USA men even record at 6-6 with VNL comeback win over Netherlands

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USA men VNL 6/18/2021-Dustin Watten
Matt Anderson looks on as Dustin Watten goes for the kick save against the Netherlands/FIVB photo

The USA men evened their record at 6-6 in the Volleyball Nations League with a five-set, comeback victory Thursday over the Netherlands.

It capped the fourth batch of three-set matches that the teams play in the international pre-Olympic competition in Rimini, Italy. 

The USA men, who were coming off a 1-2 stretch, bounced back back with a sweep of Italy on Tuesday before losing in four to France on Wednesday.

Now they are off for three days before starting the final batch of three matches, playing Slovenia on Monday, Bulgaria on Tuesday, and Japan on Wednesday.

In the USA’s 25-15, 25-18, 25-21 victory over Italy, setter Micah Christenson returned to the team after missing the previous three matches to be back in America for the birth of his second child. He had 17 assists, five digs, and two aces.

Matt Anderson led with 13 kills as he hit .476. Taylor Sander had 12 kills with no errors in 19 attacks and hit .631 to go wiht two blocks. TJ DeFalco had eight kills and 10 digs. David Smith had three kills, five digs, and two blocks. 

Click here for USA-Italy highlights.

France beat the USA 25-23, 22-25, 31-29, 25-22.

TJ DeFalco led the Americans with 19 kills as he hit .311 and had two blocks and nine digs. Thomas Jaeschke had 12 kills and six digs, and Max Holt 10 kills and two blocks. Kyle Ensing had seven kills, five blocks, and six digs. Mitch Stahl had six kills and three blocks. Erik Shoji had 14 kills.

Kevin Tillie — who starred at UC Irvine when John Speraw, the USA coach who now coaches at UCLA — had seven kills for France.

Click here for USA-France highlights.

The Americans went down 2-1 before coming back to beat the Netherlands 21-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13.

Garrett Muagututia had 17 kills with three errors in 30 attacks and hit .467 and had three aces, seven digs, and a block. Anderson also had 17 kills as he hit .464 and had two blocks. Sander had 15 and hit .357 to go with two blocks, four digs, and four aces. Stahl had seven kills with one error in 11 tries and had four digs, and three blocks. Smith had eight kills and four digs. Christenson had three kills, three aces, and six digs. Liberos Dustin Watten and Erik Shoji had seven digs each.

Click here for USA-Netherlands highlights.

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