Coach John Speraw looks on as Micah Christenson, left, and Max Holt block Argentina’s Luciano Palonsky/Volleyball World photo

The USA, with its Paris Olympics roster intact for the first time, swept Argentina on Tuesday to open the second round of the men’s Volleyball Nations League.

The 25-23, 25-21, 26-24 victory in Ottawa, Canada, left the Americans 2-3 and in 11th place in the 16-team standings. They have Wednesday off before playing Italy on Thursday. 

Against Argentina, Aaron Russell led with 12 kills and had just one error in 19 attacks. He had a block and a team-best eight digs. TJ DeFalco had 10 kills, two blocks, four digs and the team’s only ace. 

Matt Anderson had 10 kills and two blocks and Max Holt had seven kills and two blocks. Erik Shoji had seven digs.

Setter Micah Christenson had six digs and a block. His team hit .420. The USA had 14 serving errors. None of the players in Ottawa were part of the USA team that went 1-3 in the first round.

“We struggled a little bit with our service, but always relied on our system and the way we play. We took the first week off to give some of the guys that were finishing late in their pro seasons some rest,” Anderson told Volleyball World. 

“This is a really important summer and a long one. We expected some hiccups along the way out there. All we’re going to do now is go back, watch video, see our gameplay and how we performed against that. Then make the adjustments that we can.”

Bruno Lima had 13 kills, a block and an ace for Argentina (2-3). His team, which hit .320, had two aces and 14 serving errors.

In other matches Tuesday, Poland beat Bulgaria 21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 and Japan swept Iran 25-23, 25-22, 25-17 in Fukuoka, Japan. Later in Ottawa, Canada beat Cuba 25-21, 25-27, 25-20, 28-26 as Eric Loeppky had 20 kills and two blocks and Stephen Maar had 15 kills, three blocks and two aces.

There are five VNL matches Wednesday.

Earlier in Fukuoka, Japan, Slovenia swept Türkiye before Germany played Japan.

In Ottawa, Serbia plays the Netherlands, France plays Italy and Iran faces Brazil.

Cuba’s Miguel Lopez hits through the Canada block as Stephen Maar gets ready to dig/Volleball World photo


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