Sports

Shoji brothers help Team USA even record in VNL competition

 
Kawika Shoji sets for Taylor Averill. Photo courtesy of FIVB

Torey Defalco scored 18 points on 15 kills and three blocks and the United States men's national volleyball team downed Germany 25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20 in a Volleyball Nations League match Saturday in Cannes, France.

Former Stanford standout Kawika Shoji stepped in as the full-time setter (the U.S. recorded a .556 hitting percentage) and contributed seven points on four kills, two blocks and a service ace. Erik Shoji shared libero duties with Larry Tuileta Jr.

"My teammates helped me out a lot with good passing," DeFalco said. "Kawika was running a great offense, which took the pressure off of me and I could just do my thing."

Benjamin Patch, the Americans leading scorer the previous four matches, was given the night off as the U.S. prepares to take on host France (6-2, 1-1) on Sunday. Argentina upset the French, tied for third with Brazil, in four sets.

The U.S. (4-4, 2-0), which lost four of its 15 matches in last year's inaugural VNL, won twice in the same city for the first time this season and is on a three-match winning streak.

The Americans improved to 10-7 against Germany in major world level competition by taking a measure of revenge for last year's three-set German sweep. The U.S. also moved into sixth place in the standings.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Volleyball

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