| Tony Ciarelli receives the ball as Erik Shoji watches on June 7 in Wichita, Kan.
TULSA, Okla. (June 11, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will face a familiar foe this weekend in Tulsa when it meets France in its second weekend of pool play action in the 2013 FIVB World League.
France and the United States battled for pool supremacy in 2012, with Team USA needing a final-match victory over Italy to advance to the Final Round, where it finished second.
But it is a new year and the U.S. and France will both bring new teams into their matches on June 14 and 15 at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena in Oklahoma. (BUY TICKETS)
The United States, ranked fifth in the world, went 1-1 against Argentina in its first two World League matches in Wichita, Kan. After losing the first match, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24, the U.S. came back to defeat the South Americans, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-16.
“I think in general, this team has better team chemistry than the team did last year,” U.S. coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) said. “They are all similar ages. They all know each other really well. Even when things weren’t going very well, I never felt like they were getting down on each other.”
France, ranked 15th in the world, lost its first two World League matches to visiting Bulgaria – 25-21, 14-2, 25-21, 25-22, 15-11 and 26-24, 31-29, 25-20.
“I’ve seen some very interesting and promising things on my side,” France’s coach Laurent Tillie said. “We need to keep our confidence on a high level to continue to improve.”
Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led the USA in scoring over the first weekend, finishing with 25 points on 19 kills, three blocks and three aces. Outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth led France against Bulgaria with 28 points on 23 attacks and five aces.
France’s outside hitter Julien Lyneel leads all World League players in spikes with a success percentage of 65.6.
U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) ranks among the World League leaders on blocks with nine and an average of 1.13 per set.
Ngapeth ranks second among all World League players in aces with an average of .63 per set while U.S. opposite Carson Clark is third with an average of .50 per set.
Anderson is listed second among World League receivers with an efficiency percentage of 71.11. U.S. outside hitter Tony Ciarelli (ranks third with an efficiency percentage of 70.45.
2013 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team
12-Man Roster for FIVB World League on June 14-15 in Tulsa, Okla.
No. - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
6 - Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7 - Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
9 - Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
10 - Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., Southern California)
11 - Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 - Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
15 - Carson Clark (Opp, 6-8, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17 – Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
18 - Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
20 - David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
22 - Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
Head Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Team Manager: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Sealy (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Andrea Becker (Martinez, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Physiotherapist/Athletic trainer: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Technical Coordinator: Anton Willert (Berlin, Germany)
Doctor: Stephen Daquino (San Diego, Calif.)
2013 U.S. Men’s World League Schedule
June 7: Argentina def. USA, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24
June 8: USA def. Argentina, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-16
June 14-15: France at USA, Tulsa Convention Center Arena in Tulsa, Okla. BUY TICKETS
June 28-29: Bulgaria at USA, Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev. BUY TICKETS
July 5: USA at Poland, Spodek in Katowice, Poland
July 7: USA at Poland, Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Poland
July 13-14: USA at Brazil, Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro