Men's national team head coach John Speraw and USA Volleyball recently released a preliminary roster for the 2017 FIVB World League competition, which runs from June 2 to July 8.
A number of the players on the 18-man roster are still in college or recent college graduates. Speraw highlighted his desire to give young players experience and provide much-needed rest for some of the veterans, including 2016 Olympians Matt Anderson and Max Holt.
Get to know some of the young players on the preliminary roster, some of whom are making their first preliminary World League roster.
Taylor Averill, Middle Blocker
A former University of Hawaii middle blocker, Averill graduated in 2015 after ranking second nationally in hitting percentage his senior year and earning first-team All-American honors. The 6-foot-7 San Jose native has been playing professionally in Italy since leaving UH and currently plays for SSCD Pallavolo Padova. This is Averill's first time making a World League preliminary roster.
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Tommy Carmody, Middle Blocker
Carmody lettered three seasons at Pacific before the university cut its men's volleyball program in 2014. After missing the 2015 season as he completed his engineering degree, Carmody returned to the college game as a graduate transfer at Pepperdine. In his final season, the 6-9 middle blocker ranked second nationally in total blocks and blocks per set and earned honorable mention All-American honors. He currently plays professionally in Finland for Vammalan Lentopallo.
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Jeff Jendryk, Middle Blocker
Jendryk, a rising senior at Loyola Chicago, made waves in the college scene from the minute he stepped on the court for the Ramblers. The 2015 AVCA Newcomer of the Year was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 national championship match in which Loyola defeated Lewis 3-2, thanks in large part to Jendryk's 17 kills and nine blocks. The Illinois native played for the men's national team at the Pan Am Cup in 2015 and 2016, but this is his first time being named to a World League preliminary roster.
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Jake Langlois, Outside Hitter
A 6-10 outside hitter, Langlois barely saw the court in his freshman season at BYU, but by the next spring, he was a key member of the Cougars squad, leading the team in kills his sophomore and senior seasons and ranking second on the team as a junior. Earlier this month, Langlois led his team to the national championship match for the second consecutive season. The San Jose native played for Team USA at the Pan Am Cup in 2015.
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James Shaw, Setter
The former Stanford setter Shaw is no stranger to a Team USA jersey, having played for the boys' youth and junior national teams in the past as well as making preliminary men's national team rosters and serving as an alternate for the 2016 Olympics. A 6-8 first-team All-American, Shaw has been playing professionally for Pallavolo Padova in Italy since graduating from Stanford.
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Ben Patch, Opposite
Like Jendryk, Patch made an immediate impact on his college team from the moment he got on campus. In his freshman season at BYU, Patch started every match and earned the 2013 AVCA Newcomer of the Year and first-team All-American honors and ranked second on the team in kills and blocks. The 6-9 opposite returned to the court in 2016 after a two-year mission, earning his second first-team All-American designation. Although only a junior in eligibility, Patch has decided to forgo his final season at BYU to train with the national team and play professionally.
Photo by Joseph Maiorana/USA Today Sports
TJ DeFalco, Outside Hitter
Despite being the youngest guy on the roster, DeFalco is not a newcomer to the national team. The Long Beach State outside hitter who just finished his sophomore season made the 2015 World League preliminary roster and played in the Pan Am Games in 2015, in addition to being a member of the youth and junior national teams. The recently crowned 2017 AVCA National Player of the Year even represented Team USA on the beach at the 2014 U19 World Championships.
Complete U.S. Men's 2017 FIVB World League Preliminary Roster1. Tommy Carmody (MB, 6-9, Orland Park, IL, Pacific/Pepperdine)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, CA, BYU)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, IL, Loyola of Chicago)
5. James Shaw (S, 6-8, Woodside, CA, Stanford)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford) *captain
9. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, CA, BYU)
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, IL, Loyola of Chicago)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
13. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, AZ, UC Irvine)
14. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, CA, UC Irvine)
16. Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, CA, UC Irvine)
17. TJ DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, CA, Long Beach State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, CA, UCLA)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, CA, Hawaii)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, CA, UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, CA, Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
World League Schedule
Pool B1 | Novi Sad, SerbiaJune 2 vs. Serbia
June 3 vs. Egypt
June 4 vs. Belgium
Pool F1 | Pau, FranceJune 9 vs. Italy
June 10 vs. Russia
June 11 vs. France
Pool H1 | Katowice and Lodz, PolandJune 15 vs. Iran
June 17 vs. Russia
June 18 vs. Poland