United States Forced To Settle For Silver In Volleyball Nations League As Fightback Against France Fails

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Despite a gallant fightback, the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball lost to France, 3-2 (25-16, 25-19, 15-25, 21-25, 15-10) in the 2022 Volleyball Nations League championship match, held in Bologna, Italy. For more volleyball news, previews, and betting tips, and odds, visit


United States Fightback Falls Short

For the United States, the defeat resulted in second place and a silver medal (12-3 in VNL). The team has now won three VNL medals, including silver and bronze in 2018 and 2019.

It appeared as though France would win the match 3-0 after the U.S. lost the opening two sets. T.J. DeFalco switched to opposite in the third set, and Garrett Muagututia started as outside hitter. The U.S. hadn’t previously done this rotation, so the switch immediately paid off. DeFalco contributed seven points and Muagututia contributed five as the Americans prevailed, 15-25, to force a fourth set.

Set number four was taken over by middle blocker Jeff Jendryk, who finished with four kills and three blocks to help the Americans win 21-25. The Americans avoided being swept by forcing a tiebreaker in the fifth set.

In the tiebreaker, Aaron Russell’s attack placed just inside the endline led to the first American goal. After a kill from France, the U.S. regained the lead thanks to a French service mistake. Following a six-point French run that was sparked by a U.S. serve mistake, the U.S. was down 7-2. Russell scored twice in a row later in the period to pull the United States within two points at 11-9, but that was the closest they would reach. Muagututia had stopped the run with a kill at that point. To win the VNL championship, France went on a 4-1 run to end the game.

Although France dominated the service game, the MNT had one-point advantages in attacks (60-59) and blocks (7-6). (6-1). Russell scored 20 points in all for the Americans, which was the most. Both DeFalco and Muagututia recorded 13 kills. Setter Micah Christenson helped on 26 points, and the libero Erik Shoji recorded nine digs. Christenson was selected as the best setter for the VNL Dream Team following the game. He was accompanied by David Smith, the best middle blocker. 


Dispair And Hope For Gallant United States

Without a doubt, this is in no way the result the United States wanted, there is a strong belief that the team will eventually go on to win major championships. The dispair in the faces of the players after the final whistle was obvious, however, they must now regroup quickly and turn their focus to the 2022 FIVN Men’s World Championship.

Before the start of the 2022 FIVB Men’s World Championship, the United States will return to Anaheim, California, for a month of training where they’ll hope to put the disappointment of losing the VNL final behind them. Poland is the host nation for the competition from August 26 to September 11, 2022.

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