U.S. Men Win 2nd USAV Cup Match

By BJ Evans | Aug. 13, 2014, 11:30 p.m. (ET)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 13, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Iran on Wednesday, 25-23, 25-23, 25-21 in the second match of the USA Volleyball Cup at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Carson Clark attacks against Iran
  Carson Clark attacks against Iran on Wednesday.

Iran is playing in the United States for the first time in more than 35 years. The U.S. Men won the first match of the series on Saturday at the Galen Center at the University of Southern California.

The teams will play two more friendly USAV Cup exhibition matches:

Both teams are preparing for the 2014 FIVB World Championships on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland and are using the series of matches to look at different lineups and players.

A turning point in Wednesday’s match came in the second set when the U.S. was down 22-18. Outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) who will soon return to Penn State to play his senior season, took the serve on Iran’s hitting error and helped the U.S. score the next four points to take a 24-22 lead.

“This was my first match (of this series) so of course I was nervous,” Russell said. “But I thought that service run gave us a lot of momentum and carried us into the third set.”

The U.S. Men led in kills (56-30), in blocks (14-3) and in aces (10-5).

“I was a little surprised we were able to win that second set and ultimately win in three,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles, Calif.). “I think in general my guys played hard and I think we can learn a lot from this experience.”

Opposite Carson Clark led all scorers with 16 points on 14 kills and two aces. Russell added 13 points on 10 attacks, two blocks and one ace.

Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) scored 11 points on five attacks, three blocks and three aces. Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) totaled nine points on eight kills and one ace.

Middle blocker Nick Vogel (San Diego, Calif.) had seven points on four kills and three blocks. Setter Ryan Ammerman (Denver, Colo.) scored two points on one kill and one block.

Much like at the Galen Center at USC, Iran had many supporters among the estimated crowd of 4,900.

“We get so excited when we see such a huge crowd of Iranians here,” Iran setter Mehdi Mahdavi said. “We would like to win the game to make them happy, but we couldn’t do that.”

U.S. Roster for USAV Cup Match on Aug. 13, 2014

2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
4. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
5. Ryan Ammerman (S, 6-9, Denver, Colo., UC Irvine)
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
8. Brad Lawson (OH, 6-7, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
13. Dan McDonnell (MB, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
14. Jeff Menzel (OH, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
16. Riley McKibbin (S, 6-2, Honolulu, Hawaii, USC)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
19. Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawaii)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, San Diego, Calif., UCLA)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)


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