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U.S. Comeback Comes up Short vs Belgium

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 04, 2017, 2:44 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team’s comeback effort came up short as it fell to Belgium, 25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 28-26 in an FIVB World League match on Sunday in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The U.S. Men fall to 0-3 in World League pool play. They will travel to France to play Italy, Russia and France in the next round. Sunday’s match will be broadcast at 6 p.m. ET on Universal HD.U.S. Men's National Team

After losing the first two sets on Sunday, the U.S. Men came back to win the third and held a 23-20 lead in the fourth as well as two set points at 24-23 and 25-24. With the scored tied 26-26, Belgium used a kill and an ace to win.


The U.S. Men led in kills (58-46) while Belgium held the edge in blocks (10-8) and aces (9-6). Belgium also scored 35 points on U.S. mistakes while giving up 18 points on miscues.

Opposite Ben Patch led all scorers with 21 points on 17 kills and a match-high four blocks. Outside hitter Taylor Sander scored 20 points on 17 kills, two blocks and one ace.

Middle blocker David Smith scored 10 points on six kills, one block and a team-high three aces. Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk added nine points on nine kills. Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco, who started the first two sets, finished with eight points on six kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia, who took over for DeFalco to start the third and fourth sets, scored three points on three kills.

Setter Kawika Shoji scored one point with an ace. He set the team to a .330 hitting efficiency while Belgium hit .333.

Dustin Watten started the match at libero. Erik Shoji started the third and fourth sets.

The U.S. Men led the first set 20-18 but Belgium came back to tie at 21-21. Belgium scored twice on an ace and a U.S. hitting error. Smith came back with a kill for the U.S. But Belgium scored the last two points to put the set away.

Belgium jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the second set and the U.S. struggled to rally.

The third set was tied 20-20 when the U.S. Men scored on two straight Sander kills. Belgium came back with a kill, but the U.S. reached set point with two straight attacks from Jendryk and Patch. Belgium scored one more time before Patch won the set with a kill.

The U.S. led the fourth set 23-20. Belgium tied it on a U.S. service error and two straight blocks. A Patch attack gave the U.S. set point at 24-23 but Belgium fought back. Muagututia gave the U.S. a second set point at 25-24 with a kill, but a U.S. service error tied the score. Belgium took its first match point at 26-25, before Sander tied it with a kill. Belgium won on a kill and ace.

U.S. Starters vs Belgium
Outside hitters: Taylor Sander and T.J. DeFalco
Middle blockers: David Smith and Jeff Jendryk
Sitter: Kawika Shoji
Opposite: Ben Patch
Libero: Dustin Watten

Statistics vs Belgium
Kills: Patch 17, Sander 17, Jendryk 9, Smith 6, DeFalco 6. Muagututia 3
Blocks: Patch 4, Sander 2, DeFalco 1, Smith 1
Aces: Smith 3, K Shoji 1, Sander 1, DeFalco 1
Digs:Sander 6, Patch 6, Muagututia 5, DeFalco 4, Jendryk 3, E Shoji 3, K Shoji 3, Smith 2, Watten 2

2017 FIVB World League
June 2-4 in 
Novi Sad, Serbia
U.S. Men’s Roster

1. Tommy Carmody (MB, 6-9, Orland Park, Ill., Pacific/Pepperdine)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7C. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
9. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
13. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
14. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. TJ DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
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)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Leader: Mike Wall
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Robert Neilson
Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength Coach: Tim Pelot
Consultant Coach: Anton Brams

TV Schedule and Results

Date and Opponent     Result   Location   TV (all times EDT)    
June 2     Serbia     L (25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21)   Novi Sad, Serbia   June 2: 9:30-11:30 p.m. NBCSN    
June 3     Canada     L (23-25, 25-19,18-25, 25-23, 15-11)   Novi Sad, Serbia   June 3: 3-5 p.m. NBCSN    
June 4     Belgium     L (25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 28-26)   Novi Sad, Serbia   June 4: 6-8 p.m. UniHD    
June 9     Italy    
  Pau, France   June 9: 6-8 p.m. NBCSN    
June 10     Russia    
  Pau, France   June 10: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. UniHD
June 11     France         Pau, France   June 11: 3-4:30 p.m. NBCSN    
June 15     Iran  
    Katowice, Poland   June 15: 12-2 p.m.. NBCSN  
June 17     Russia    
  Lodz, Poland   June 17: 6:30-8:30 p.m. NBCSN
June 18     Poland    
  Lodz, Poland   June 18: 6-8 p.m. NBCSN  
July 4     Final Round    
  Curitiba, Brazil   TBD: UniHD    
July 5     Final Round         Curitiba, Brazil   TBD: UniHD    
July 6     Final Round         Curitiba, Brazil   TBD: UniHD    
July 7     Final Round         Curitiba, Brazil   TBD: UniHD    

Related Athletes

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Tommy Carmody

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Micah Christenson

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Carson Clark

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TJ DeFalco

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Jeff Jendryk

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Jake Langlois

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Dan McDonnell

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Garrett Muagututia

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Ben Patch

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Taylor Sander

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Erik Shoji

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Kawika Shoji

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David Smith

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Dustin Watten