U.S. Men's Update: Erik Shoji's 2-minute drill

By BJ Evans | March 13, 2014, 7:27 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 13, 2014) – U.S. libero Erik Shoji played his first season with the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2013.

We did a two-minute interview with Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) in Poland during the 2013 FIVB World League to find out about his rise from the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline and also to find out what is the most important thing to know about him.

Shoji, middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) and their Austrian team Hypo Tirol will play the Vienna hotVolleys in the best-of-five league playoff semifinals starting on March 15.


Matt Fuerbringer and Futi Tavana
Kawika Shoji, Matt Fuerbringer and Scott Touzinsky

U.S. Men’s Assistant Coach Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) is in Europe meeting with U.S. players competing overseas and posted these photos of himself with (top) Futi Tavana (Kalaheo, Hawaii), who is playing in France. In the bottom photo, he is posing between Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), who are both in Germany.

You can follow Matt Fuerbringer on Twitter at twitter.com/mattyfuerbs.


U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and his Plus Liga team Asseco Resovia are ahead 2-0 in their playoff series against Effector Kielce. On March 9, Resovia defeated Kielce, 25-18, 25-18, 25-18. Lotman scored four points on four kills and was also credited with 15 receptions, 73 percent positive. The best-of-five series will continue on March 23.


Outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and his Belgium league team Noliko Maaseik are 1-1 so far in the league playoffs. On March 8, Maaseik fell to Prefaxis Menen, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 26-24. Menzel scored 15 points on 14 kills and one block. On March 12, Maaseik defeated VC Argex Duvel Puurs, 25-21, 25-17, 16-25, 25-20. Menzel scored 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace.


Kawika Shoji, Scott Touzinsky and the Berlin Recycling Volleys completed the regular season in first place after defeating VC Dresden, 27-29, 27-25, 25-16, 25-10 on March 12. Touzinsky scored five points on five kills. Shoji started the third and fourth sets and scored the points on one kill, one block and one ace. Berlin finished with a 61.7 kill percent. Berlin will begin the playoffs on March 26.


Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led his Russian team Zenit Kazan with 22 points as it defeated Fakel Novy Urengoy, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-9. Anderson scored on 19 kills, one block and two aces. Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati) scored 14 points for Dinamo Moscow as it defeated Prikamye Perm, 22-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-22, 15-6. Holt scored on 10 kills, two blocks and two aces.


Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Tours defeated Sète, 25-21, 25-12, 28-26 on March 8. Smith started the first two sets and scored two points on two kills. Jablonsky started the first set but did not score. Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and St-Nazaire picked up a much-needed victory on March 8 when they defeated Narbonne, 25-23, 24-26, 25-22, 25-21. Troy led all scorers with 24 points on a match-high 17 kills, three blocks and a match-high four aces. Middle blocker Futi Tavana (Kalaheo, Hawaii) and Toulouse beat Chaumont, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-19 on March 8.


Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and his Italian team Diatec Trentino fell in the semifinals of the Cup of Italy, 25-23, 24-26, 25-19, 25-21 to Copra Elior Piacenza. Suxho scored one points with a block and set the team to a 45.2 kill percent.


Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and his Turkish league team Istanbul BBSK went 2-0 over the past week. On March 9, Istanbul defeated Galatasaray, 28-26, 25-23, 25-23. Holmes scored 10 points on five attacks, three blocks and two aces. On March 12, BBSK beat M.Milli Piyango, 25-14, 25-14, 25-18. Holmes scored seven points on two attacks, two blocks and a match-high three aces.