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Jul 05 Serbia Win Pressures U.S. Men

By BJ Evans | July 05, 2014, 12:35 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 5, 2014) – The race for the FIVB World League Final Round will come down to the final match for the U.S. Men’s National Team after it suffered at 25-21, 25-20, 25-17 loss to Serbia in Novi Sad on Friday.

Max Holt
Max Holt, right, jousts with Serbia at the net on Friday.

The U.S. Men (8-3 with 21 points) remain in first place in Pool B, but their lead over Serbia (7-4 with 20 points) has been cut to one point and the lead over Russia (5-5 with 18 points), which is playing at Bulgaria (1-9 with 10 points) on Saturday and Sunday, is three points. The U.S. Men will finish World League pool play against Serbia on Sunday in Beograd. A 3-0 or 3-1 victory will give them three points, a 3-2 victory would give the U.S. two points and Serbia one point.

“Serbia played great. I am a little concerned with the way we responded, we didn’t play very well,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “We need to be tougher than that. We have to chat as a team, because we put ourselves in a difficult position, and now we need to win on Sunday. We worked very hard from the start of the competition, but this pool is so tough. If we lose in Beograd, we will go home, and that would be a shame after all that we did in this year’s competition.”

Serbia led the U.S. Men in kills (48-35), blocks (5-4) and aces (5-3).

Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the U.S. Men in scoring with 13 points on 13 kills. Opposite Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 11 points on 10 attacks and one ace.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) totaled six points on four kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added three points on three attacks. Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati) added three points on one kill and two blocks.

Outside hitter Paul Lotman(Lakewood, Calif.) scored two points on one kills and one ace. Setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) each scored one point with a kill.

Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu) scored two points on one kill and one block. He was credited with 17 running sets on 54 attempts.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) was credited with nine excellent receptions and two digs.

Speraw started Sander and Rooney at outside hitter, Lee and Holt at middle blocker, Anderson at opposite, Christenson at setter and Erik Shoji at libero. Lotman started the third set for Rooney and Kawika Shoji started the third set for Christenson. Holmes played as a substitute.

U.S. Men’s Roster for World League Matches in Serbia
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College) 
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State) 
2. Sean Rooney (OH, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager: Andrea Becker 
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Wall
Technical Coordinator: Anton Willert
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

U.S. Men's Schedule for the 2014 FIVB World League 
May 24: USA def Bulgaria, 19-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 15-12
May 25: USA def Bulgaria, 19-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-17

June 6: USA def Russia, 25-17, 27-25, 20-25, 25-27, 15-12
June 7: USA def Russia, 25-19, 25-23, 25-17

June 13: USA def Serbia, 30-28, 25-20, 25-16 
June 14: USA def Serbia, 25-22, 25-12, 26-28, 23-25, 15-13

June 20: USA def Bulgaria, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-16
June 21: Bulgaria def USA, 24-26, 17-25, 25-14, 25-13, 15-12

June 27: USA def Russia, 25-18, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19, 21-19
June 28: Russia def USA, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21

July 4: Serbia def U.S. Men, 25-21, 25-20, 25-17 
July 6: U.S. Men at Beograd, Serbia (Hala Pionir)

Final Round (must qualify): July 16-20 in Florence, Italy


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