Loyola outside Jaescke leads U.S. to opening win at World Championship

Loyola outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke wasn’t the biggest name on the U.S. roster entering the World Championship, but he played like it in the team’s opener.

Jaeschke had a match-high 14 kills and four blocks as the United States defeated Rwanda 25-11, 25-18, 27-29, 25-14 on Thursday in Turkey to open the preliminary round of the FIVB U21 Men’s Junior World Championship.


The 2013 MIVA Freshman of the Year and all-conference selection was one of two U.S. players with double-digit kills in the victory. In addition, BYU All-American opposite Ben Patch had a 12 kills against Rwanda (0-1, 0-1 Pool C).

Long Beach State middle attacker Taylor Gregory also added nine kills and a match-high four aces. The United States (1-0, 1-0 Pool C) finished the match with 10 aces, including Stanford setter James Shaw having two aces while coming off the bench as a serving specialist.

Aimable Mutuyimana in the loss had a team-high 14 kills — the only Rwanda player with more than eight kills against the United states.

With this victory, the United States will maintain at least share of first place in Pool C entering the second day of this international tournament. The top four teams in Pool C following the four-match preliminary round will advance to the Round of 16.

The United States will continue the preliminary round as it plays Serbia on Friday. Serbia, No. 2 in the FIVB World Rankings, and the United States, No. 6 in the FIVB World Rankings, are the two highest ranked teams in Pool C.