Monday, 22 Jul 2024

U.S. Men’s National Team Fights Hard in Close Match against Russia


The U.S. Men’s National Team faced a tough battle against Russia in an FIVB World League match in Lodz, Poland. While they ultimately fell short, losing 31-29, 17-25, 25-19, 27-29, 15-13, the match showcased the team’s determination and skill.

A Gritty Performance

The United States displayed an impressive performance, leading in kills (66-55) and aces (6-4). However, Russia held the advantage in blocks (17-14) and capitalized on U.S. errors, scoring 39 points. Despite struggling at times to receive Russia’s serves and hard hitting, the U.S. Men fought valiantly throughout the match.

Coach Speraw’s Insights

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw acknowledged the team’s effort, saying, “We almost took that match not playing our best volleyball.” He reflected on the difficulties faced in the third set but expressed optimism in learning from the experience and improving in future matches.

Standout Performances

Taylor Sander, the U.S. outside hitter, showcased his skills by leading all scorers with 28 points, including 24 kills, three blocks, and one ace. Ben Patch, playing as the opposite, contributed 14 points with 12 kills and two blocks. Middle blocker David Smith stood out in the blocking department, leading the team with four blocks, while T.J. DeFalco shined with two aces.

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Close Decisions

The match was tightly contested, with both teams battling for supremacy. In the fifth set, the U.S. Men held a narrow 10-9 lead, but a missed serve and two consecutive points scored by Russia gave them a two-point advantage. Unfortunately, the U.S. Men couldn’t mount a comeback, ultimately falling short in a closely fought match.

Team Adjustments

During the third set, U.S. Head Coach Speraw made some strategic changes, replacing Micah Christenson with Kawika Shoji as the setter. Shoji continued to start in the fourth and fifth sets, contributing to the team’s overall hitting efficiency of .281. Russia, on the other hand, hit .226.

Notable Contributions

Libero Erik Shoji played a vital role in defense, making several key plays and finishing with eight digs and 10 excellent receptions. His efforts helped the team maintain momentum and stay competitive throughout the match.


How did the U.S. Men’s National Team perform in the match against Russia?

Despite a strong effort, the U.S. Men’s National Team narrowly lost to Russia in a thrilling contest.

Who were the standout players for the U.S. Men’s National Team?

Taylor Sander led the team in scoring with 28 points, while Ben Patch and David Smith also made significant contributions.

What adjustments did Coach Speraw make during the match?

Coach Speraw made strategic changes, including replacing Micah Christenson with Kawika Shoji as the setter, to improve the team’s performance.


Though the U.S. Men’s National Team didn’t come out on top, their performance against Russia showcased their skill and determination. With valuable lessons learned from this match, the team looks forward to their upcoming match against Poland. Stay tuned for more exciting volleyball action from the U.S. Men’s National Team.

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For more information on the U.S. Men’s National Team, visit Alpinetgheep.