TULSA, Okla. (June 14, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team played strong at the net and held off a second-set rally by France as it defeated the European team, 25-15, 29-27, 25-16 on Friday in an FIVB World League match at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena.
The United States improved its record to 2-1 in Pool A while France fell to 0-3. The teams will play again at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena. (BUY TICKETS)
The U.S. led in kills (45-29), in blocks (10-3) and in aces 3-2. Setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) helped the U.S. to a 54.1 kill percent and a .435 hitting efficiency while France’s kill percent was 30.2 and its hitting efficiency was .115. The U.S. Men scored 24 points on France’s errors while they committed 20.
“In the beginning, our serving was a little rough; we had a lot of errors,” U.S. Team Captain Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) said. “But when we put the ball in we put pressure on them. Our block was huge tonight. I don’t remember very many balls that got past us without being touched.”
Anderson, who was named Player of the Match for the second straight World League match, led all scorers with 22 points on a match-high 17 kills (65.4 kill percent, .615 hitting efficiency), three blocks and two aces. Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) contributed 14 points on 14 kills and Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), who was making his 2013 World League debut, scored 13 points on seven kills and a match-high six blocks.
Marien Moreau and Kevin Le Roux each scored eight points for France. The U.S. held Earvin Ngapeth, France’s leading scorer going into the match, to five points.
Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.), in his first season as assistant coach for the U.S. Men, made his debut as head coach on Friday for John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.), who plans to return to the team on Saturday after dealing with a personal matter.
“It was an honor to be the head coach and the get a win was great,” Fuerbringer said. “I’m already thinking about tomorrow and what we need to do to keep the guys ready. I think we’re going to be in for a dog fight tomorrow, so we’re going to have to make some adjustments and do better in the areas where we didn’t do so well.”
In the second set, the U.S. led 18-14 when France scored on a U.S. serving error and two straight aces by Le Roux. Anderson scored with a kill from the back row and the U.S. reached set point first at 24-22. France tied the score on kills by Moreau and Ngapeth and a U.S. violation gave France set point, but Clark tied it with an attack. Team USA reached set point two more times before tying the score at 27-27 on France’s service error, then scoring on a kill by Clark and a tip from Anderson.
Among other U.S. scorers, Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) totaled seven points on seven kill and Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.), also making his 2013 World League debut, scored three points on one attack, one block and one ace.
Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) led the team in digs with eight. Anderson led the team in excellent reception with 24 and Lotman totaled 17.
Fuerbringer started Anderson and Lotman at outside hitter, Holmes and Holt at middle blocker, Clark at opposite, Kawika Shoji at setter and Erik Shoji at libero. Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) played as a substitute.
With the score tied 4-4, the USA scored on two straight blocks to take the lead. Team USA led 8-5 at the first technical timeout (TTO). After the break and a France kill from Hardy-Dessources, the U.S. came back with an Anderson kill and Holt block to lead 11-6 and France called timeout. The U.S. kept up the pressure and led 16-12 at the second TTO. With the U.S. leading 17-14, Holmes took the serve on a Holt block and served for five straight points, including an ace, to give the USA the 22-13 advantage. Team USA went on to win 25-15. Holt led all scorers with six points on one kill and five blocks.
The U.S. jumped to a 9-2 lead to open the second set. A kill by Le Roux and two U.S. errors made it 9-5. Team USA led 16-11 at the second TTO. With Team USA leading 18-14, France scored on a service error and two straight aces from Le Roux pulled the European side to within one at 18-17. Anderson responded with a back-row kill. With the U.S. leading 19-18, the US got three straight kills to lead 22-18. With the U.S. leading 23-19, France got three straight strikes from Ngapeth to pull to within one at 23-22. Team USA reached set point at 24-22 on an Anderson strike. France tied the score on kills by Moreau and Ngapeth and a U.S. violation gave France set point, but Clark tied it with an attack. Team USA reached set point two more times before tying the score at 27-27 on France’s service error, then scoring on a kill by Clark and a tip from Anderson.
With the European side deflated, The U.S. took a 9-2 lead to open the third set and France never threatened. The United States led 16-10 at the second TTO and eased its way to a 25-16 victory.
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: USA def. France 25-15, 29-27, 25-16
June 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