Win Sends U.S. To Gold Medal World League Match

By Tyson Rodgers | July 19, 2014, 2:04 p.m. (ET)
COLORADO Springs, Colo. (July 19, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team downed Iran in straight-sets on Saturday, 25-18, 25-22, 25-16, earning a spot in the FIVB World LeagueFinal Round gold medal match in Florence, Italy.
Sean Rooney
 Matt Anderson celebrates the U.S. victory over Iran.

Sunday’s gold medal match will be played against the world No. 1 Brazil at 8:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. PT).

The victory over Iran gives Team USA an opportunity to repeat 2008’s FIVB World League gold medal. The U.S. Men finished with silver in 2012.

“If we play good solid volleyball again like we did tonight, we can win against anyone and win the tournament,” David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) said in an FIVB press release.

After dropping its first Final Round match to Italy, the U.S. Men have outscored their last two opponents by a combined 172-141 margin. That has Lee making parallels to the 2008 squad.

“We’re feeling great,” Lee said. “We were feeling pretty bad physically when we arrived to Florence from the jet lag, but we lost our first match in 2008 and ended up winning the World League.”

Propelled by Taylor Sander’s (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 17 points, the U.S. Men dominated Iran in every phase of Saturday’s match, winning in attacks 46-35, blocks 7-1, aces 7-1 and digs 31-28.

Sander had a match-high 16 attacks on 20 attempts. The outside hitter also picked up an ace to round out his point total.

Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Lee added 11 points apiece to the win, with Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) notching 10 and nine points respectively.

Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii.) had nine digs on Saturday with only one fault, while Anderson also picked up nine digs on just two faults.

Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii.) was credited with 22 running sets and 45 still sets on 68 attempts at the setter spot. Erik Shoji aided Team USA with six still sets, while also nabbing 11 excellent receptions on 14 attempts at the libero spot.

Iran’s Amir Ghafour finished with 10 points on 10 attacks to led his team.

The two squads will face off again for four friendly matches in August at the USA Volleyball Cup. For more details, click here.

U.S. Men’s Roster for World League Matches in Italy
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 Results and Schedule

Gold Medal: USA vs Brazil
Bronze Medal: Iran vs Italy

Semifinals
USA def Iran, 25-18, 25-22, 25-16
Brazil def Italy, 25-11, 25-23, 25-20

Pool H
July 16: Italy def USA, 25-22, 25-21, 26-24
July 17: USA def Australia, 22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19
July 18: Italy def Australia, 25-14, 25-22, 25-21 
Pool I
July 16: Russia def Iran, 18-25, 25-18, 25-21, 35-37, 15-8
July 17: Brazil def Russia, 26-24, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22
July 18: Iran def Brazil, 25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 28-26

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
July 16: Italy def USA, 22-25, 21-25, 24-26
July 17: USA def AUS,22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19

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