Diana Mae Salonoy

The United States made quick work of world champion Italy, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19), to face hosts Poland in its third Volleyball Nations League (VNL) gold medal match in Gdansk, Sunday (PhST).

Photo Courtesy of Volleyball Nations League

Imposing their veteran presence, the Americans left no mercy by leading all match long while also holding Italy under 20 points en route to the semifinal win.

Thirty-six-year-old Matt Anderson led all scorers with 17 points behind 64% attack efficiency. He found support in 29-year-old Thomas Jaeschke with 16 points, two blocks, and two aces, and Torey Defalco, aged 26, who added 11.

"Several things worked well on our side tonight," quipped Jaeschke. "I felt that at the end of sets, the score got a little wider than it actually was."

"We played well within our system and didn't worry too much when they made good plays, that was the biggest thing."

It was indeed the biggest thing as the Americans scorched hot in kills (44-33) and blocking departments (10-6). The USA also took advantage of its 18 opponent errors while keeping Italian scorers below the double-digit mark.

Allesandro Michieletto paced the world champs with nine points, Daniele Lavia and Gianluca Galassi combined for 18, and Italy will face Japan on Monday to hopefully secure bronze.

Meanwhile, Americans are set to face Poland and its thunderous Ergo Arena crowd in the final for another shot at their maiden VNL title.

The United States lost twice in the league finals: the first one against Russia (2019) and last year against Olympic champions France.

In this edition, Jaeschke and the USA hope to finally flip the script against Polska.

"There will be about 10,000 people cheering for Poland in the final, so it should be a good match," Jaeschke said post-game.

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre