Sander, Patch, DeFalco Lead USA Men to #VNL Sweep of China

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 27th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Men, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, U.S. Men's National Team


  • May 25-27, 2018
  • Beilun Gymnasium; Ningbo, China
  • Time Zone: UTC +  (US Eastern Time +12)
  • World Rankings: #2 United States, #7 Argentina, #14 Bulgaria, #20 China
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
25 May 16:00 Argentina  2–3  United States 27–25 26–24 24–26 21–25 10–15 108–115 P2 P3
25 May 19:30 China  2–3  Bulgaria 18–25 25–18 25–19 17–25 11–15 96–102 P2 P3
26 May 16:00 Bulgaria  1–3  United States 19–25 25–22 19–25 20–25 83–97 P2 P3
26 May 19:30 China  3–0  Argentina 25–22 25–21 25–18 75–61 P2 P3
27 May 16:00 Bulgaria  3–1  Argentina 19–25 25–19 25–21 25–22 94–87 P2 P3
27 May 19:30 China  0–3  United States 20–25 24–26 18–25 62–76


United States def. China 3-0

  • United States defeated China 25-20, 26-24, 25-18
  • United States moved to 3-0 (8 points); China moved to 1-2 (4 points)

The United States staved off the Chinese attack throughout the match, including a set-point attempt in Set 2, en route to its third win of Volleyball Nations League play.

The Americans bested China 10-3 on the block and 8-1 from the service line. Team USA also boasted a 43-35 lead in kills, but gave those points back to its opponents in the form of a 23 miscues (to just 15 for China).

Taylor Sander, Ben Patch and T.J. DeFalco led the U.S. with double-digit scoring efforts, tallying 17, 14 and 13 respectively. Sander notched 14 kills and a team-best three aces, while Patch added 10 putaways, two blocks and two aces. DeFalco chipped in nine kills and put up a team-leading four blocks. Max Holt and Taylor Averill rounded out the lineup, each chipping in two blocks. Averill also served up two aces.

Chuan Jiang was a one-man show for China, racking up 15 points on 14 kills and a block, but his support was minimal, with three players notching five kills apiece: Shuhan Rao, Jingyin Zhang and Haixiang Du. Rao put up a team-high two blocks, while Zhang served up the team’s lone ace.

The United States served up four aces and put up four blocks in the opening stanza.

Trailing 23-21 in Set 2, the United States found a way with a DeFalco block and Sander ace finishing off the 26-24 win. The Americans won going away after that, shutting down China in the final stanza.

Team USA will now head to Goiania, Brazil for Week 2 of VNL play.

Here are some post-match reactions.

USA captain David Smith: “We are satisfied with the results of this weekend. The win is very important and it showed our spirit. We have not seen them in a long time. Watching their video, they are an impressive team to face and they showed it on the court tonight. I think they have a bright future. I am very happy for our team, some of our guys have their Volleyball Nations League debut tonight and they did very well.”

USA player Taylor Sander: “I am very happy to win. It was a very fun match. I played in China last year and it was nice to come back here with Team USA. China are a good young team and it was fun playing here. Last year, we were 0-3. We had no wins after the first weekend, so this is actually great for us.

China coach Raul Lozano: “They limited us especially with their strong service. The first set was quite balanced, but we had a chance to win the second set. We were obviously limited in the last set.

“All of these are precious experience for China. We will find our gaps in this tournament then we will seek the right direction to move forward. The three matches delighted us a lot. We had some difficult moments but we should consider learning and improving at this point. We learned a lot from this and I believe the players played well in the previous two matches. We just weren’t able to continue that in our performance tonight.

“As the coach of China, my ultimate goal is the Olympic Games, but now we should have our own tactics and preliminary personnel structure. I have a lot of young players and I want to rotate them to test who can withstand the challenges in international matches. I hope we can narrow the gap but we still have a lot to learn.”



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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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