VNL 2024: USA posts second straight win ahead of Japan clash

VNL 2024: USA posts second straight win ahead of Japan clash

/ 02:30 PM June 22, 2024

Micah Christenson USA VNL

USA’s Micah Christenson during the VNL in Manila.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — On the eve of their thrilling match against fellow fan-favorite Japan, Micah Christenson was pleased that Team USA has found its groove in Manila after staving off Germany, 25-23, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23, in the VNL on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

It was another day at the office for Christenso, leading the Americans and dishing out 29 excellent sets while Matt Anderson and TJ Defalco combined for 43 points. The United States nothced its second straight win to improve to a 5-6 record tied with 10th seed Argentina. 

“It was great. I think we hung on. We cooled out a couple of close sets. It’s a good feeling to be able to win and still learn,” said the American setter, who also scored three points. “It’s easy to learn when you lose but I think we’re gonna go back from this game with the smile on our faces that we’re able to get it done even if it was a little bit ugly.”


READ: VNL 2024: With Final 8 chances slim, Team USA turns focus to Olympics

The Germans tried to force a decider, leading the fourth set with a 23-22 advantage after Lukas Maase’s quick attack. Anderson tied it at 23-all with a kill before back-to-back winning blocks by Defalco and Jeffrey Jendryk.

Despite the great responsibility of leading the Olympic-bound USA, the American skipper isn’t afraid of taking risks and embracing great challenges.

“I feel like that pressure is created by yourself at some point as well you can create pressure. For me, I’m a Christian I believe in God and I know I get a lot of freedom from my faith in God,” Christenson said. “When I’m out there I feel free to make different decisions and take a little bit of risks because I know where my identity lies and that love is always gonna be there.”


READ: VNL 2024: USA star Taylor Averill wants to come back, explore PH

Anderson led the Americans with 23 points off 20 kills and three aces. Defalco delivered 20 points, while middle blockers Jendryk and David Smith had four blocks each to finish with 10 and nine points, respectively.

Christenson hopes to save the best for last in front of their Filipino fans as USA ends its maiden Manila stint against Japan on Sunday at 7 p.m.


“Just try to get a little bit better than today. We were starting to get on this road where we’re taking steps in the right direction and we’re gonna just try to take another step in the right direction tomorrow and enjoy also the moment, I’m assuming when I was told it’s a full stadium here,” he said.
“Hopefully, we get a little bit of support I know Japan is very popular but we’re gonna try to do our best for everybody.”

Germany dropped to a 4-7 record before facing Iran on Sunday. Gyorgy Grozer led the Germans’ gallant stand with 16 points. Maase and Tobias Krick scored 12 points, while Moritz Reichert added 10.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: USA, Volleyball Nations League (VNL)

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.