international volleyball

USA’s Micah Christenson brings home lessons, fun VNL experience

Philip Matel

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USA’s Micah Christenson brings home lessons, fun VNL experience

CROWD DARLING. Team USA star Micah Christenson takes a selfie with Filipino fans after a VNL game.

Micah Christenson Instagram page

Micah Christenson and Team USA get a big boost from their ‘incredible’ experience in the VNL Manila leg as they now turn their attention to the Paris Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – After wrapping up their campaign in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), skipper Micah Christenson and Team USA shift their full focus on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

And they’re bringing with them new learnings on their team and loads of memories with Manila fans.

“[We’re] gonna need everybody at the Olympics, so from the top-down, we’re gonna need everybody on this team,” said Christenson.

“So to be able to have the ability to give them (younger players) experience in a big game, in a sold-out crowd [just like in our last VNL game] against Japan, is a wonderful experience,” the 31-year-old setter added.

USA closed its VNL campaign with a loss to fellow crowd favorite Japan, 25-20, 25-23, 25-19, on Sunday, June 23, at the packed Mall of Asia Arena.

With the win, Japan claimed its first win over the US after 19 tries, to stay inside the top eight with a fourth-best 9-3 record and advance to the playoff round in Poland next week.

The Americans, meanwhile, bowed out of the tournament with a 5-7 card at 12th place.

“I think we pushed really hard, we showed our level in a lot of the sets, but towards the end of the sets, Japan really turned their serving pressure on, especially (Kent) Miyaura… he came in with some really big serves, and compliments to Japan for those moments,” said Christenson.  

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Although USA and Japan stars played sparingly as the reserves took center stage in the no-bearing match attended by 12,424 fans, Christenson again thanked the Filipinos for their immense support throughout the tournament.

“Incredible. It was capped off with an incredible crowd, the last game up here in Manila, so wish we could’ve made it a little longer of a match,”  said Christenson.

“But at the same time it was good volleyball. It was really good volleyball out there on the court – really proud of our guys and how we fought and how we battled,” he added.

“So now, we’re just gonna keep learning from our experience. But our trip in Manila was a great success based on our experience.” 



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