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Apr 04 U.S. Mens Update: Tony Talks

By BJ Evans | April 04, 2014, 5:10 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 4, 2014) – U.S. outside hitter Tony Ciarelli, 23, found success at both indoor and beach volleyball throughout his career until he decided to play indoors full time in 2013. We caught up with him last summer to discuss that decision and also to find out what he was reading.

Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) has been training at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., over the winter

PLAY IN THE USA

There will be several opportunities for fans to see the U.S. Men’s National Team play in the United States this summer.

On May 15-18, the U.S. Men and U.S. Women will compete at the NORCECA World Championship Qualifiers at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The U.S. Men will compete against teams from Guatemala, Haiti and St. Lucia for the opportunity to compete at the FIVB World Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland.

For more information, click here.

Immediately following the World Championship Qualifier, the U.S. Men will head to Bulgaria to begin their 2014 FIVB World League campaign.

The U.S. Men will play three World League matches in the United States this year: June 6-7 against Russia at the Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.; June 13-14 against Serbia at the University of Illinois at Chicago and June 20-21 against Bulgaria at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

HASSLING THE HOFF

Tom Hoff, a three-time Olympian and team captain of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball gold medal team, is helping raise money for the Sepsis Alliance and will attend their event, Spike Out Sepsis, on June 21 in Dublin, Ohio.

The group’s web site says, “Spike Out Sepsis is a unique 6-on-6 sand volleyball tournament designed to raise awareness and funds for Sepsis Alliance. Sometimes called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body's often deadly response to infection or injury. Sepsis Alliance aims to promote raise awareness in both patients and healthcare providers of sepsis.

“Last year's Spike Out Sepsis was a smashing success. Once again, we will be taking over The Bogey in Dublin, Ohio for the 2014 Spike Out Sepsis Championship. The names of the winners will be added to the Sepsis Cup to eternally commemorate their awesomeness.”

For more information, visit the web site.

COLLEGE CATCH-UP

Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and his USC Trojans will play their final regular-season match on Saturday against Pepperdine. The Trojans are ranked No. 8 and are 16-9 overall and 14-9 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Conference. If USC defeats Pepperdine, the Trojans are guaranteed one of the eight spots in the MPSF playoff tournament. If USC loses, there are a number of other scenarios that could send USC to the tournament. Christenson is first nationally in assists and 12th in digs.

Sam Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), brother of U.S. Men’s National Team member Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), had a career-high 37 kills in leading Cal State Northridge past UCLA, 25-22, 19-25, 28-26, 16-25, 23-21 on April 3. Holt finished the match with 40.5 points total. "I'm extremely proud of the way Sam played tonight," CSUN head coach Jeff Campbell said in a press release. "To hit nearly .500 on 62 swings is phenomenal. He single-handedly carried us to the win tonight." Sam Holt is listed as a 6-7 outside hitter for the Matadors. UCLA is coached by U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach John Speraw.

AUSTRIA

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) and their Austrian team Hypo Tirol have advanced to the finals of the league playoffs where they will face defending champion SK Posojilnica Aich / Dob in a best-of-seven series starting on April 9. In the best-of-five semifinals, Hypo Tirol defeated the Vienna hotVolleys 3-0. In the final match on March 22, Tirol won 25-19, 25-22, 25-20. Hein started the first two sets and scored three points on three kills. Shoji was credited with 14 receptions, 70 percent positive.

POLAND

U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) and their Polish team Transfer Bydgoszcz won two straight playoff matches over AZS Częstochowa to secure a ninth-place finish in the Plus Liga. In the second match on March 28, Bydgoszcz won, 25-12, 25-22, 23-25, 25-13. Muagututia led his team with 18 points on 15 kills, two blocks and one ace and was named the match MVP. Clark added 16 points on 15 attacks and one ace. To view a photo gallery from the match, click here

Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and his Plus Liga team Asseco Resovia have advanced to the semifinals of the Plus Liga playoffs where they will face ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle starting on April 4.

BELGIUM

Outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and his Belgium league team Noliko Maaseik are 2-4 and sit in fourth place in the playoffs.

GERMANY

U.S. setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and their German league team Berlin Recycling Volleys have made it to the semifinals of the playoffs where they will face TV Ingersoll Bühl in a best-of-five series beginning April 6. Berlin made it to the semifinals with two 3-0 victories over CV Mitteldeutschland.

RUSSIA

Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and his Russian team Zenit Kazan continue to roll in the Super League and are in first place with a record of 18-1. On April 3, Kazan defeated Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, 25-20, 34-32, 29-27. Anderson scored 13 points on 11 kills, one block and one ace. He was also credited with 30 receptions, 47 percent positive. Kazan finished fourth in the CEV Champions League, falling in the third-place match to Poland’s Jastrzebski Wegiel, 25-21, 20-25, 25-17, 25-23. Anderson scored 17 points in the match on 13 kills, one blocks and a match-high three aces. He was credited with 19 receptions, 74 percent positive.

FRANCE

Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and their French league team Tours finished the regular season in first place. In its final regular-season match, Tours defeated Paris, 25-22, 25-11, 28-30, 25-22 on April 2. Smith led Tours with 11 points on four kills, a match-high five blocks and two aces. Jablonsky started the final three sets and scored 10 points on 10 attacks. He was also credited with 22 receptions, 59 percent positive. Tours will play Nantes Rezé in the playoff quarterfinals starting on April 12.

Middle blocker Futi Tavana (Kalaheo, Hawaii) and Toulouse finished the regular season in fourth place. In their final match of the season on April 2, Toulouse defeated Nantes Rezé, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20. Tavana scored 10 points on five attacks, four blocks and one ace. Toulouse will play Chaumont in the playoff quarterfinals starting on April 11.

Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and St-Nazaire are done for the season after finishing the season in 10th place in the league. In their final match, St-Nazaire defeated AS Cannes, 27-25, 25-21, 26-24. Troy led all scorers with 19 points on 17 kills and two blocks.

Smith was named to the end-of-season all-star team as he finished second among all blockers. Troy also received recognition for finishing third among attackers.

ITALY

Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and his Italian team Diatec Trentino are done for the season after losing in the playoff quarterfinals to Casa Modena.

CHINA

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his Chinese league team Shanghai fell in the finals of the league playoffs, 2-1 to Beijing.

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