U.S. Men's Update: Austrian Champions
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 28, 2014) – As international leagues are finishing, members of the U.S. Men’s National Team are returning to the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. The official start of the summer training block is May 5, not long before the NORCECA World Championship Qualifier, which will start on May 15 in Colorado Springs.
From Colorado Springs, the U.S. Men will travel straight to Bulgaria for their first weekend of FIVB World League competition.
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Libero Erik Shoji(Honolulu, Hawaii), middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) and their Austrian team Hypo Tirol won the league title, 4-2 over defending champion SK Posojilnica Aich / Dob in a best-of-seven series.
In the final match on April 26, Hypo Tirol won, 25-21, 25-15, 25-16. Shoji was credited with eight receptions, 25 percent positive. Hein scored 10 points on six kills, three blocks and one ace.
Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and his Plus Liga team Asseco Resovia fell in the league finals to PGE Skra Bełchatów, 3-0. In the final match on April 27, Resovia lost 25-17, 25-20, 25-18. Lotman scored seven points on six kills and one ace. He was also credited with 20 receptions, 40 percent positive.
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.
U.S. setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and their German league team Berlin Recycling Volleys fell in their first match of their best-of-five playoff final, 14-25, 25-21, 25-21, 26-28, 15-13 on April 27. Touzinsky started the first four sets and scored four points on three kills and one block. He was also credited with 21 receptions, 57 percent positive. Shoji scored seven points on two kills, one block and a match-high four aces. He also set Berlin to a 40.7 kill percent. The teams play again on April 30.
Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and his USC Trojans lost to BYU in the quarterfinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) playoffs. However Christenson was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II All-American first team for the first time.
The semifinals of the Russian Super League begin on April 29. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and his team Zenit Kazan will play Belogorie Belgorod while middle blocker Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow will face Lokomotive Novosibirsk.
Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and their French league team Tours won their first French league semifinal match over Chaumont, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 21-25, 15-12 on April 26. Smith scored 10 points on six attacks, three blocks and one ace. Jablonsky played as a substitute but did not score. The teams will play again on April 30.