Hanes Unstoppable in U.S. Men’s First Win of 2024 VNL

May 26, 2024.- The U.S. Men’s National Team’s first win of the tournament came against Türkiye 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-21) in the week one finale of Volleyball Nations League preliminary play on Sunday in Antalya, Türkiye.

“It feels great, we put in a lot of work,” outside hitter Ethan Champlin told Volleyball World. “One thing we always talk about in the locker room is that, this team, these fourteen guys are only going to play together once. It’s probably not going to happen ever again. So we’re just enjoying the moments together, playing hard, playing for one another. That’s what’s most important.”

The U.S. Men finish week one with a 1-3 record. Week two of VNL will begin June 4 in Ottawa, Canada.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Opposite Jake Hanes could not be stopped, putting up an astounding 31 points on 29 kills and two aces.

Middle blocker Patrick Gasman had 13 points on nine kills, three blocks and one ace.

Outside hitter Jordan Ewert had seven points on six kills and one ace. Champlin added six points on four kills and two aces.

Aside from the massive stat line from Hanes, service pressure made the difference in the match with the U.S. scoring seven aces to Türkiye’s three. Türkiye did have the slight advantage on kills (51-50) and the teams were even on blocks (8-8). The U.S. scored on 32 opponent errors while committing 31.

After dropping the first set, the U.S. saw an energy shift when Hanes tied set two at 18-18 with an ace followed by a kill from the back row. Middle blocker Daniel Wetter made his VNL debut and contributed right away with a block to give the U.S. set point. Hanes took care of the rest once again from the back row to even the match 1-1.

The third set stayed close until the U.S. took the lead 15-14 after Champlin’s ace serve. A tough serve from Ewert led to a Türkiye attack error and gave the U.S. its first match lead (2-1) of the tournament.

Türkiye fought hard in the fourth set in front of their loud home crowd. However, the momentum was already well on the side of the U.S. Men and they didn’t give it back. Taking advantage of Türkiye’s errors and feeding the hot hand of Hanes, the U.S. Men secured its first VNL win.

Setter Quinn Isaacson added three points on two blocks and one ace.

Libero Kyle Dagostino was credited with nine digs and seven successful receptions. Libero Mason Briggs started the fourth set and was credited with four digs.

Opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez, outside hitter Brett Wildman and setter Josh Tuaniga all saw action as substitutes.