Thursday, 23 May 2024

U.S. Men Rebound Strong and Sweep Bulgaria at VNL

After a challenging loss to Slovenia, the U.S. Men’s volleyball team bounced back with an impressive sweep against Bulgaria at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League. The victory came in the form of a 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-9) win, showcasing the team’s resilience and determination.

“It was a tough loss yesterday, especially going five sets,” said middle blocker Jeff Jendryk. “A lot of the guys were tired, so the ones who didn’t play yesterday were determined to showcase their hard work today.”

The U.S. Men’s team, currently standing at 7-7, will wrap up their VNL campaign against Japan (7-7) on Wednesday at 4 a.m. PT. The matches are available for streaming on

Official Statistics

Head Coach John Speraw fielded Thomas Jaeschke and Garrett Muagututia as the outside hitters, Kyle Ensing as the opposite, Jendryk and Mitch Stahl as the middle blockers, Kawika Shoji as the setter, and Erik Shoji as the libero.

Notably, Ohio State standout Jake Hanes made his VNL debut as a substitute. He contributed two points with two powerful kills in the third set and made a remarkable save that led to another point.

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The U.S. Men dominated in kills (41-30), blocks (7-2), and aces (5-0). Muagututia emerged as the team’s top scorer with 13 points, closely followed by Jaeschke and Jendryk with 10 each. Jendryk also excelled in blocking with four blocks, while Stahl led the team in aces with three. Jaeschke showcased his defensive prowess with nine digs, closely trailed by Erik Shoji with eight.

Match Highlights

In the first set, Bulgaria managed to keep the score close initially. However, the U.S. Men finished strong with an impressive run towards the end. Jake Hanes, who entered the match at 21-16, had a three-point serving streak. It was Hanes’ first VNL appearance and his inaugural involvement with the U.S. Men’s National Team on the international stage.

The second set was a tight battle throughout, with Bulgaria even holding a set point at 24-23. However, Jaeschke’s back-row kill kept the U.S. Men in the game. Jendryk’s decisive block on the next play granted the U.S. Men a set point, and Stahl sealed the set with an ace.

The U.S. Men dominated the third set, scoring eight consecutive points that left Bulgaria unable to mount a comeback. Hanes stole the show again with an incredible save, sliding into the boards, which led to a kill by Muagututia and an eruption of celebration from the entire U.S. Men’s team. Hanes contributed two back-row kills that brought the U.S. Men to match point, and Bulgaria’s serve error marked the end of the match.

Final Thoughts

The U.S. Men’s team is eager to end their VNL journey on a strong note as they face Japan in their final match. Jendryk expressed the team’s expectations, stating, “We aim to win in three. Japan is a good, energetic team. Our primary focus will be on our side of the court, working together to improve as a team.”

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Q: Can I watch the U.S. Men’s VNL matches online?

A: Yes, all of the U.S. Men’s VNL matches are available for streaming on

Q: Who is the head coach of the U.S. Men’s team?

A: The head coach of the U.S. Men’s team is John Speraw.

Q: Which players are part of the U.S. Men’s National Team roster?

A: The U.S. Men’s National Team consists of 14 players, including Matt Anderson, Jeff Jendryk, Kyle Ensing, Mitch Stahl, Kawika Shoji, T.J. DeFalco, Jake Hanes, Micah Christenson, Max Holt, Brenden Sander, Thomas Jaeschke, Garrett Muagututia, David Smith, and Erik Shoji.


In this thrilling match, the U.S. Men’s volleyball team rebounded from a tough loss to Slovenia and swept Bulgaria in straight sets. The team’s determination and hard work were evident throughout the match, as they dominated in kills, blocks, and aces. Exciting performances from players like Jake Hanes and Jeff Jendryk contributed to the team’s success. With one match remaining in the VNL, the U.S. Men look forward to ending the tournament on a high note. Catch all the action by streaming the matches on