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U.S. Men Fall to Russia in World League

By BJ Evans | June 28, 2014, 3 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 28, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team came out flat against a pumped-up Russian team on Saturday in an FIVB World League match in Kaliningrad, Russia, and the combination led to a 25-21, 25-19, 25-21 loss for Team USA.

Paul Lotman, David Lee and Taylor Sander
  Paul Lotman, David Lee and Taylor Sander salute the U.S. flag.

The U.S. Men are 8-2 in Pool B with 21 points. Russia improves to 5-5 with 18 points. The U.S. Men now travel to Serbia (5-4 with 14 points) for their final two pool play matches on July 4 in Novi Sad and July 6 in Beograd.

After Friday’s 3-2 victory over Russia, the U.S. Men struggled on Saturday, losing the battle in kills (46-39), in blocks (9-4) and in aces (3-1).

“We had a very emotional match yesterday and we could not bring the same focus and energy to the match today,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “I should admit Russia was much stronger today and we did not manage to beat them.”

Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who played at opposite and outside hitter, paced the U.S. Men with 14 points on 13 kills and one block. Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) added 13 points on 13 attacks.

Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati) scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) totaled five points on three attacks, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) scored five points on five kills.

Opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) scored three points on three kills. Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) added one point with an attack as did setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii).

Christenson was credited with 20 running sets and no faults on 91 attempts. Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) was credited with seven digs and eight excellent receptions.

Speraw started Sander and Rooney at outside hitter, Anderson at opposite, Lee and Holt at middle blocker, Christenson at setter and Shoji at libero. Clark started the third set at opposite when Anderson moved to outside hitter. Lotman and Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) played as substitutes.

U.S. Men’s Roster for World League Matches in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
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)
10. Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
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)
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: U.S. Men at Novi Sad, Serbia (SPC Vojvodina)
July 6: U.S. Men at Beograd, Serbia (Hala Pionir)

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


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