RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (July 11, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team plays its final pool play matches of the 2013 FIVB World League this weekend at the Maracanazinho Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
The U.S. will play Brazil on Saturday (July 13) at 9:50 a.m. local time and on Sunday (July 14) at 9:35 a.m. local time.
The U.S. Men are in fifth place in Pool A with a 4-4 record, but they still have a chance to qualify for the Final Round in Argentina. The task will not be easy. The only part that is in the United States’ control is that it must defeat Brazil – the No. 1 team in Pool A and in the world rankings for that matter – twice.
They also need help from Poland and Bulgaria, which will need to split their two matches in Bulgaria.
Rather than focus on what they cannot control, the U.S. Men, ranked No. 5 in the world, are still emphasizing their own improvement.
“We need to watch video of ourselves and see some areas where we need to improve,” U.S. Team Captain Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) said after the U.S. Men’s second loss to Poland. “We need to serve better and we need to make plays.”
Brazil, which at 7-1 has already secured a spot in the Final Round, has also focused on improving.
“We’ve been improving every match since the World League started,” Brazilian outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli said in an FIVB press release. “We had a good performance against Bulgaria, but we know that we need to be focused to evolve our game. The USA has an efficient serve and a good defense system.”
Brazil’s Head Coach Bernardo Rezende has said that he plans to use some substitutes against the U.S. Men to keep his starters healthy for the Final Round.
Brazil’s leading scorer has been opposite Leandro Vissotto who has 116 points on 97 kills, 14 blocks and five aces. Ricardo Lucarelli Santos de Souza is second with 109 points on 87 kills, 13 blocks and nine aces.
Lucas Saatkamp is the team’s leading blocker with 16 and an average of .5 blocks per set. Brazil’s libero Mário Júnior is sixth among all World League diggers with 69 digs and an average of 2.69 digs per set.
Anderson leads the United States in scoring with 138 points on 112 kills, 19 blocks and seven aces. Opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) is second with 100 points on 85 attacks, one block and 14 aces.
Clark’s 14 aces put him second among all players with an average of .44 per set.
U.S. libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) is first among all World League players in digs with 98 or an average of 3.06 per set.
2013 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team
12-Man Roster for FIVB World League on July 13-14 in Brazil
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, 6-6, 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: Al Scates (Encino, Calif.)
Physiotherapist/Athletic trainer: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
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: Poland def. USA, 25-23, 17-25, 25-21, 25-23
July 13-14: USA at Brazil, Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro