Four Collegiate Stars To Compete For U.S. Men’s National Team In World League

  0 Carly DeMarque | May 04th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, International Volleyball, MIVA, MPSF, News, NORCECA volleyball, U.S. Men's National Team

The U.S. Men’s National Team preliminary roster for the FIVB World League has been announced, with new and familiar faces gracing the team. John Speraw, U.S. Men’s Head Coach, saw that is was crucial to give younger players a chance to play in high-level international competitions, as well as give veteran players a rest.

In 2016, the U.S. Men finished fifth at the FIVB World League and took the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Currently, the squad is tied for a #2 world rank with Poland.

Among the new players entering the squad are four collegiate players that are finishing up their season or just recently ended their season. BYU has two players making the team in Jake Langlois and Ben Patch, who competed with the squad in 2016. Patch has expressed his intent to turn professional at the NCAA Tournament. Loyola-Chicago’s Jeff Jendryk and Long Beach State’s TJ DeFalco also made the roster. DeFalco was a member of the 2015 World League preliminary roster and more recently was selected as the AVCA Division I-II Player of the Year.

Patch, Langlois, and DeFalco are all competing in the NCAA Tournament and will play each other tonight in the semifinals.

Six players are returning from the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team squad – setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, outside hitter Taylor Sander, libero Erik Shoji, middle blocker David Smith and setter Kawika Shoji, who will be the team’s captain.

Those not returning on this year’s roster are outside hitter Aaron Russell who suffered an injury with his club team, opposite Murphy Troy who has retired and outside hitter Reid Priddy who is playing beach volleyball this season. Also not starting with the squad are opposite Matt Anderson and middle blocker Max Holt, who are taking time off early in the season but are expected to be back for the USAV Cup. Three-time Olympic middle blocker David Lee is taking the season off.

Those not in college and making their debuts on the squad are Taylor Averill and Thomas Carmody.

Outside of the Olympians on the team, past World League members who made this year’s squad are opposite Carson Clark, outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky, middle blocker Dan McDonnell, outside hitter Garrett Muagututia and libero Dustin Watten.

14 of the 18 players can be chosen for each World League weekend, as long as two players are designated liberos.

The official start date for training will be May 8 at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, California. The team’s first match will be against Serbia on June 2.

U.S. Men’s Preliminary Roster

Name Position Height Hometown College
Tommy Carmody Middle Blocker 6-9 Orland Park, Ill. Pacific/Pepperdine
Taylor Sander Outside Hitter 6-4 Huntington Beach, Calif. BYU
Jeff Jendryk Middle Blocker 6-10 Wheaton, Ill Loyola-Chicago
James Shaw Setter 6-8 Woodside, Calif. Stanford
Kawika Shoji Setter 6-3 Honolulu, Hawaii Stanford
Jake Langlois Outside Hitter 6-10 San Jose, Calif. BYU
Thomas Jaeschke Outside Hitter 6-6 Wheaton, Ill Loyola-Chicago
Micah Christenson Setter 6-6 Honolulu, Hawaii USC
Dan McDonnell Middle Blocker 6-6 Glendale, Ariz. UC Irvine
Ben Patch Opposite 6-8 Provo, Utah BYU
Carson Clark Opposite 6-6 Santa Barbara, Calif. UC Irvine
Jayson Jablonsky Outside Hitter 6-5 Yorba Linda, Calif. UC Irvine
TJ DeFalco Outside Hitter 6-5 Huntington Beach, Calif. Long Beach State
Garrett Muagututia Outside Hitter 6-5 Oceanside, Calif. UCLA
Taylor Averill Middle Blocker 6-7 San Jose, Calif. Hawaii
David Smith Middle Blocker 6-7 Saugus, Calif. UC Irvine
Dustin Watten Libero 6-0 Long Beach, Calif. Long Beach State
Erik Shoji Libero 6-0 Honolulu, Hawaii Stanford


  • Head Coach: John Speraw
  • Team Leader: Anton Brams
  • Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Wall
  • Sports Psychologist: Andrea Becker
  • Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
  • Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock


June 2: USA v Serbia at Novi Sad, Serbia
June 3: USA v Egypt at Novi Sad, Serbia
June 4: USA v Belgium at Novi Sad, Serbia
June 9: USA v Italy at Pau, France
June 10: USA v Russia at Pau, France
June 11: USA v France at Pau, France
June 15: USA v Iran at Katowice, Poland
June 17: USA v Russia at Lodz, Poland
June 18: USA v Poland at Lodz, Poland

July 4-8: Final Round in Curitiba, Brazil (top five teams qualify plus Brazil as host)

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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