Kyle Dagostino goes for the kick save against Poland/Volleyball World photo

The USA men got swept by Poland as they began Volleyball Nations League play Wednesday.

None of the 12 players nor alternate named to the USA Olympic team made the trip to Antalya, Türkiye, including coach John Speraw.

The Americans, coached by Andy Read, lost 25-22, 25-15, 26-24 as a few made their high-level international debuts for the USA. They play again Friday against France.

Gabi Garcia led the USA with nine kills, four digs and two aces. Jordan Ewert also had nine kills and an ace. 

Poland’s Aleksander Sliwka had 10 kills, two blocks and an ace.

Men’s VNL action got underway Tuesday and there were a couple of surprises. 

In Antalya, France swept Bulgaria and Canada came away with a big four-set victory over Türkiye. Stephen Maar led with 19 kills and five aces in the 17-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21 victory.

In Rio de Janerio, Brazil, Japan beat Argentina in four and then Cuba stunned the home team, beating Brazil 25-23, 27-29, 25-21, 25-21. Cuba’s balanced attack gave a serious boost to its Olympics chances as Marlon Yant had 18 kills, Miguel Ángel López had 15, Michael Sánchez had 14, Javier Concepcion had 13 and Robertlandy Simón 12.

Wednesday in Türkiye, Slovenia beat the Netherlands in a wild five, 31-33, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 27-25. In a match 13 minutes shy of three hours long, Slovenia got 17 kills each from Toncek Stern and Klemen Cebulj. Stern had a block and three aces, while Cebulj had three blocks and an ace. Nimir Abdel-Aziz of the Netherlands had 25 kills, a block and five aces.

Later in Rio, Italy faced Germany and Iran played Serbia.


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