U.S. Men Hope Chicago Feels Like Sweet Home

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 14, 2018, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Matt Anderson of the U.S. Men's Volleyball Team
Matt Anderson will lead the U.S. Men into this weekend's VNL matches. 
 

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (June 13, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team goes into the fourth weekend of FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) at home – sort of – at the Sears Centre Arena.

The team is back on U.S. soil. But in some ways, it is in enemy territory.

Men’s volleyball teams from Poland, Serbia and Iran are competing against the United States and each other. Large Polish and Serbian crowds are expected along with a large number of U.S. fans..

U.S. VNL EVENT PAGE | TICKETS FOR U.S. VNL MATCHES | FIVB VNL EVENT PAGE

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

To make things more challenging, the U.S. Men will be without opposite Ben Patch, their leading VNL scorer, due to injury. Long Beach State senior and opposite Kyle Ensing will take his place on the roster.

Opposite/outside hitter Matt Anderson, who joined the U.S. Men for the second weekend of VNL, is the team’s second-leading scorer with 83 points on 67 kills, eight blocks and eight aces.

A lot is on the line for all four teams competing this weekend. The top five teams finishing pool play, plus host France, qualify for the Final Round on July 4-8 in Lille.

Poland (8-1) leads the VNL standings. Its only loss was to Germany in Week 2. The United States (7-2) is in fourth place in the standings. It has lost to Brazil and Germany.

Serbia is in sixth place at 6-3 with losses to France, Italy and Brazil. It is hoping to move up in the standings with good performances, especially against Poland and the United States.

Iran (3-6) would like to improve on its position in 11th.

Iran opposite Amir Gahfour leads his team in scoring with 126 points on 116 kills, nine blocks and one ace. He is ninth among all VNL players.

Serbia opposite Drazen Luburic leads that team with 110 points on 95 kills, four blocks and 11 aces. He is 11th overall.

Finally, Poland outside hitter Artur Szalpuk leads hit team with 54 kills, nine blocks and six aces for 69 points. He is 38th overall.

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

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)
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)
26. Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State)

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