�� VNL: Micah Christenson, USA grateful for fans' support in loss

VNL: Micah Christenson, USA grateful for fans’ support in loss

/ 11:54 PM June 19, 2024

Micah Christenson and Team USA during a VNL Week 3 game

Micah Christenson and Team USA during a VNL Week 3 game against Iran. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

VNL 2024 SCHEDULE: Week 3 Manila, Philippines leg

MANILA, Philippines — Team USA setter Micah Christenson wanted to win it for their Filipino fans, but their Manila debut was spoiled by Iran in five sets in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Week 3 on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Christenson and the fan-favorite USA, cheered by the Filipino crowd, couldn’t complete a comeback as Iran pulled off a 26-28, 25-23, 25-18, 26-28, 15-13 stunner to end a winless eight-game skid.

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“I wish it could’ve gone differently, you know? But nonetheless, we really, really appreciate all of the support and love from the Filipino fans. We feel it every day all the time. It’s great to finally be here and try to put on some good performances for them in person,” said the American captain.

READ: VNL 2024: Iran upsets powerhouse USA for first win

TJ Defalco unleashed 33 points but it wasn’t enough as the Olympic-bound USA dropped to a 3-6 record in 12th place.

Christenson and some of his teammates still accommodated their supporters at the fan zone to show their appreciation after their post-game interviews. 

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With USA’s final eight chances in limbo, the veteran setter seeks to keep on improving before heading to the Paris Olympics next month.

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“We have a long way to go from where we wanna be, in the Olympics, so we’re gonna continue to work on that,” Christenson said.

The USA star praised Iran for pulling off a big win to improve to a 1-8 record despite their valiant effort to force a fifth set. 

“I think we have to first give credit to Iran. They played great. Everybody was making good defensive plays, even the middle blockers. They put a lot of pressure on us in certain situations. We have to give a lot of credit there, but we also have a lot to work on. We know that and we’re going to face it head-on,” he said.

“They’re always a dangerous team and they showed it tonight.”

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Christenson and USA have less than 24 hours before facing Brazil on Thursday at 7 p.m. as they hope to deliver a win for their country and Filipino fans.

TAGS: USA, VNL

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