TJ DeFalco, welcome back.
On Wednesday, the USA men defeated Serbia 26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20 to go to 5-0 in the Volleyball Nations League. DeFalco contributed 23 kills to the victory.
DeFalco had two blocks in the match in Sofia, Bulgaria, as the USA started the second leg of VNL play. DeFalco did not participate in the first round when the USA began 4-0.
DeFalco exclaimed, “I’m thrilled to be back.” “I’m incredibly pleased of the boys for showing everyone what USA volleyball is about the first week in Brazil,” I said.
Aaron Russell, the other outside hitter, finished with 10 kills, a block, an ace, and two digs.
Opposite 13 kills and two digs from Kyle Ensing. The middles, David Smith, who had four blocks and two aces, and Jeff Jendryk each contributed five kills for the USA.
Libero Josh Tuaniga had 37 assists and two digs, and Erik Shoji had four digs. The US score was.473.
Garrett Muagututia, Erik Shoji, and Mitch Stahl are all welcome back on the roster, according to USA coach John Speraw. Clearly, TJ had a significant impact on the volleyball game. He performed quite well, especially on the BIC.
“There is no doubt that we can improve. We took a lot from that match, but I think the reason we did is because Serbia is quite good. The first two sets there was hardly any separation in scores. We really had to be really sharp in order to win that volleyball match and make some important plays late in sets, which we did.”
Serbia, which dropped to 2-3, got 17 kills from Aleksandar Atanasijevic and 14 from Pavle Peric.
“I thought it was not only a win but a valuable learning experience for the guys,” Speraw said.
The USA is back in action Thursday when it plays Iran (2-3). Also Thursday in Bulgaria, Poland swept Canada and and Serbia plays Brazil. In matches in Quezon City, Philippines, China swept Germany, Slovenia beat Argentina in four and Germany was to play the Netherlands.
As of Thursday morning in the U.S, the USA, France and Poland were tied atop the standings at 5-0. Japan and Italy had four wins each.
“The Iranian match is one that is always played with a lot of great energy,” Speraw said. “They always come in really excited to play us.”