U.S. Men hold off Netherlands to Open VNL

OTTAWA, Canada, June 7, 2023.- Netherlands kept pushing but the U.S. Men’s National Team pushed back harder and won their opening Volleyball Nations League match 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-21) on Wednesday in Ottawa, Canada.

The U.S. Men (1-0) will be back in action on Thursday when they will face world No. 4 Italy (0-1) at 1:30 p.m. PT.

Watch Volleyball Nations League 2023 live on VBTV

The U.S. Men led Netherlands in kills (41-36), blocks (8-2) and aces (6-3). The U.S. scored on 20 Netherlands errors while giving up 22 points on errors.

“That was the first match of the season. It looked like it,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “Even though we didn’t play as smooth volleyball as we will later in the season, I thought we still had a lot of confidence, a lot of poise. Guys didn’t seem very rattled at any point when they put a little pressure on us, which they did in the second and third sets.”

Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco led the U.S. Men with 13 points on 10 kills and three aces, which came in a row during the first set. Opposite Jake Hanes added 12 points on eight kills, two blocks and two aces.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell scored 11 points on nine kills and two blocks. Middle blocker David Smith scored 10 points on eight kills and two blocks. Middle Jeff Jendryk totaled five points on five kills.

Volleyball Nations League 2023: full schedule and results