Three Bruins Named to Volleyball Nations League Roster
Three UCLA Bruins – Merrick McHenry (UCLA 2020-present), Garrett Muagututia (UCLA 2007-10) and Mitch Stahl (UCLA 2014-17) -- were included on the 25-player U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team roster for the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2022 competition in an announcement made on Friday by USA Volleyball. The U.S. Men will be coached by John Speraw as his squad takes the initial steps to prepare for the Paris Olympic Games 2024 in this year's VNL competition. The U.S. will open the VNL Preliminary Round in Brasilia, Brazil, before moving on to Sofia, Bulgaria and Osaka, Japan. The men's VNL final round will he July 20-24 in Bologna, Italy. Fourteen players will be selected from the 25-man list (see below) to participate on each week's travel roster.
The full USA Volleyball release is posted online at https://go.usav.org/51322MNT
"At the beginning of every quad, there's an opportunity to look at young players who could be Team USA contributors," Speraw said. "There is a short period before the Paris Olympic Games, and this is the time for us to evaluate young talent." The U.S. Men are ranked No. 7 in the world. They placed seventh at the 2021 VNL after finishing second in 2019.
McHenry, a current member of the UCLA men's volleyball team, is a 6-7 middle blocker from Bedford, Texas (L.D. Bell HS). He was a 2022 first-team NVA/AVCA All-America and first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) selection as well as a finalist for the Ryan Millar Award as the nation's top middle attacker. McHenry ranked third in the NCAA in hitting percentage at .523 this past season after hitting at least .500 in 18 matches. He finished 14th in the NCAA in blocks per set (0.97) average. His .523 attack percentage is the third-best by a Bruin player in a season with at least 300 attacks. In 2021, McHenry rated 12th in the nation in hitting percentage (.423) and 18th in blocks per set (1.02) while earning honorable mention AVCA All-America honors. He represented the U.S. in last year's NORCECA Continental Championships and the Pan Am Cup.
A 6-5 outside hitter from Oceanside, Calif. (Francis Parker HS), Muagututia made his debut with the U.S. Men's National Team in 2011 at the Pan American Cup. He has played professionally in Spain, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Poland, China, Portugal and Greece. In 2019, Muagututia was a member of the U.S. team which captured the bronze medal at the FIVB World Cup, brought home the silver medal at the FIVB Nation's League and helped the U.S. earn a trip to Tokyo at the FIVB Men's Volleyball Qualification Tournament. He was selected to the 12-man team that competed for the U.S. at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
At UCLA, Muagututia earned second-team All-America honors in multiple seasons (2010, 2008). He led the Bruins in kills as a senior (446) and finished his career with 71 double-digit kill matches, 19 double-doubles and 99 aces. Muagututia ended his Bruin playing days as the rally scoring era school leader in block solos (44) for a career and in second-place on the all-time kills list (1,473).
Stahl is a 6-8 middle blocker from Chambersburg, Pa. (Chambersburg, Pa. HS) who has been with the U.S. Men's National Team since 2015. He has played professionally in France and Belgium. Stahl saw his first action for the U.S. team in the 2015 Pan American Games. In 2019, he was a member of the 2019 FIVB World Cup squad which won the bronze medal and the U.S. team which earned a trip to Tokyo at the FIVB Tokyo Men's Volleyball Qualification Tournament. He was a member of the 12-man squad that represented the U.S. at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Stahl was a four-year starter at UCLA who finished his career No. 2 all-time on the service ace list (129) and No. 3 on both the block assists (322) and career total blocks (345) lists. In his senior season, he ranked seventh in the nation in aces and 10th in blocks. Stahl was a second-team All-America selection in 2016 and 2017.
U.S. Men's National Team Roster for 2022 Volleyball Nations League
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
5 Kyle Ensing (OPP, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA)
7 Jacob Pasteur (OH, 6-4, Westminster, Md., Ohio State)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
9 Jake Hanes (OPP, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State)
10 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Florida, Stanford)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California)
13 Patrick Gasman (MB, 6-10, Clovis, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii)
14 Quinn Isaacson (S, 6-2, Plainfield, Ill., Ball State)
15 Kyle Russell (OPP, 6-9, Loomis, Calif., UC Irvine)
16 Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21 Mason Briggs (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22 Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
23 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton)
24 Brett Wildman (OH, 6-5, Virginia Beach, Va., Penn State)
25 Will Rottman (OH, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., Stanford)
26 Merrick McHenry (MB, 6-7, Bedford, Texas, UCLA)
27 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis)
31 Spencer Olivier (OH, 6-6, Tustin, Calif., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matthew Fuerbringer, Mike Wall
U.S. Men's Schedule for the 2022 VNL (All times PDT)
All matches to be shown on VolleyballWorld.tv
Preliminary Round 1 – Brasilia, Brazil
June 7 at 5 p.m.
USA vs Slovenia
June 9 at 2 p.m.
USA vs Netherlands
June 10 at 2 p.m.
USA vs Japan
June 11 at 11 a.m.
USA vs Brazil
Preliminary Round 2 – Sofia, Bulgaria
June 22 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Serbia
June 23 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Iran
June 25 at 10 a.m.
USA vs Bulgaria
June 26 at 6:30 a.m.
USA vs Poland
Preliminary Round 3 – Osaka, Japan
July 4 at 11 p.m.
USA vs Germany
July 6 at 8 p.m.
USA vs France
July 8 at 11:40 p.m.
USA vs Canada
July 9 at 8:40 p.m.
USA vs Argentina
Final Round – Bologna, Italy