U.S. Men Put 25 on VNL Preliminary Roster

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | May 24, 2019, 5:30 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Men's National Team celebrates

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 24, 2019) – The 25-man roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League includes a talented mix of veterans and rookies.

Each week, coaches may choose 14 players from the 25-man roster to compete in the VNL preliminary matches as well as the final round.

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The U.S. is hosting the VNL Final Round on July 10-14 in Chicago and therefore automatically qualifies. This will take some pressure off the team during the five-week preliminary round. Expect to see some new faces taking the court alongside familiar veterans.

Nine players remain from the 2016 Olympic Team including two-time Olympians Matt Anderson at opposite and David Smith at middle blocker.

Rounding out the Olympic group are outside hitters Taylor Sander, Aaron Russell and Thomas Jaeschke, middle blocker Max Holt, setters Micah Christenson and Kawika Shoji and libero Erik Shoji.

Eight of the Olympians won bronze at the 2018 VNL Final Round after Jaeschke was injured during a preliminary round match. The other players on the Final Round team were middle blockers Jeff Jendryk and Dan McDonnell, opposites Ben Patch and Kyle Ensing, outside hitter T.J. DeFalco and libero Dustin Watten.

Players new to the VNL include setters Micah Ma’a, Josh Tuaniga and Michael Saeta and liberos Larry Tuileta Jr. and Kyle Dagostino

U.S. Men’s Preliminary Roster

1  Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2  Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
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)
9  Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
10  Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Phoenix, Ariz., UC Irvine)
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)
16  Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
17  Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola)
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)
21  Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22  Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
23  Larry Tuileta Jr. (L, 6-2, Honolulu, Hawaii, Hawaii)
24  Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Fla., Stanford)
25  Kyle Russell (Opp, 6-9, Loomis, Calif., UC Irvine)
26  Michael Saeta (S, 6-5, South Pasadena, Calif., UC Irvine)

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
May 31 at 8:30 a.m.: USA v Brazil
June 1 at 8 a.m.: USA v Poland
June 2 at 5 a.m.: USA v Australia

Ufa, Russia
June 7 at 4 a.m.: USA v Italy
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