U.S. Finishes in Fukuoka with Sweep of Tunisia

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Oct. 06, 2019, 5:10 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 6, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will say “sayonara” to Fukuoka, Japan with a 4-1 record in the FIVB World Cup after beating Tunisia 25-10, 25-18, 25-17 on Sunday.

The United States will get two days off to travel to Hiroshima where they will open against Iran (2-3) at 2 a.m. PT on Oct. 10. All World Cup matches are being shown on FloVolleyball.tv.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw went deeper into his roster in Sunday’s match against Tunisia (0-5).

Middle blocker Mitch Stahl, making his first start of the tournament, led the U.S. Men with 10 points on four kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace. Opposite Ben Patch, also making his first start, scored nine points on nine kills.

Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco, who played as substitute before starting the third set for Aaron Russell, scored nine points on a match-high three aces, four kills and two blocks. Russell also had nine points on six kills, one block and two aces.

“The win gave us confidence. It also gave us some rest,” Russell said. “I know (Matt) Anderson and (Micah) Christenson really needed it. It was nice that I could see some bench time too.”

Overall, the U.S. led Tunisia in kills (36-24), blocks (9-3) and aces (10-2). The U.S. scored 20 points on Tunisia errors while committing 16.

Tunisia’s Hamza Nagga led all scorers with 13 points.

Setter Josh Tuaniga also made his first start. He and Micah Ma’a, who subbed in the third and fourth sets, combined for a 46.8 kill percentage.

Opposite James Shaw also saw his first action of the tournament.

Max Holt, who was the designated second libero, did not get a chance to sub for Erik Shoji.

U.S. STARTERS VS TUNISIA
Outside hitters: Aaron Russell and Garrett Muagututia
Middle blockers: Jeff Jendryk and Mitch Stahl
Opposite: Ben Patch
Setter: Josh Tuaniga
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: T.J. DeFalco (OH), James Shaw (Opp), Micah Ma’a (S)

U.S. STATISTICS VS TUNISIA
Kills: Patch 9, Muagututia 6, Russell 6, Jendryk 5, DeFalco 4, Stahl 3, Shaw 2, Tuaniga 1
Blocks: Stahl 5, DeFalco 2, Russell 1, Jendryk 1
Aces: DeFalco 3, Stahl 2, Russell 2, Muagututia 2, Shaw 1
Digs: Shoji 10, Tuaniga 7, Patch 4, Muagututia 4, Russell 3, DeFalco 3, Ma’a 3, Jendryk 1

U.S. ROSTER VS TUNISIA

No. Name (Pos, Height, Hometown, College)
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)
Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA)
T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
10 James Shaw (Opp, 6-8, Woodside, Calif., Stanford)
11 C  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)
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)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Sports Psychologist: Bernard Whitney
Trainer: Tim Pelot

U.S. Schedule for the 2019 World Cup
(All times PT)

Sept. 30: Argentina def USA vs Argentina, 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 21-25, 15-12
Oct. 2: USA def Italy, 19-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-19
Oct. 3: USA def Poland, 25-19, 25-20, 24-26, 27-25
Oct. 5: USA def Japan, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20
Oct. 6: USA def Tunisia, 25-10, 25-18, 25-17
Oct. 9 at 2 a.m. USA vs Iran
Oct. 10 at 2 a.m. USA vs Brazil
Oct. 11 at 2 a.m. USA vs Canada
Oct. 12 at 10 p.m. USA vs Australia
Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. USA vs Russia
Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. USA vs Egypt