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U.S. Men Fall to France in Final Round

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | July 04, 2017, 11:30 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Men's National Team 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 4, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team took France to five sets, but finally lost, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-12 in the FIVB World League Final Round on Tuesday in Curitiba, Brazil.

To advance to the semifinals, the United States must win its second pool play match on Wednesday against Serbia.


The U.S. Men led 8-5 in the fifth set, but France used a 7-1 run to pull ahead at 13-9. The U.S. Men also led the first set, 20-15, but went on to lose 27-25.

“I think we’ve improved a lot over the last five or six weeks,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “I thought we played better than the first time we played France in France (in pool play). But I’m disappointed that we didn’t take care of a couple things on our side of the net.”

The U.S. Men led in block (10-9) and scored 43 points on French errors while committing 35. France led in kills (59-56) and the teams tied in aces (2-2). The U.S. had a .328 hitting efficiency while France hit .213.

Opposite Ben Patch led the U.S. Men with 18 points on 16 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Taylor Sander added 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, making his first start for the United States in 2017 after recovering from injury, scored 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace.

Setter Micah Christenson led the U.S. in blocks with three and also had one of the team’s two aces.

The teams played in the Arena da Baixada, a soccer stadium with a retractable roof that holds more than 42,000. Temperatures in the stadium hovered just above 50 degrees, but neither team blamed the cold for their errors.

USAV Cup on August 18 and 19 in Hoffman Estates

2017 FIVB World League Final Round
July 4-8 in Curitiba, Brazil
U.S. Men’s Roster

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)
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
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)
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)

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

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     W (25-22, 25-23, 25-23)   Pau, France   June 9: 6-8 p.m. NBCSN    
June 10     Russia     W (25-20, 25-22, 25-22)   Pau, France   June 10: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. UniHD
June 11     France     L (25-20, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21)   Pau, France   June 11: 3-4:30 p.m. NBCSN    
June 15     Iran  
W (25-17, 25-22, 30-28)   Katowice, Poland   June 15: 12-2 p.m.. NBCSN  
June 17     Russia     L (31-29, 17-25, 25-19, 27-29, 15-13)   Lodz, Poland   June 17: 6:30-8:30 p.m. NBCSN
June 18     Poland     W (26-31, 25-17, 27-25, 25-20)   Lodz, Poland   June 18: 6-8 p.m. NBCSN  
July 4     Final Round pool play     Brazil def Canada, 25-21, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19   Curitiba, Brazil   July 4, 2 p.m. on Universal HD    
July 4     Final Round pool play     France def USA, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-12   Curitiba, Brazil   July 4, 4:40 p.m. on UniHD    
July 5     Final Round pool play     Russia vs Canada   Curitiba, Brazil   July 5, 2 p.m. on UniHD    
July 5     Final Round pool play     Serbia vs USA    Curitiba, Brazil   July 5, 4:30 p.m. on UniHD    
July 6     Final Round pool play     Brazil vs Russia   Curitiba, Brazil   July 6, 2 p.m. on UniHD    
July 6     Final Round pool play     France vs Serbia   Curitiba, Brazil   July 6, 4;30 on UniHD    
July 7     Final Round semifinals         Curitiba, Brazil   TBD: UniHD    
July 8     Final Round finals                  

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Taylor Averill

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Micah Christenson

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Carson Clark

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TJ DeFalco

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Thomas Jaeschke

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Jeff Jendryk

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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