The USA men, in the past two days, swept Canada and then scored a dramatic 29-27, 22-25, 20-25, 25-13, 19-17 victory over Argentina in Volleyball Nations League play in Osaka, Japan. TJ DeFalco had 25 kills for the USA.
The Sunday victory came on the heels of a 25-19, 25-15, 25-19 win over Canada in which DeFalco had 17 kills.
It left the USA 4-0 after the trip to Japan and 10-2 overall heading into the quarterfinals that will begin July 20 in Bologna, Italy.
The USA men were guaranteed at least a tie for first in the standings.
At this posting, Sunday’s remaining matches were — Australia vs. France and Brazil vs. Japan in Osaka; and in Gdansk, Poland, China was set to play Serbia, Italy played the Netherlands and Poland led Slovenia.
Ahead of those matches, the USA was No. 1 in the men’s standings with 10 victories, followed by Poland, Italy and Japan with nine each. France had eight victories, and in the battle for the final spots in the quarterfinals, Brazil and Iran had seven each and the Netherlands six.
Against Argentina, which finished VNL 5-5, DeFalco also had three blocks and five digs. Watch his hitting highlight against Argentina here.
David Smith had nine kills, three blocks, two service aces and a dig. Watch Smith’s highlights here. Mitch Stahl had seven kills, three blocks, an ace and two digs. Watch Stahl’s highlights here. Garrett Muagututia had 10 kills and five digs. Kyle Ensing had seven kills, six digs and a block. Jake Hanes, getting some time at outside, had seven kills and two digs.
Libero Kyle Dagostino had 10 kills. Micah Christenson had six digs and 28 assists and Josh Tuaniga had 20 assists and a dig.
Argentina’s Luciana Palonsky had 24 kills and six digs.
Against Canada, DeFalco also had an ace and two digs. Watch his highlights against our northern neighbors here. Ensing and Aaron Russell had 10 kills and a block each and Ensing had two aces. Watch team match highlights here.