DeFalco, U.S. overpower Poland to advance to FIVB VNL gold-medal match

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

TJ DeFaclo served the United States right into the gold-medal match of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

The former Long Beach State outside attacker had a match-high six aces as the United States swept Poland 25-22, 25-23, 25-13 in the semifinals on Sunday in Italy.

This serving performance was two fewer combined aces than DeFalco had through his first nine matches at the international tournament. DeFalco also had more aces than the entire Poland team in the sweep and helped the United States finish with nine aces – five more aces than Poland.


The United States had five players with more than five kills against Poland.

Former Penn State outside attacker Aaron Russell had a team-high nine kills, while former Long Beach State opposite Kyle Ensing added eight kills on a team-best .467 attack percentage. In addition, DeFalco and middle attackers Jeff Jendryk and David Smith each had six kills.

Poland opposite Bartosz Kurek in the loss led all players with 10 kills.

The United States with this win will advance to play France in the gold-medal match on Sunday. France swept the host-nation Italy in the other semifinal match on Sunday.

This will be the second meeting between the United States and France this month. The United States rallied from a one-game deficit to beat France in five games during the preliminary round.