success in the tournament. Stay tuned for more thrilling matches as the U.S. team continues to showcase their prowess on the international stage.