Christenson and De Cecco enjoy victorious VNL debuts
The star setters help USA and Argentina prevail against Germany and Canada in Osaka
Published 02:39, 05 Jul 2022
The two had an immediate positive impact on their teams, with the 29-year-old Christenson leading USA to a 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18) victory against Germany, and the 34-year-old De Cecco helping Argentina secure a four-set (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23) triumph over Canada on the first day of competition in Osaka, Japan.
With Christenson taking on the setting duties for the first time this season, the Americans outscored the Germans in kills (59 to 47), blocks (four to three) and aces (seven to two) to secure their seventh win in nine matches in the VNL.
“It’s great to be back with the guys,” Christenson said after the match. “That’s the part that you miss the most, the competition with your brothers. It wasn’t as clean as we’d like, but that’s part of the process. We’re happy to get off the court with a 3-1 victory and we still have things to work on, which is great. It was great to see all the new faces do an excellent job over the first two weeks and now to re-join them.”
Micah Christenson Assists (USA vs. Germany)
The Americans will be back on the court on Thursday, at 12.00 local time (3.00 GMT), when they will face reigning Olympic champions France.
The best setter of last year’s Tokyo Olympics, De Cecco returned to Japan in great style, tallying a block and an ace and registering 41 successful sets against Canada in a match in which Argentina dominated in blocks (seven to four) and aces (four to three), but also benefited from Canadian mistakes (41 to 29) to come out on top.
“It’s really awesome to be back in the VNL,” De Cecco commented. “I really missed playing with this team and I’m really happy with our game today. We can still play better in some situations, but this is a new team, so we’re trying to keep things organised so everyone can give their best. We just kept calm and continued to compete.”
The Argentineans hope De Cecco’s presence helps the team move up in the standings and become one of the eight teams that will compete in the VNL Finals – they are currently tenth with three wins. Argentina’s next match will be on Friday, at 12.40 local time (3.40 GMT), against Australia.