U.S. Men's Update: Challenge Cup Champions
3-20: Max Holt, center blocker, puts up a triple block for Copra Elior Piacenza during the finals of the CEV Challenge Cup
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 1, 2013) – All the news about U.S. men’s volleyball players in the U.S. and around the world.
CEV CHALLENGE CUP CHAMPION
U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Italy’s Copra Elior Piacenza won the finals of the CEV Challenge Cup, sweeping Russia’s Ural Ufa in matches at home and away. On March 20, visiting Piacenza defeated Ufa, 25-12, 25-22, 32-30. Holt finished with eight points on two kills, three blocks and a match-high three aces. On March 24, host Piacenza beat Ufa, 25-22, 25-18, 25-16. Holt scored nine points on four attacks, two blocks and three aces.
WORLD LEAGUE UPDATE
Tickets for all three U.S. stops for the 2013 FIVB World League are now on sale. For information on how to purchase tickets, click here.
The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will play Argentina on June 7-8 at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan. It will play France on June 14-15 at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena in Reno Nev. It will play Bulgaria on June 28-29 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev.
The FIVB has announced that the city of Mar del Plata in Argentina will host the Final Round of the 2013 World League on July 17-21 in the Islas Malvinas competition hall, which seats around 8’000 spectators. The Final Round will feature the top two teams from pools A and B, the winners of pool C and the host nation. As Argentina is in Pool A and is already among the qualified teams, the best ranked team of pool A – not already qualified – will be selected.
The FIVB has also announced that Portugal will replace Egypt in Pool C of the 2013 World League. Egypt withdrew from the World League citing difficulty in complying with the regulations.
In Italy’s Serie A league playoffs, U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and Andreoli Latina won a best-of-three series against U.S. setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Altotevere San Giustino with a 25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 25-16, 17-15 victory on March 24. Troy started all five sets and led all scorers with 25 points on 24 kills and one block. McKibbin started four out of five sets (and substituted in the other) and scored two points on one kill and one block. He also set the team to a 45.2 kill percent and a .355 hitting efficiency.
Troy and Latina moved on to the quarterfinals where they are playing Cucine Lube Banca Marche Macerata. Host Latina won the first match of the series, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-12 on March 27. Troy was named the match MVP as he scored 19 points on 16 attacks, one block and two aces. Macerata came back to win the second match, 25-23, 25-23, 26-24 on March 31. Troy led his team with 15 points on 14 attacks and one block.
Max Holt also took MVP honors in the playoff quarterfinals as Piacenza defeated Sir Safety Perugia, 25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23 on March 28. Holt finished the match with 14 points on seven attacks (58.3 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency), two blocks and a match-high five aces. Piacenza defeated Perugia again on April 1, 25-16, 29-27, 25-16. Holt scored six points on one kill, a match-high four blocks and one ace.
U.S. outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and BCC-NEB Castellana Grotte ended their season with a 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-23 loss to visiting Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia in the first round of the playoffs on March 24. Menzel played as a substitute in the match and scored four points on three kills (75.0 kill percent, .750 hitting efficiency) and one ace.
In Italy’s Serie A2 league, U.S. outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) and Sieco Service Ortona finished the regular season in eighth place with a 12-12 record. Ortona will start the playoff quarterfinals on March 31 against Globo Banca Popolare Del Frusinate Sora.
U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), a 2008 Olympian, setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and the German league team the Berlin Recycling Volleys have advanced to the semifinals of the German league playoffs after defeating VC Dresden 2-0 in a best-of-three match series. Berlin won the second match between the two teams, 25-10, 25-22, 25-10. In the first match of the semifinals, Berlin defeated TV Ingersoll Bühl, 25-14, 25-19, 25-19. Touzinsky scored two points on two attacks. He was also credited with 14 receptions, 57 percent positive. Shoji scored three points on one kill and two blocks. He also set Berlin to a 50.7 kill percent and a .465 hitting efficiency. To view a photo gallery, click here. The two teams will play again on March 4.
U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania), a 2004 and ’12 Olympian, and Drean Bolívar have advanced to the semifinals of the Argentina league playoffs. Bolívar clinched a quarterfinal victory with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-15 victory over PSM Voley on March 23. Suxho scored three points on one kill, one block and one ace. He set Bolívar to a 59.7 kill percent and a .548 hitting efficiency. Bolívar will play the UPCN San Juan Voley Club in the semifinals, which begin April 1.
