U.S. Men Beat Germany for 4-4 Record at VNL

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 15, 2019, 3:42 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. men celebrate

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 15, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team evened its Volleyball Nations League record at 4-4 with a 25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20 win over Germany on Saturday in Cannes, France.

The win moved the U.S. Men into sixth place in the VNL standings. The U.S. Men are hosting the VNL Finals on July 10-14 in Chicago, and so will qualify no matter where they finish.

The U.S. Men will finish the third weekend of VNL play against host France on Sunday at 8 a.m. PT. FloVolleyball.tv, a subscription service, will show the match live.

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Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco led all scorers with 18 points on a team-high 15 kills and a team-high three blocks.

“My teammates helped me out a lot with good passing,” DeFalco said. “Kawika (Shoji) was running a great offense, which took the pressure off of me and I could just do my thing.”

At setter, Kawika Shoji set the U.S. Men to a 55.6 kill percentage while Germany’s was 54.2.

Germany led in kills (52-51). The U.S. led in blocks (9-4) and aces (7-4) and scored 29 points on Germany’s errors while committing 26.

Opposite Kyle Ensing had 12 points on 11 kills and one block. Middle blocker Taylor Averill, making his first start of 2019, finished with 11 points on nine kills and two blocks.

Middle blocker David Smith totaled 10 points on six kills, one block and a match-high three aces.

Outside hitter Micah Ma’a scored nine points on six kills, one block and two aces. Kawika Shoji finished with seven points on four kills, one block and two aces.

Erik Shoji and Larry Tuileta alternated at libero.

U.S. STARTERS VS GERMANY
Outside hitters: T.J. DeFalco and Micah Ma’a
Middle blockers: David Smith and Taylor Averill
Opposite: Kyle Ensing
Setter: Kawika Shoji
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: Larry Tuileta (L), Max Holt (MB)

U.S. STATISTICS VS GERMANY
Kills: DeFalco 15, Ensing 11, Averill 9, Smith 6, Ma’a 6, K Shoji 4
Blocks: DeFalco 3, Averill 2, Smith 1, K Shoji 1, Ensing 1, Ma’a 1
Aces: Smith 3, K Shoji 2, Ma’a 2

U.S. Men’s Travel Roster for France

3C  Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
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)
19  Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
20  David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
22  Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
23  Larry Tuileta (L, 6-2, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Hawaii)

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
Russia def Italy, 25-22, 25-19, 25-15
USA def Portugal, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-17

Cannes, France
USA def Argentina, 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21
USA def Germany, 25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20
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