U.S. Men Halt Haiti at Qualifier

By BJ Evans | May 17, 2014, 11:01 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 17, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team completed pool play undefeated with a 25-7, 25-10, 25-15 win over Haiti on Saturday at the at the NORCECA World Championship Qualification Third-Round Pool O Tournament at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Russell Holmes and Aaron Russell
  Russell Holmes (12) and Aaron Russell (18) block.

The U.S. Men (3-0) will play Guatemala (2-1) for the gold medal at 7 p.m. MT. Haiti (1-2) will face St. Lucia (0-3) in the third-place match at 5 p.m. MT.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) used his third different lineup of the tournament against Haiti, starting Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) at outside hitter, Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) at middle blocker, Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) at opposite, Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) at setter and Erik Shoji (Honolulu) at libero.

“Riley McKibbin set a better match than the first time (against St. Lucia),” Speraw said. “It’s good to see his continued improvement. Aaron Russell was hitting through the middle of the court real well. Taylor Sander continues to impress with his athleticism. He seems to be ready for this next level.”

The U.S. Men led in kills (33-13), blocks (13-1), aces (10-1) and digs (14-1).

Troy finished with 14 points on a match-high nine attacks, two blocks and three aces. Sander also scored 14 on seven kills, three blocks and a match-high three aces.

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Troy said the U.S. players are still adjusting in their first tournament of the season.

“There is an adjustment process, especially because we all came together about two weeks ago,” Troy said. “We’ve got some new setters. We’ve got some new hitters. We’ve got a mix of new lineups and that takes some time.”

Holmes added 12 points on eight kills, two blocks and two aces. McDonnell scored seven points on two kills, a match-high four blocks and one ace. Russell scored seven points on seven kills.

McKibbin scored two points on two blocks he was credited with 18 running sets and no faults. Shoji was credited with 12 digs and 10 excellent receptions. Sander also had 10 excellent receptions.

U.S. Men’s Roster for the NORCECA World Championship Qualifier
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
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) 
5. Ryan Ammerman (S, 6-9, Denver, Colo., UC Irvine)
7. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine) 
8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
18. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
19. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
20. Riley McKibbin (S, 6-2, Honolulu, Hawaii, USC)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coach: Matt Fuerbringer
Assistant Coach: Mike Wall
Team Manager: Andrea Becker
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Technical Coordinator: Anton Willert
Consultant Coach: Mike Sealy
Consultant Coach: Erik Sullivan

FIVB World Championship NORCECA Men’s Qualification Tournament Schedule (all times MT)
Guatemala def. Haiti, 25-17, 25-20, 25-8
USA def. St. Lucia, 25-16, 25-12, 25-9
Haiti def. St. Lucia, 12-25, 25-23, 25-19, 30-28
USA def. Guatemala, 25-12, 25-14, 25-16
Guatemala def. St. Lucia, 25-18, 25-18, 25-19
USA def. Haiti, 25-7, 25-10, 25-15
May 18: Pool 3rd Place vs. Pool 4th Place, 5 p.m.
May 18: Pool 1st Place vs. Pool 2nd Place, 7 p.m.

FIVB World Championship NORCECA Women’s Qualification Tournament Schedule (all times MT)
Panama def. Honduras, 25-17, 20-25, 25-13, 25-16
USA def. Guatemala, 25-10, 25-18, 25-11
Guatemala def. Honduras, 25-19, 25-19, 25-27, 25-22
USA def. Panama, 25-16, 25-12, 25-9
Panama def. Guatemala, 16-25, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11
USA vs. Honduras, 25-12, 25-13, 25-16
May 18: Pool 3rd Place vs. Pool 4th Place, 1 p.m.
May 18: Pool 1st Place vs. Pool 2nd Place, 3 p.m.


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