USA Volleyball Features U.S. Men's Update: T...

U.S. Men's Update: The HP Connection

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | April 26, 2019, 6:23 p.m. (ET)

Kyle Ensing and Patrick Gasman block during the 2017 Men's Junior World Championship
Kyle Ensing, left, of Long Beach State and Patrick Gasman, right, of Hawaii block next to each other during the 2017 Men's Junior World
Championship. Behind them is Long Beach State setter Josh Tuaniga 
 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 26, 2019) – The National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championships began April 25 when Princeton defeated Barton in the play-in match.

It will continue on April 30 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., when USC will play Lewis (5 p.m. PT) and Pepperdine will play Princeton (7:30 p.m. PT).

The USC/Lewis winner will face No. 1 Hawaii in the semifinals at 6 p.m. on May 2 at the Pyramid. The Pepperdine/Princeton winner will play No. 2 Long Beach State in the other semifinal at 8:30 p.m.

The finals will be May 4 at 5 p.m. PT and will be shown on ESPN2.

Both Hawaii and Long Beach State have long histories with the USA Volleyball High Performance Program with several players on each team being involved:

HAWAII

Redshirt junior middle blocker Patrick Gasman: Won a NORCECA Championship with the 2014 U.S. Youth National Team. Played at the FIVB Under-21 World Championship with the 2017 Men’s Junior National Team.

Freshman outside hitter Devon Johnson: Competed at the 2017 High Performance Championships and was also a part of the Beach High Performance Program.

Senior outside hitter Brett Rosennmeier: Member of the 2014 Boys Youth National Team and the 2017 Men’s Junior National Team. Won gold at the 2014 NORCECA Championship. Competed with Hawaii redshirt junior outside hitter Colton Cowell at the 2018 FISU Beach Volleyball World University Championships.

Freshman setter Brett Sheward: Was a runner-up at the 2018 USAV Beach High Performance Championships and competed at the 2017 High Performance Championships.

Redshirt sophomore Jackson Van Eekeren: Competed at High Performance Championships.

Sophomore libero Gage Worsley: Played at the FIVB Under-21 World Championship with the 2017 Men’s Junior National Team.

Senior Setter Joe Worsley: Played libero on the 2014 and 2015 Boys Youth National Teams and setter on the 2016 Men’s Junior National Team. Won gold at NORCECA Championship in 2014 and ’16.

LONG BEACH STATE

Senior outside hitter T.J. DeFalco: Played with the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League and the 2017 FIVB World League. Competed at the 2016 Pan American Cup. Member of the 2014-15 Boys Youth National Team. Member of the U.S. Men’s Team for the 2015 Pan American Games. Played beach volleyball in the 2014 FIVB U19 World Championships and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Senior opposite Kyle Ensing: Played with the U.S. Men’s National Team during the 2018 Volleyball Nations League and the 2017 Pan American Cup. Member of the 2016-17 Men’s Junior National Team and the 2015 Boys Youth National Team.

Redshirt freshman outside hitter Spencer Olivier: Member of the 2018 Men’s Junior National Team.

Senior outside hitter Louis Richard: Played beach volleyball in the 2014 FIVB U19 World Championships and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Member of the 2015 Men’s Junior National Training Team.

Senior setter Josh Tuaniga: Member of the 2016 Men’s Pan American Cup Team. Played on the 2014-15 Boys Youth National Team and 2016-17 Men’s Junior National Team.

2019 FIVB VOLLEYBALL NATIONS LEAGUE

The U.S. Men's National Team will host Canada, China and Japan in their FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary weekend on June 21-23 in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Click here for tickets.

The U.S. Men will also host the VNL Final Round on July 10-14 at Credit Union 1 Arena at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

ITALY

Outside hitter Matt Anderson announced recently that he will play in Modena next season, joining his U.S. teammates setter Micah Christenson and middle blocker Max Holt.

In the Italian League playoffs, Azimut Leo Shoes Modena is tied in the semifinals 2-2 with Sir Safety Conad Perugia, which includes U.S. setter Jonah Seif.

The two teams will play the tie-breaking match on Sunday.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell and Itas Trentino fell to Cucine Lube Civitanova in the semifinals, 3-1.

RUSSIA

Anderson and Russian team Zenit Kazan won their semifinal series over libero Erik Shoji and Fakel Novy Urengoy, 2-0.

In the second match on Thursday, Kazan won 25-16, 25-23, 25-23. Anderson scored 10 points on five kills, three blocks and two aces. Shoji was credited with 21 receptions, 48 percent positive.

Kazan will play Kuzbass Kemerovo in the series final.

Anderson and Zenit Kazan will play Italy’s Cucine Lube Civitanova in the finals of the CEV Champions League on May 18 in Berlin. It will be a repeat of last year’s gold medal match with Zenit KAZAN vying for their fifth title in a row – and seventh overall.

Kazan honored Anderson by raising his No. 1 jersey into the rafters of the playing hall, next to Lloy Ball’s No. 1 jersey.

BRAZIL

Outside hitter Taylor Sander and Sada Cruzeiro Volei fell to EMS Taubate Funvic in the playoff semifinals, 3-0. In the final match on April 13, Sada Cruzeiro fell, 21-25, 36-34, 25-19, 19-25, 15-12. Sander finished with 19 points on 16 kills, one block and two aces.

FRANCE

Middle blocker Mitch Stahl and Tours have advanced to the playoff semifinals where they will play Nice, starting on April 27.

Setter Michael Saeta and Chaumont will play in the other semifinal against Ajaccio. Their first match will be April 28.

GERMANY

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, which has four U.S. players – middle blocker Jeff Jendryk, opposite Ben Patch, opposite Kyle Russell, libero Dustin Watten – won their best-of-five semifinal playoff series against Unterhaching, 3-1 and will face Friedrichshafen in the finals staring on April 27.

POLAND

Setter Kawika Shoji and middle blocker David Smith are home from Poland after their team Asseco Resovia Rzeszow finished seventh and out of the running for the playoffs.