U.S. Men Use Balanced Scoring to Beat Canada

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 10, 2018, 11:04 p.m. (ET)
Max Holt attacks against Canada
Max Holt hits past Canada's block during their Volleyball Nations League match on Sunday. 
 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 10, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team had four players in double figures and cooled Canada’s offense as the U.S. beat its northern neighbor, 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20 on Sunday in a Volleyball Nations League match in Ottawa.

The U.S. Men (7-2) complete the third round of VNL pool play in fourth place. The U.S. will be in Hoffman Estates, Ill., next weekend (June 15-17) to play Serbia, Poland and Iran at the Sears Centre.

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The matches will also be shown on FloVolleyball.tv, which is a subscription service.

U.S. Men’s Head Coach John Speraw was hoping his team would get off to a better start against Canada than it had in its past two matches against Germany and Australia. Although the U.S. Men lost the first set, the score was close and they picked up the pace in the next three sets.

“I think our plan was to try and start off the match a bit better than we have been doing so far in VNL,” Speraw said. “I’m not so sure that actually happened, maybe we were a little bit better, but we didn’t capitalize on a lot of opportunities we had to score real points. We dropped that first set, and came back pretty well the next couple sets.”

The U.S. Men led in kills (53-43), blocks (14-3) and aces (6-3). The United States scored 25 points on Canada’s errors while committing 28.

A dramatic fourth set saw the U.S. pull away from a 17-17 tie behind outside hitter Matt Anderson’s serving to lead 21-17. Speraw received a yellow card for disputing a call with the referee, but the U.S. stayed calm and went on to the victory.

“We lost the first set, but I thought we played really good volleyball,” Team Captain David Smith said. “Canada was playing great as well. We were serving well and they were passing better, and that happens sometimes. I think we were able to stay calm and stay focused and believe in ourselves and eventually things started working our way.”

Opposite Ben Patch led the U.S. Men with 18 points on 14 kills, three aces and one block. Anderson added 15 points on 10 kills, three blocks and two aces.

Middle blocker Max Holt also had 15 points on 10 kills and a match-high five blocks. Smith, at middle blocker, added 10 points on eight kills and two blocks.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell, who started the first three sets, scored eight points. Outside hitter T.J. Falco took over in the third set and started the fourth, scoring five.

Setter Micah Christenson scored two points and set the team to a 54.1 kill percentage while Canada’s kill percentage was 41.7.

U.S. STARTERS VS CANADA
Outside Hitters: Matt Anderson and Aaron Russell
Middle Blockers: Max Holt and David Smith
Opposite: Ben Patch
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitute: T.J. DeFalco (OH)

U.S. STATISTICS VS CANADA
Kills: Patch 14, Anderson 10, Holt 10, Smith 8, Russell 7, DeFalco 4
Blocks: Holt 5, Anderson 3, Christenson 2, Smith 2, Patch 1, DeFalco 1
Aces: Patch 3, Anderson 2, Russel 1

U.S. Men’s 14-Man Travel Roster for Canada

1. Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
8. T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
10. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Phoenix, Ariz., UC Irvine)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Hawaii, Southern California)
12. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
13. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
17. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola)
18. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
20C. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager: Andrea Becker
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coach: Greg Walker

Schedule and Results (all times PT)
At Ningbo, China

May 25: USA def Argentina, 25-27, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 15-10
May 26: USA def Bulgaria vs USA, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20 
May 27: USA def China, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18

At Goiânia, Brazil
June 1: USA def Japan, 23-25, 13-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-10
June 2: USA def Korea, 25-23, 25-21, 25-11
June 3: Brazil def USA,  21-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 20-18

At Ottawa, Canada
June 8: Germany def USA, 25-19, 25-22, 25-13
June 9: USA def Australia, 20-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-17
June 10: USA def Canada, 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20

At Hoffman Estates, Ill., USA - GET TICKETS
June 15 at 5:30 p.m.: USA  vs. Serbia
June 16 at 5:30 p.m.: USA vs. Poland
June 17 at 2:30 p.m.: USA vs. Iran

At Modena, Italy
June 22 at 8:30 a.m.: USA vs France
June 23 at 8:30 a.m.: USA vs Russia
June 24 at 11:30 a.m.: Italy vs USA

Final Round (must qualify): July 1-4 in Lille, France