Skip to main content

Russell, Anderson lead USA men past Canada in Volleyball Nations League

Erik Shoji is ready but TJ DeFalco passes the serve against Canada/Volleyball World photo

The USA men have a chance to close out the first round of Volleyball Nations League 4-0 after sweeping Canada on Saturday.

Sunday, they play Brazil at 2:30 p.m. Eastern in Ottawa, Canada, before taking a week off.

Also Sunday, Serbia swept Poland and Japan beat France in Nagoya, Japan. In Ottawa, Argentina plays the Netherlands and Canada plays Germany. 

As the men wind down the first leg of the tournament, the women prepare to resume play. In the case of the USA, the Americans are in Brasilia, Brazil, preparing to play Croatia on Tuesday.

The USA men beat Canada 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 as Aaron Russell had 16 kills, five digs and an ace and Matt Anderson had 14 kills, three blocks, six digs and an ace. 

“Anytime we get to play against Canada, and especially in front of their home crowd, it’s a good experience for us to take moving forward,” Anderson said to Volleyball World. “We’re for sure going to meet them again in other tournaments this season. 

“I’m coming from a pretty bad ankle sprain last week, so it’s been a little hard to get back and get my rhythm going, but it’s just a matter of time before we’re all clicking again. We have a very experienced roster, so it’s just about working hard.”

TJ DeFalco had nine kills and five digs and Jeff Jendryk had four kills, a block and two of the USA’s five aces compared to one for Canada. Each team had six blocks.

“I think Canada pressured us more than what we’ve seen so far this week,” USA coach John Speraw told USA Volleyball. “I thought in stretches, they served really tough; they got us in a lot of trouble in that first set when we had a good lead. Even though we had a lead pretty much all the time, they kept coming back. So, late in sets they were not making it easy.

I don’t think we connected particularly well in the first set. We got really stuck in one rotation and gave up a bunch of points, so we’ll have to go back and look at that. It’s not going to be perfect every night, so if we can come out with a win when we’re not playing our best volleyball, then I think that’s really a good sign.”

Arthur Szwarc led Canada with 12 kills and a block and Stephen Maar had eight kills, three blocks and his team’s ace.

Brazil is 2-1 after losing in five to Cuba on Saturday despite 21 kills from Abouba Dramé and 19 from Ricardo Lucarelli. Jesus Herrera had 26 kills, two blocks and two aces for Cuba.

Matt Anderson attacks against Canada/Volleyball World photo