A Bronze Tale: U.S. Men Reach World Cup Podium

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Oct. 15, 2019, 1:28 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 14, 2019) – After a long two weeks in Japan, the U.S. Men's National Team finished the 2019 FIVB World Cup with a 9-2 record and the bronze medal.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Men won their final World Cup match, 22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-13 over Egypt in Hiroshima. Brazil took the gold medal and Poland won the silver by one ranking point over the United States. 

Related: OFFICIAL STATISTICS

Max Holt was named Best Middle Blocker and Micah Christenson was named Best Setter.

Most players for the U.S. Men (9-2) will now travel to their overseas professional club teams where they will play for the winter before reconvening next May to begin preparing for the 2020 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. In July, they will return to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where they hope to be on top of the podium.

“We’ve got more work to do,” U.S. opposite Matt Anderson said. “We’re good enough to play against the best teams in the world. We know that. But we’re not there yet.”

They were good enough against Egypt, leading in kills (55-35) and blocks (8-7) and dominating from the service line with a 16-2 lead in aces.

The U.S. kill percentage behind starting setter Josh Tuaniga and Christenson, who took over after the first set, was 62.5. Egypt’s kill percentage was 46.7.

Anderson led all scorers with 17 points on a match-high 14 kills and three aces. He admitted it took the U.S. some time to ramp up its intensity against Egypt.

“The last day of World Cup, it’s tough (to get going),” Anderson said. “We know they have some servers who can get us in trouble, so we had to stay focused the entire match.”

Outside hitters Aaron Russell and Garrett Muagututia each finished with 14 points. Russell had 12 kills and two blocks. Muagututia had 10 kills and four aces.

Middle blocker Mitch Stahl scored 10 points, including a match-high six aces.

Christenson had a match-high three blocks.

U.S. STARTERS VS EGYPT

Outside hitters: Aaron Russell and Garrett Muagututia
Middle blockers: Max Holt and Mitch Stahl
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Josh Tuaniga
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: Micah Christenson (S), Ben Patch (Opp), Micah Ma'a (SS), Jeff Jendryk, James Shaw

U.S. STATISTICS VS EGYPT

Kills: Anderson 14, Russell 12, Muagututia 10, Jendryk 8, Patch 4, Stahl 3, Holt 3, Shaw 1
Blocks: Christenson 3, Russell 2, Stahl 1, Ma'a 1, Shaw 1
Aces: Stahl 6, Muagututia 4, Anderson 3, Jendryk 1, Holt 1, Tuaniga 1
Digs: Shoji 9, Muagututia 4, Russell 3, Anderson 3, Christenson 2

For roster and standings, visit the World Cup Page