U.S. Men's Update: China Challenge

Dec. 23, 2014, 7:45 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 23, 2014) – U.S. outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.)  is playing for Fujian in China this winter. We asked him four questions about the experience and he gave us his answers!

Garrett Muagututia
   Garrett Muagututia on the attack during the USAV Cup.

Q: What has been the best part about playing and living in China?
A: The best part about playing and living in China is getting to learn about another culture and their lifestyle.

Q: What has been the most difficult thing about playing and living in China?
A: The most difficult thing is the same as before, just being away from home. But knowing the season is short makes it easier.

Q: What has surprised you the most about this experience?
A: What has surprised me the most is probably just how different the culture is out here compared to in the States. This is my first time in China and I knew it'd be different, I just didn't know what to expect.

Q: What do you do when you are not competing or training?
A: When I'm not training or competing I'm either exploring The city of Fuzhou or hanging out in my hotel room playing my ukulele and singing, watching movies/TV shows, or Skyping with family and friends. Now that I've seen most of Fuzhou and don't have time to go outside of the city, it's mostly just the hotel room unfortunately.

CHINA

U.S. outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) has joined Muagututia on Fujian. On Dec. 21, Fujian defeated Beijing, which includes outside hitter Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.), 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-13. Muagututia scored 21 points and Jablonsky added 17 for Fujian. Price led Beijing with 31 points.

GREECE

U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) is back on the court for Olympiacos and scored 15 points in its 25-17, 25-20, 25-27, 24-26, 15-12 victory over Panathanaikos on Dec. 22. Clark scored on 12 attacks, two blocks and one ace. Panathanaikos includes U.S. outside hitter Bryan Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.), who scored 18 points on 17 attacks and one ace.

The two teams have a heated rivalry and the fans of host Panathanaikos were particularly rowdy. "Olympiacos fought in an atmosphere of terror and intimidation" read a team press release. Read the story HERE (there is a photo of Clark among the Panathanaikos fans).

ITALY

On Dec. 14, U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Calzedonia Verona defeated CMC Ravenna and Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii), 25-22, 25-18, 25-14. Sander, who was named the match MVP, scored 14 points on nine kills and a match-high five blocks. He was also credited with 11 receptions, 64 percent positive. McKibbin played as a substitute.

GERMANY

U.S. middle blocker Nick Vogel (San Diego, Calif.) was named match MVP as he led all scorers with 12 points on nine kills, two blocks and one ace as VfB Friedrichshafen defeated VSG Coburg/Grub on Dec. 21, 25-14, 25-16, 25-11.

RUSSIA

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored eight points on six kills and two blocks as Lokomotiv Novosibirsk defeated Samotlor Nizhnevartovsk, 25-23, 32-30, 21-25, 25-16 on Dec. 14.

Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored 10 points on six attacks, three blocks and one ace as Dinamo Moscow defeated Grozny, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17 on Dec. 13. Moscow is in second place in the league while Novosibirsk is in fourth.

FRANCE

U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) scored 11 points and middle blocker Daniel McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) added six points as Tours defeated Narbonne, 25-20, 25-14, 25-22 on Dec. 20. Smith scored on eight kills, one block and two aces. McDonnell had four attacks and two blocks.

U.S. libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Ajaccio fell to Toulouse, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-20 on Dec. 20. Watten was credited with 36 receptions, 89 percent positive.

Outside hitter Connor Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) scored seven points on five attacks, one block and one ace as his French team Montpellier fell to Lyon, 25-19, 25-21, 25-16. Hughes was also credited with 21 receptions, 67 percent positive.

POLAND

U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) led all scorers with 14 points on 14 attacks as his Polish team Lotos Trefl Gdansk defeated Cerrad Czarni Radom, 25-10, 27-25, 25-15 on Dec. 19.

U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) scored six points on five kills and one ace in Asseco Resovia Rezeszow’s 25-18, 25-17, 25-22 win over MKS Banimex Bedzin on Dec. 20.

U.S. outside hitter AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.) and Transfer Bydgoszcz defeated Effector Kielce, 25-14, 25-19, 25-18 on Dec. 20. Nally scored two points on two kills.

CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Poland’s Asseco Resovia Rzeszow defeated Germany’s Berlin Recycling Volleys, 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 17-25, 15-10 on Dec. 18 in Berlin. Paul Lotman and U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) played as substitutes for Rzeszow. U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) scored 14 points on 13 kills and one block for Berlin. He was credited with 29 receptions, 52 percent positive. U.S. libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) was credited with 32 receptions, 59 percent positive.

Nick Vogel and Friedrichshafen defeated Carson Clark and Olympiacos, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18 on Dec. 18. Clark scored 10 points on nine kills and one ace. Vogel did not play in the match.

David Lee and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk defeated Poland’s Jastrzebski Wegiel, 25-16, 25-23, 25-15 on Dec. 18. Lee scored five points on two kills and three blocks.

David Smith, Dan McDonnell and Tours fell to Turkey’s Halkbank Ankara, 23-25, 28-26, 25-19, 25-12 on Dec. 17. Smith led his team with 12 points on eight attacks, three blocks and one ace. McDonnell added nine points on eight kills and one block.