United States knocks off France, advances to VNL semifinals

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

Opposite Matt Anderson once again came through for the United States in a critical match.

Anderson finished with a match-high 20 kills on a .486 attack percentage as the United States defeated France 25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 24-26, 15-9 in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League quarterfinals on Wednesday in Poland.

The three-time Olympian and former Penn State All-American had two kills in the decisive fifth game, including a kill to tie the game at 5-5. Anderson also had an ace to cap off a 5-1 run late in the game and help secure the victory.


Setter Micah Christenson guided the U.S. offense to out-hit France .360 to .309 with the team having a .400 attack percentage and committing one error in the final game.

Along with Anderson, the United States had two more pin-hitters with double-digit kills against the defending Olympic gold medalists.

Former Loyola outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke had 14 kills on a .300 attack percentage. In addition, former Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco contributed 10 kills.

The United States with this victory will advance to face Italy in the semifinals. Italy swept Argentina in its quarterfinals match on Wednesday.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams during the tournament. DeFalco had a team-high nine kills as the United States swept Italy in the opening week of the preliminary round.