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U.S. Men Fall to Canada in Five

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 03, 2017, 3:59 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 3, 2017) – When the U.S. Men’s National Team last played Canada, it was in the opening match of the 2016 Olympic Games and Canada won, 3-0.

On Saturday, Canada continued its winning ways as it defeated the U.S. Men’s National Team, 23-25, 25-19,18-25, 25-23, 15-11 in an FIVB World League match in front of a nearly empty arena in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The United States fell to 0-2 and will face Belgium on Sunday. Saturday’s match will be shown Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.


It was a big day for BYU as former Cougars Taylor Sander, Jake Langlois and Ben Patch all started for the United States. UC Irvine alums David Smith and Dan McDonnell also got the start along with Micah Christenson of USC and Erik Shoji of Stanford.U.S. Men's National Team

Langlois and Loyola’s Jeff Jendryk made their World League debuts in the match.

In the first three sets, the U.S. seemed to clean up the serving and passing problems it suffered in the loss to Serbia. But Canada’s blocking and hitting came on strong in the fourth and fifth sets and the U.S. passing couldn’t keep up. The U.S. led in blocks (10-8) and aces (9-8). Canada led in kills (62-56). Each team finished with 28 errors.

Patch led the U.S. with 17 points on a match-high 17 kills. Middle blocker Smith added 14 points on 10 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia started the final three sets in place of Sander and scored 11 points.

Middle blocker Jendryk started the final three sets in place of Dan McDonnell and scored nine points.

Canada also has some new players and has had to adopt a new system under first-year Head Coach Stephane Antiga, formerly the head coach of Poland’s national team. Canada’s star opposite Gavin Schmidt retired after the Olympics but opposite Bradley Gunter led Canada in his place, scoring 17 points.

In the first set, the U.S. trailed by as many as six points at 14-8 and trailed by five at 17-12.  “We just need to play better volleyball. We just need to be a lot more sharp,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw told the team during a timeout. The U.S. rallied to tie the score at 21-21. At 22-22, the U.S. scored on a Smith attack and block by Patch. Canada scored once more before a kill by Patch won the set.

A kill from Smith and a Sander ace put the U.S. ahead at 15-14 in the second set. Canada tied it with a kill off the block then took the lead with a block, an ace and a kill. The U.S. never recovered.

The U.S. Men jumped to an 8-4 lead in the third set and eventually increased it to 14-7. The U.S. reached set point at 24-16. Canada scored twice before the U.S. Men won on Canada’s service error.

The U.S. led the fourth set 5-1 and went into the first technical timeout leading 8-4. Canada came back to tie the score at 10-10. Tough serving and hitting gave Canada the 16-12 lead at the second TTO. The U.S. used a serving run by Kawika Shoji to pull to within one at 16-15. The U.S. tied the score at 19-19. It was still tied at 22-22 when Canada reached set point on two straight attacks. Garrett Muagututia scored with an attack to pull the U.S. to within one, but Canada won on a U.S. serving error.

The U.S. led the fifth set 5-4 on a kill from Muagututia and Canada’s hitting error. Canada scored twice on two U.S. errors and then got an ace to go up by two. The U.S. never held the lead again.

U.S. Starters vs Canada
Outside hitters: Taylor Sander and Jake Langlois
Middle blockers: David Smith and Dan McDonnell
Sitter: Micah Christenson
Opposite: Ben Patch
Libero: Erik Shoji

Statistics vs Canada
Kills: Patch 17, Smith 10, Muagututia 10, Jendryk 7, Sander 5, Langlois 4, McDonnell 2, DeFalco 1
Blocks: Smith 3, Christenson 3, Langlois 2, DeFalco 1, McDonnell 1
Aces: Sander 2, Jendryk 2, Christenson 2, Langlois 1, Muagututia 1, Smith 1
Digs: E Shoji 5,Christenson 4, Patch 4, Langlois 2, Sander 1, Muagututia 1, DeFalco 1

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         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