Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

U.S. Men’s National Team Ready to Kick Off Inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League

The U.S. Men’s National Team, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, is gearing up for an exciting start to the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL). While some key players may be absent, the team remains committed to maintaining consistency and delivering strong performances.

A New Beginning with Familiar Faces

In contrast to last year’s FIVB World League, which saw several new faces on the roster, the opening weekend in Ningbo, China will only feature one player who hasn’t previously been on the senior Men’s National Team roster – Long Beach State opposite, Kyle Ensing. Ensing, along with his team, recently clinched the NCAA Men’s DI-II National Championship, making him a promising addition to the squad.

Missing Stars, but Temporary

Notably absent from the opening weekend roster are starters and Olympians Matt Anderson, Aaron Russell, and Micah Christenson, who just wrapped up their international club team commitments. However, fans need not worry, as Head Coach John Speraw assures that they will make their return to the team shortly.

Embracing the Opportunities

Coach Speraw is eager to make the most of the first weekend of the VNL. He emphasizes the team’s commitment to improving in every training session and believes that by empowering each individual to continuously grow, the team as a whole will thrive. This weekend presents an excellent opportunity to work with younger players and evaluate their development.

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The Veterans and Olympians

The roster for the China leg of the VNL features a strong lineup of Olympians, including outside hitters Taylor Sander and Thomas Jaeschke, middle blockers David Smith and Max Holt, setter Kawika Shoji, and libero Erik Shoji. These experienced players bring a wealth of skill and expertise to the team.

The VNL Format

This year’s VNL format mirrors the structure of the last two years of the FIVB World League. Three teams will travel to a different location each weekend and participate in a round-robin tournament. The U.S. team will make stops in Brazil, Canada, Hoffman Estates, and Italy after their opening weekend in China.

An Exciting Tournament

With a tight schedule and numerous matches in a short period of time, the U.S. Men’s National Team expects tough competition. Coach Speraw acknowledges the strength of the opposing teams but remains confident that the tournament will showcase high-level volleyball and create a thrilling atmosphere for players and fans alike.


Here are some common questions about the U.S. Men’s National Team and the Volleyball Nations League:

1. What is the Volleyball Nations League?
The Volleyball Nations League is a brand-new tournament organized by the FIVB that features the world’s top men’s national teams competing in a round-robin format.

2. How does the VNL differ from the FIVB World League?
The VNL follows a similar format to the FIVB World League, with three teams traveling to different locations each weekend for round-robin play. However, the VNL is a more inclusive tournament that involves a larger number of teams.

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3. When and where is the final round of the VNL?
The top five teams, along with host France, will compete in the final round of the VNL on July 1-4 in Lille.

4. Where can I watch VNL matches live in the United States?
The FIVB has selected as the platform for live streaming VNL matches in the United States. Please note that this is a subscription service.

5. Will the U.S. Men’s National Team be playing in the United States during the VNL?
Yes, the U.S. team will play matches in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Fans can purchase tickets for the matches to support the team in person.


The U.S. Men’s National Team is eagerly preparing to kick off the first-ever Volleyball Nations League and showcase their skills on the international stage. Despite the absence of some key players, the team remains optimistic and is dedicated to continuous improvement. With an experienced roster and a strong coaching staff, the U.S. team is ready to compete against the world’s best and make their mark in this exciting new competition. For more information about the team, visit Alpinetgheep.