Four current college men’s volleyball players will represent the United States in the biggest international tournament of the summer.
USA Volleyball announced earlier this week that outside attackers TJ DeFalco and Jake Langlois, middle attacker Jeff Jendryk and opposite Ben Patch were selected to the U.S. preliminary roster for the upcoming World League.
DeFalco was the 2017 recipient of the Karch Kiraly Award and the AVCA National Player of the Year after leading Long Beach State to a conference championship and the NCAA Tournament semifinals. He is the youngest player on the U.S. roster and finished his sophomore season in the nation’s top 10 with a 3.99 kills per game average and a .389 attack percentage.
Langlois is among the national leaders with a 3.73 kills per game average and is sixth in the country averaging 0.57 aces per game. The All-American also had a match-high four aces to help BYU sweep Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday.
Jendryk, a finalist for the Ryan Millar Award as the nation’s top middle attacker, was seventh in the nation with a 1.16 blocks per game average and had the nation’s fourth-best attack percentage at .431. In addition, Jendryk helped Loyola finish in fifth place in the MIVA and reach the conference tournament semifinals.
Patch despite missing most of the second half of the season with an injury leads BYU with a 4.41 kills per game average. The 2016 recipient of the Bryan Ivie Award also came off the bench and had five aces against Barton in the NCAA Tournament play-in match on Tuesday.
The United States under coach John Speraw returns to World League play following a bronze-medal finish at the 2016 Olympics.
Among the members of that bronze-medal team to be on this U.S. roster includes setter Micah Christensen, outside attacker Taylor Sander, outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke and libero Erik Shoji.
Of the 18 players on the preliminary roster, 14 will be on the U.S. active roster each World League weekend. The team will officially begin its training session next week at the American Sports Center in Anaheim, California.
U.S. preliminary roster (2017 World League)
Setter: Micah Christenson, USC
Setter: James Shaw, Stanford
Setter: Kawika Shoji, Stanford (captain)
Opposite: Ben Patch, BYU
Opposite: Carson Clark, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Jayson Jablonsky, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Thomas Jaeschke, Loyola
Outside attacker: Jake Langlois, BYU
Outside attacker: Garrett Muagututia, UCLA
Outside attacker: Taylor Sander, BYU
Middle attacker: Taylor Averill, Hawai’i
Middle attacker: Tommy Carmody, Pacific/Pepperdine
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Middle attacker: Dan McDonnell, UC Irvine
Middle attacker: David Smith, UC Irvine
Libero: Erik Shoji, Stanford
Libero: Dustin Watten, Long Beach State