Iran Gets 3-2 USAV Cup Win over U.S. Men

By BJ Evans | Aug. 15, 2014, 11 p.m. (ET)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team and Iran played another exciting USAV Cup match on Friday, as Iran came out on top, 24-26, 26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 15-9 at Viejas Arena at San Diego State.

Brad Lawson attacks
  Brad Lawson attacks against Iran on Wednesday.

The teams will play one more match on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Bren Center at UC Irvine. The U.S. Men, ranked No. 4 in the world, won the first two matches on Aug. 9 and 13. The USAV Cup matches are helping both teams prepare for the FIVB World Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland.

“Obviously I hate to lose. But I felt like I played well and we played well as a team,” said outside hitter Garrett Muagututia, who is from nearby Oceanside, Calif. “We just had some minor communication errors and execution errors.”

The U.S. Men led in kills (65-59) while the teams tied in blocks (11-11) and aces (6-6). The U.S. was hurt by 25 serving errors while Iran had 15.

“So far we’ve had three different teams in three matches,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “That’s what I was hoping for from this experience. I think we’ve demonstrated some nice depth.

“I wish we didn’t make so many errors from the service line. We had far too many service errors. We have to become more skilled.”

Opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) led the U.S. Men with 23 points on 19 kills, one block. Muagututia scored 19 points on 18 attacks and one block. Outside hitter Brad Lawson (Honolulu, Hawaii) totaled 15 points on 13 attacks and two blocks.

Iran’s Amir Ghafour led all scorers with 26 points on 22 attacks, three blocks and one ace.

Among other U.S. scorers, setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) scored six points on two kills, two blocks and two aces. San Diego native and middle blocker Nick Vogel added five points on four kills and one ace. Playing as a substitute, opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) scored with a kill.

U.S. Roster for USAV Cup Match on Aug. 15, 2014
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU
4. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
5. Ryan Ammerman (S, 6-9, Denver, Colo., UC Irvine)
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford
8. Brad Lawson (OH, 6-7, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-9, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
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)
21. Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, San Diego, Calif., UCLA)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)