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U.S. Men Ready to Rock Final Round

By BJ Evans | July 15, 2014, 5:07 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 15, 2014) – After a weeklong break, the U.S. Men’s National Team will begin the FIVB World League Final Round on Wednesday in Florence, Italy.

Team USA celebrates
The U.S. Men celebrate their win over Russia in Long Beach, Calif.

The U.S. Men finished first in Pool B with a 9-3 record. They will open the Final Round on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. local time (11.30 a.m. PT) against host Italy, which won Pool A with a 6-6 record ahead of Iran, Brazil and Poland.

On Thursday, the U.S. Men will play Australia, which finished fourth in Pool C, but advanced to the Group 2 finals by virtue of being the host. Australia beat teams from Netherlands and France to advance.

“It’s going to be tough playing against the hosts, but we’re really excited about being here,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “All the teams in our pool had really difficult matches and for the pool to come down to the final match against Serbia showed that. But I think we played very well in that final match and I think the U.S. team is in a good place at the moment.”

Several U.S. players finished at the top of the statistics at the end of pool play.

Opposite Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) finished first in scoring among all World League players in pool play with 259 points on 231 kills, 14 blocks and 14 aces. Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) finished third with 210 points on 199 kills, seven blocks and 14 aces. Sander finished first in “spikes” with a kill percent of 50.89.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) finished fifth among all blockers with an average of .61 stops per set. Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished second among servers with an average of .35 aces per set. Sander was third with .33 aces per set.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) led all players in excellent receptions with an efficiency percentage of 52.65. Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu) placed fourth among all setters with 265 running sets on 907 attempts for an average of 5.41 per set.

The U.S. Men won World League in 2008. They finished second in 2012 and finished third in 1992 and 2007.

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
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coach: Al Scates

Final Round Schedule and Results
Pool H
July 16: Italy vs USA
July 17: USA vs Australia
July 18: Australia vs Italy
Pool I
July 16: Iran vs Russia
July 17: Russia vs Brazil
July 18: Brazil vs Iran

U.S. Men's Pool Play Results 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: USA def Serbia, 25-21, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20

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