Five NCAA players make U.S. roster for Volleyball Nations League

Photo courtesy of Long Beach State athletics

Five current college men’s volleyball players will join the U.S. Men’s National Team at one of the biggest international tournaments of the year.

Long Beach State’s Mason Briggs, UCLA’s Ethan Champlin and Merrick McHenry, Ohio State’s Jacob Pasteur, and UC Irvine’s Francesco Sani were selected to the 30-player U.S. roster that was unveiled Friday for the upcoming FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

The FIVB Volleyball Nations League features the top 16 teams in the world competing initially in pool-play matches throughout the summer. The top eight teams at the end of the pool-play stage will advance to the finals.

All five U.S. college players ended the recent NCAA season earning All-American honors.


Briggs led the Big West and was fifth in the nation with a 2.38 digs per game average. In addition, Briggs was the only libero in the nation to earn All-American honors and helped lead the Beach to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Champlin finished the season in the top five of the MPSF with both a .349 attack percentage and a 0.36 aces per game average. The outside attacker also had 14 kills and hit .619 as UCLA swept Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

McHenry had a nation-best .526 attack percentage and was in the nation’s top 10 with a 1.05 blocks per game average. The middle attacker had double-digit kills in three postseason matches, including 11 kills on a .500 attack percentage to help UCLA beat Hawai’i in the NCAA Tournament finals.

Pasteur was in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.90 kills per game average and in the MIVA’s top five with a 1.70 digs per game average. The 2023 MIVA Player of the Year returns to the U.S. roster after competing in the Volleyball Nations League last year.

Sani ended last season in the nation’s top 15 averaging both 3.90 kills per game and 0.44 aces per game. The pin-hitter also had at least 20 kills in seven matches and helped the Anteaters reach the Big West Tournament finals.

The United States won the silver medal at the 2022 Volleyball Nations League after losing to France in five games in the championship match.

Each week during the pool-play stage the United States will play four matches at one location. The United States will be able to have 14 players on its active roster each week.

The team will play its first of 12 pool-play matches in the tournament as it faces the Netherlands on June 7 in Canada.