USA Volleyball Features U.S. Men Fall to Pol...

U.S. Men Fall to Poland in Five

July 05, 2013, 3 p.m. (ET)

Max Holt blocks against Poland/>
  Max Holt puts up a block against Poland's Piotr Nowakowski

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KATOWICE, Poland (July 5, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team couldn’t convert on its chances to win as it fell to Poland 25-22, 19-25, 13-25, 30-28, 18-16 on Friday before a deafening crowd of 11,000 in an FIVB World League match at Spodek Arena.

The United States’ World League record fell to 4-3 while Poland improved to 3-4. The teams will play again on Sunday in Wroclaw, Poland.

After losing the first set on Friday, the U.S. Men came back to win the next two, including a 25-13 victory in the third. The U.S. reached match point three times in the fourth set and once in the fifth, but could not convert the opportunities. The U.S. had 26 service errors in the match, several of which came at critical times at the end of sets.

“The things that lost the match for us are in our control,” U.S. Team Captain Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) said. “I think when we play Poland next, we will be ready to go.”

The U.S. led in attacks (61-53) and in blocks (17-11). Poland led in aces (7-6) and scored 34 points on U.S. errors while committing 32.

“In general, I was pretty happy with the way the team maintained their poise,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) said. “There were certainly times when I tried to remind them to keep their heads up and move on to the next point.”

U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) led all scorers with 24 points on a match-high 21 kills and three aces. Anderson at outside hitter added 17 on 12 spikes, four blocks and one ace.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) provided critical support for the U.S. Men, finishing with 30 digs on 33 attempts with one fault. Shoji was also credited with eight excellent receptions.

Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) totaled 14 points on 10 attacks and four blocks. Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.), who substituted at outside hitter in the second set and started the rest of the match, scored 13 points on 10 attacks, two blocks and one ace.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) finished with eight points on six attacks and two blocks. Setter Kyle Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) added six points on one kill and a team-high five blocks. Caldwell was credited with 35 running sets and helped the team to a 45.9 kill percent and a .323 hitting efficiency.

Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) started the first two sets and scored one point with an attack while setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) played as a serving substitute in the fifth set and scored on an ace.

Speraw started Anderson and Lotman at outside hitter, Holt and Lee at middle blocker, Clark at opposite, Caldwell at setter and Erik Shoji at libero. Ciarelli substituted for Lotman in the second set and started the rest of the match. Kawika Shoji and middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) played as subsitutes.

The U.S. Men got off to a slow start as Poland took an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). With Poland leading 9-6, Anderson scored with a block and two straight kills to tie the score at 9-9. Clark added an attack and Holt had a block to put the U.S. ahead 11-9 and Poland called timeout. The U.S. extended its lead to 15-12 before Poland came back behind the serving of Krzystof Ignaczak to take a 17-16 lead. With the score tied 18-18, Poland scored on a U.S. service error and a block. The U.S. called timeout and Anderson got a kill, but Poland came back with a attack and block by Nowakowski and went on to win the set 25-22.

The score was tied 14-14 in the second set when the U.S. Men scored on Poland’s service error, a Ciarelli ace and a kill from Anderson to lead 17-14. The U.S. extended the lead to six at 23-17 behind strong serving by Caldwell and won the set 25-19 on a kill from Holt.

Poland struggled to open the third set as the U.S. took a 13-3 lead that had Andrea Anastasi use both his timeouts. The U.S. got two kills and two aces from Clark in the run. The U.S. led 16-4 at the second TTO and the sellout crowd was quieted. Poland never rallied and the U.S. went on to win 25-13.

Poland jumped out to a 7-1 lead to open the fourth set  before Poland served the ball out of bounds and Ciarelli scored with a kill. With Poland leading 11-8, Anderson scored three straight points with a kill, ace and block to tie the score. The score was still tied at 13-13 when Poland used two straight spikes to lead 15-13. Poland led 22-20 when the U.S. used a triple block and Clark ace to tie the score. The U.S. reached match point at 24-23, but served into the net. It reached two more match points, but could not convert. Poland took its first set point at 27-26 on an ace from Winiarski, but Holt fought it off with a kill. Poland reached set point at 28-27 and again at 29-28 when the U.S. was called for a lift to give Poland the 30-28 set victory.

The score was tied 2-2 in the fifth set when the U.S. served into the net and Poland’s Jakub Jarosz followed with an ace. Poland led 6-4 when it scored on a kill from Nowakowski and block by Lukasz Zygadlo to lead 8-4 at the side change. With Poland leading 9-6, the U.S. got spikes from Holt and Clark to pull to within one and Poland called timeout. The U.S. reached match point at 14-13, but Poland fought it off with a Kurek kill, and then took match point with a triple block. Poland served the ball out of bounds, but the next U.S. attack also went out to give Poland a second match point. With the score tied 16-16, Poland scored on kills from Winiarski and Jarosz to take the 18-16 victory.

2013 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team

12-Man Roster for FIVB World League on July 5 and 7 in Poland
No. - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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)
8 - Kyle Caldwell (S, 6-9, Newport Beach, Calif., UCLA) 
9 - Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
10 - Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
15 - Carson Clark (Opp, 6-8, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17 - Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
20 - David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
22 - Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Team Manager: Anton Willert (Berlin, Germany)
Assistant Coach: Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Wall (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Andrea Becker (Martinez, Calif.)
Physiotherapist/Athletic trainer: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Doctor: Mike Shepard (Orange, Calif.)

2013 U.S. Men’s World League Schedule
June 7: Argentina def. USA, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24
June 8: USA def. Argentina, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-16
June 14: USA def. France, 25-15, 29-27, 25-16
June 15: USA def. France, 22-25, 25-22, 24-26, 30-28, 15-9
June 28: USA def. Bulgaria, 25-19, 25-22, 25-21
June 29: Bulgaria def. USA, 25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21
July 5: Poland def. USA, 25-22, 19-25, 13-25, 30-28, 18-16
July 7: USA at Poland, Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Poland
July 13-14: USA at Brazil, Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro