COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 2, 2013) – All the news about U.S. men’s volleyball players in the U.S. and around the world.
U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania), a 2004 and ’12 Olympian, and his Argentina league team Drean Bolívar won the 4 Team Super Cup on Dec. 22. Bolívar defeated Buenos Aires Unidos, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20. Suxho scored two points on two attacks and also set his team to a 52.8 kill percent and a .458 hitting efficiency.
U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), a 2012 Olympian, and his Russian Super League team Zenit Kazan fell to Belogorie Belgorod, 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23 in the final of the Cup of Russia on Dec. 31. Anderson started the first two sets and finished with three points on three kills. After the match, Kazan Head Coach Vladimir Alekno announced he would not return to coach the Russian men’s national team, which he led to the 2012 Olympic gold medal. To view photos from the match, click here.
U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian, and Jastrzębski Węgiel defeated U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian, and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, 25-23, 25-20, 27-25 on Dec. 22. Holmes finished with seven points on four kills and three aces. Lotman was one of the scoring leaders for his team with 14 points on 10 attacks, one block and three aces. He was also credited with 17 receptions, 41 percent positive. Węgiel is in third place in the league with a 10-3 record while Resovia Rzeszów is fifth at 8-5. To view photos from the match, click here.
U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), a 2008 Olympian, and his Turkish league team Arkas Izmir Spor remained undefeated with a 25-16, 25-13, 26-24 victory over Bursa Yenisehir Bld. S. on Dec. 22. Hansen substituted in the second set and started the third, helping the team to a 59.4 kill percent and a .507 hitting efficiency. Arkas Izmir Spor leads the league.
U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.), a 2004 Olympian, and Istanbul BBSK, fell to Fenerbahce Grundig, 25-18, 25-20, 25-19 on Dec. 23. Billings led his team with 14 points on 13 kills and one ace. Istanbul is in fifth place in the league.
U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian, and his French league team Tours lost their first match of the season on Dec. 18 to AS Cannes, the French league team of U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and middle blocker Matt Rawson (Los Angeles). Cannes defeated Tours, 25-21, 13-25, 25-27, 26-24, 15-11. Tarr finished with 14 points on 13 kills and one block. Rawson started the first three sets and added seven points on seven kills. Smith scored 12 points on five kills, five blocks and two aces for Tours.
Tours came back with a win over Sète, 25-29, 23-25, 25-22, 25-22 on Dec. 29. Smith scored 10 points on eight attacks and two blocks. Cannes also won its next match over Avignon, 14-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-17 on Dec. 30. Tarr scored 13 points on 10 kills, one block and two aces. Rawson started all four sets and added 10 points on seven attacks and three blocks.
U.S. libero Alfee Reft (Oxnard, Calif.) made his debut with Montpelier on Dec. 18 as it fell to Rennes, 25-23, 25-20, 25-17. Reft was credited with 15 receptions, 93 percent positive. U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) scored 10 points on 10 attacks. On Dec. 29, Montpellier lost a close match to Paris, 19-25, 20-25, 25-21, 28-26, 15, 11. Clark scored 13 points on 13 attacks. Reft was credited with 23 receptions, 61 percent positive.
U.S. middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) and his French team Toulouse defeated Beauvais, 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 15-7 on Dec. 18. Hein scored nine points on five attacks, three blocks and one ace. Toulouse fell to Ajaccio, 27-25, 25-22, 25-23 on Dec. 29. Hein scored seven points on five attacks and two blocks.
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 Nice, 27-25, 25-22, 25-18 on Dec. 29. Vance scored 10 points on 10 attacks (58.8 kill percent, .588 hitting efficiency). He was also credited with 17 receptions, 71 percent positive. Scott added five points on three kills and two blocks. He was credited with 19 receptions, 89 percent positive. Watten was credited with 16 receptions, 79 percent positive.
The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), a 2008 Olympian, and setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), defeated VfB Friedrichshafen, which includes U.S. middle blocker Matt Denmark (Edmond, Okla.), 25-17, 21-25, 28-30, 25-20, 15-13 on Dec. 22. Touzinsky started the first three sets and scored one point on one kill. He was also credited with 19 receptions, 42 percent positive. Shoji started the first four sets and substituted in the fifth. He scored three points on three attacks and also helped set the team to a 44.6 kill percent and a .375 hitting efficiency. Denmark started the third and fourth sets and scored eight points on seven kills and one block.
U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and his Puerto Rico league team Plataneros de Corozal fell to the Capitanes de Arecibo, 4-1 in matches, in the semifinals of the league championships. Patak led his team in scoring in all five matches. In the fourth match, he led all scorers with 40 points on 36 kills, two blocks and two aces as Corozal fell to Arecibo, 25-15, 24-26, 25-19, 27-29, 15-13. In the fifth match, Patak scored 34 points on 30 attacks and four aces as Corozal fell to Arecibo, 18-25, 25-14, 25-13, 19-25, 15-12. To view photos from Puerto Rico league matches, click here.
In Italy’s Serie A league, U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Copra Elior Piacenza defeated CMC Ravenna, including U.S. middle blocker Ryan Jay Owens (Evanston, Ill.), 23-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 on Dec. 22. Holt scored 10 points on six attacks and four blocks. Owens scored 10 points on five kills, three blocks and two aces.
U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) led Andreoli Latina with 20 points as it fell to Sir Safety Perugia, 15-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-23 on Dec. 22. Troy scored on 14 attacks, four blocks and two aces.
U.S. outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and his Slovenian team ACH Volley Ljubljana, which competes in the Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association, defeated Slovakia’s Unicef Bratislava 25-18, 27-25, 25-21 on Dec. 22. Jablonsky scored 11 points on 11 kills.