Recent Stanford graduate Kyle Dagostino returned to action with the United States men's senior volleyball team this weekend and was part of a winning effort Saturday as the starting Libero in a 14-25, 25-20, 29-27, 26-24 victory over Serbia in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Dagostino has effectively been playing volleyball non-stop since Stanford opened its season on Jan. 4. He was one of two players, with former U.S. national program player Jordan Ewert, to play in all 96 sets, racking up 200 digs on the season or 2.08 per set to help the Cardinal compile a 15-11 overall record.
The Tampa resident earned All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors for the first time in May and was subsequently named an All-American honorable mention by VolleyballMag.com.
Dagostino was one of several backups to play against Serbia as the Americans (8-6, 1-1) continue planning for the Volleyball Nations League Finals in Chicago, which begin July 10.
Garrett Muahugutia led the U.S. with 14 points on nine kills, two blocks and three aces. Kyle Russell followed with 11 kills and a pair of blocks.
"In the first set we missed a couple of serves," said USA's Jeffrey Jendryk, who had 12 points. "Toward the end we found our rhythm which gave us more confidence and more energy. The third set was really close. We served really aggressively, took them off their system, made them play against double or triple blocks. Until the end we stayed together as a team and it paid off. We are looking forward to play Iran. They are a great team and we want to show them what we got."
Sunday's match with the second-place Iranians is the final VNL preliminary match before the Finals.
It was Dagistino's second stint with the U.S. national team. He also joined the Americans in Russia. Dagostino also played with the U.S. Pan American Cup team in Mexico, helping it place fifth.
U.S. mainstays and Stanford products Erik Shoji and Kawika Shoji were given the weekend off and several other starters were rested.