U.S. Men Lose VNL Battle with Italy

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 07, 2019, 1:19 p.m. (ET)

Micah Ma'a and Max Holt block for the U.S. Men's National Team

Micah Ma'a, left, and Max Holt block against Italy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 7, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team got strong performances from veterans and youngsters alike, but couldn’t hold off Italy and fell 25-23, 13-25, 25-20, 25-23 in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Friday in Ufa, Russia.

The U.S. Men (1-3) will face host Russia on Saturday at 7 a.m. PT. The match will be shown live on FloVolleyball.tv, a subscription service. 

OFFICIAL STATISTICSBUY VNL TIX FOR HOFFMAN ESTATES | BUY TIX FOR VNL FINAL

Micah Ma’a made his first start at setter for the U.S. Men (he started at outside hitter last week in Poland) and Kyle Dagostino debuted at libero.  

The U.S. had trouble stopping Italian opposite Gabriele Nelli, who led all scorers with 28 points, including three blocks and two aces. Outside hitters Oleg Antonov and Oreste Cavuto each scored 11 points for Italy.

U.S. opposite Ben Patch, making his first 2019 start for the U.S. Men, finished with 24 points on 24 kills.

U.S. outside hitter Garrett Muagututia finished with 13 points on 10 kills and a match-high three aces.

Middle blocker Max Holt, playing his first match of 2019 for the U.S. Men, totaled eight points on four kills, two blocks and two aces.

The U.S. Men led in aces (9-6). The teams were tied in blocks (8-8) and Italy led in kills (54-47). Italy scored

STARTERS FOR THE U.S. MEN VS ITALY
Outside hitters: T.J. DeFalco and Garrett Muagututia
Middle blockers: Max Holt and David Smith
Opposite: Ben Patch
Setter: Micah Ma’a
Liber: Kyle Dagostino
Substitute: Mitch Stahl (MB), Jeff Jendryk (MB)

STATISTICS FOR THE U.S. MEN VS ITALY
Kills: Patch 24, Muagututia 10, Holt 4, DeFalco 3, Ma’a 3, Smith 2, Stahl 1
Blocks: Holt 2, DeFalco 2, Ma’a 2, Smith 2
Aces: Muagututia 3, Holt 2, DeFalco 2, Ma’a 1, Smith 1

U.S. Men’s Travel Roster for Russia

3C  Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4  Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
5  Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State)
6  Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA)
7  Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
8  T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
11  Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
12  Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
13  Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
14  Micah Ma'a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA)
18  Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
20  David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
22  Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
24  Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Fla., Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League
U.S. Men’s Schedule (all times PT)

Katowice, Poland
Brazil def USA, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23
Poland def USA, 17-25, 34-32, 26-28, 25-23, 15-9 
USA def Australia, 19-25, 27-25, 25-16, 25-16

Ufa, Russia
Italy def USA, 25-23, 13-25, 25-20, 25-23
June 8 at 7 a.m.: USA v Russia
June 9 at 4 a.m.: USA v Portugal

Cannes, France
June 14 at 8 a.m.: USA v Argentina
June 15 at 8 a.m.: USA v Germany
June 16 at 8 a.m.: USA v France

Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA
June 21 at 6 p.m.: USA v Japan
June 22 at 5:30 p.m.: USA v Canada
June 23 at 2:30 p.m.: USA v China

Plovdiv, Bulgaria
June 28 at 10:40 a.m.: USA v Bulgaria
June 29 at 7 a.m.: USA v Serbia
June 30 at 7 a.m.: USA v Iran