U.S. men win fourth straight in FIVB volleyball league


After experimenting with different lineups the first two weeks of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, it appears the U.S. men's national team has settled into a rotation and it was effective over the weekend in Cannes, France.

The Americans completed a weekend sweep with a 23-25, 25-22, 28-26, 27-25 victory over France on Sunday as five players reached double figures in points.

Taylor Sander led the way with 16 on 14 kills and a pair of blocks. Garrett Muagututia recorded 13 kills and a block, David Smith added 13 on six kills, five blocks and two aces.

Maxwell Holt followed with 11 on five kills, three blocks and three aces and Benjamin Patch added 10 kills for all his points. Micah Christenson started at setter and former Stanford All-American Erik Shoji played libero.

The U.S. brings a four-match winning streak into this weekend's matches against Canada, China and Japan, to be played at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates, a city near Chicago.

The Americans (5-4, 3-0) are currently in sixth place with 16 points, though they're already guaranteed a spot in the finals by virtue of being the host nation. France (6-3, 1-2) is in fifth with 19 points.

Iran (24), Brazil (22), Italy (21) and Russia (20) occupy the top four spots. The U.S. has already played every team ahead of it, with the exception of Iran, which also has France on its future schedule.

The U.S. meets Japan at 6 p.m. Friday. Canada and China meet at 3 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/FIVB

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