U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian, and his Polish league team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów have advanced to the finals of the PlusLiga playoffs, where they will play ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle. Resovia Rzeszów won its final two quarterfinal matches to advance. On March 24, Resovia Rzeszów defeated Delecta Bydgoszcz, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-23. Lotman scored 15 points on 13 kills (59.1 kill percent, .545 hitting efficiency), one block and one ace. He was credited with 39 receptions, 54 percent positive. To view photos from the match, click here. On March 25, Resovia Rzeszów defeated Delecta Bydgoszcz, 21-25, 25-21, 30-28, 26-24. Lotman scored 11 points on seven kills, two blocks and two aces. He was credited with 47 receptions, 55 percent positive. To view photos from the match, click here. The finals will begin on April 7.
U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian, and Jastrzębski Węgiel fell in the semifinals and will now play Delecta Bydgoszcz for third place. On March 28, Węgiel fell to Kędzierzyn-Koźle, 18-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-6. Holmes scored 12 points on nine attacks (64.3 kill percent, .643 hitting efficiency), two blocks and one ace. To view photos from the match, click here. On March 29, Kędzierzyn-Koźle defeated Węgiel, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20, 25-13. Holmes started the first three sets and scored five points on four attacks (66.7 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency) and one block. To view photos from the match, click here. The third-place matches will begin on April 8.
U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), a 2008 Olympian, and Arkas Izmir Spor finished the regular season in first place in the Turkish league.
U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), a 2004, ’08 and ’12 Olympian, and Halkbank Ankara finished the regular season in second place, just behind Izmir. Ankara won its final regular season match against Cankaya Balediyesi Anka, 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 on March 23. Priddy started the third set and scored two points on one attack and one block. Priddy and Ankara also won the Turkish Cup on March 31, defeating Hansen and Izmir in the final.
U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.), a 2004 Olympian, and Istanbul BBSK finished the regular season in fifth place. On March 23, Istanbul defeated Fenerbahce Grundig, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23. Billings led his team with 13 points on 12 attacks (50.0 kill percent, .375 hitting efficiency) and one block. Billings and Istanbul won the bronze medal at the Turkish Cup on March 31.
U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian, and the French league team Tours finished the regular season in first place in the league with a 22-4 record. In the final regular season match on March 23, Tours defeated Sete, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-19. Smith started the first three sets and scored seven points on six kills (75.0 kill percent, .625 hitting efficiency) and one block. Tours defeated Toulouse in the final of the French Cup on March 30, 29-27, 25-22, 20-25, 25-22.
Cannes, the French league team of U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and middle blocker Matt Rawson (Los Angeles), finished seventh with a 14-12 record. In the final regular season match, Cannes fell to Avignon, 26-24, 25-22, 25-22. Rawson did not play in the match. Tarr, who returned from an injury, started the third set and did not score.
U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.), libero Alfee Reft (Oxnard, Calif.) and Montpellier finished the regular season in ninth place with a 12-14 record. In their final match of the season, Montpellier fell to Paris, 25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-10. Clark led his team with 27 points on 22 attacks (50.0 kill percent, .409 hitting efficiency), one block and a match-high four aces.
Toulouse, the French league team of U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.), finished the regular season in 12th place. Toulouse won its final regular season match with a 25-27, 25-12, 30-28, 25-22 victory over GFCO Ajaccio. Patak led his team with 20 points on 18 kills and two blocks. Hein added 12 points on three kills, and a match-high nine blocks.
The French league playoffs begin with the quarterfinals on April 2-3. Tours will play Rennes and Cannes will face Sete.
In France’s B league, AS Orange Nassau, including U.S. libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and outside hitters Damien Scott (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) defeated Calais, 25-21, 25-22, 25-21 on March 23. Vance scored nine points on five attacks and a match-high four aces. Scott scored five points on five attacks. He was credited with 26 receptions, 88 percent positive. Watten was credited with 16 receptions, 88 percent positive.
U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), a 2012 Olympian, and his Russian Super League team Zenit Kazan finished the regular season in first place with a 19-3 record. Kazan won its final regular season match on March 27 with a 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 22-25, 15-12 victory over Lokomotiv Belogorie Belgorod. Anderson started the third, fourth and fifth sets and finished with 22 points on 21 attacks (65.6 kill percent, .625 hitting efficiency) and one block. To view photos from the match, click here. Kazan is awaiting its first playoff opponent. Its first playoff match is scheduled for April 13.
The Finnish team Raision Loimu, which includes U.S. opposite Dean Bittner (Lakewood, Calif.), middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and outside hitter Jordan Dufault (Lakewood, Calif.), finished its season after losing to Pielaveden Sampo, 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs. In the final match on March 24, Loimu fell 28-26, 25-19, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12. Bittner, who had suffered an ankle injury near the end of the regular season, started all five sets and led his team with 27 points on 24 kills, two blocks and one ace. McDonnell added 15 points on eight attacks (61.5 kill percent, .615 hitting efficiency), five blocks and two aces. DeFault scored 10 points on nine attacks and one block.