U.S. Men's Update: Even More Shoji

By BJ Evans | Nov. 10, 2014, 5:37 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 10, 2014) – As brothers, both playing for the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, Hawaiians Erik and Kawika Shoji are used to answering questions about their similarities and differences.

Now the pair has put out a humorous blog on Tumblr that to give fans more insight. Check it out at http://brothersberlin.tumblr.com/.

Erik Shoji writes: Over the years Kawika and I have gotten a lot of questions regarding our similarities and differences. Who’s more competitive… who’s smarter… who’s more social… etc etc etc… all the way to even “Are you twins?” or “Who’s older?” So I decided to write my first post highlighting some similarities and differences between Kawika and I so you guys can get to know us better. Here are 10 similarities and differences between Kawika and I.

One thing that both players have in common is that they are both playing for the Berlin Recycling Volleys in Germany this winter.

On Nov. 2, Berlin defeated VfB Friedrichshafen, 16-25, 18-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-9.

Kawika Shoji started every set at setter but the fifth and helped Berlin to a .221 hitting efficiency. Erik Shoji started the final four sets at libero and was credited with 17 receptions, 47 percent positive. Outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), who serves as captain for Berlin, scored eight points on five attacks and three blocks.

Middle blocker Nick Vogel (San Diego, Calif.), who plays for Friedrichshafen, started the first two sets and scored one point with a block.

Middle blocker Scott Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) started all five sets for SVG Lüneburg in a 17-25, 25-23, 25-16, 20-25, 15-8 loss to TV Rottenburg on Nov. 1. Kevorken scored 12 points on nine kills, two blocks and one ace.

Among other U.S. players competing in Germany, setter B.J. Boldog (Palatine, Ill.) is playing with CV Mitteldeutschland. He played as a substitute and scored one point with a block in a 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 victory over Dresden on Nov. 2.

On Nov. 8, Berlin defeated Mitteldeutschland, 25-16, 25-23, 28-26. Kawika Shoji scored seven points on two attacks, one block and a match-high four aces. He set Berlin to a .286 hitting efficiency. Touzinsky scored 10 points on nine kills and one block. He was credited with 19 receptions, 63 percent positive. Erik Shoji played as a substituted for Berlin and Boldog played as a substitute for Mitteldeutschland.

Also on Nov. 8, Friedrichshafen defeated TV Ingersoll Bühl, 25-22, 25-13, 25-23. Vogel scored eight points on three kills, three blocks and two aces.

2015 FIVB WORLD LEAGUE

The number of teams that will compete in the FIVB World League in 2015 has been expanded from 28 to 32, the FIVB announced on Nov. 1. Egypt, Kazakhstan, Greece and Montenegro have been added to Group 3.

Groups 2 and 3 include pools of teams that are lower in the FIVB rankings.

The U.S. Men’s National Team, ranked No. 5 in the world, will play in Group 1, Pool B along with Russia, Poland and Iran. Pool A will consist of Brazil, Italy, Serbia and Australia.

RUSSIA

Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) is playing for Dinamo Moscow and scored 10 points in its 25-16, 25-17, 25-16 victory on Nov. 8 over Prikame Perm. Holt scored on seven attacks, one block and two aces.

ITALY

U.S. outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) and Sir Safety Perugia defeated Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Calzedonia Verona, 25-22, 26-24, 22-25, 25-20 on Nov. 9. Sander scored 13 points on 12 kills and one block. Sunder played as a substitute.

FRANCE

Middle blockers David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and their French volleyball club team Tours defeated St-Nazaire, 25-16, 25-23, 15-25, 25-19 on Nov. 8 in France’s A league.

Outside hitter Connor Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) started one set and scored two points for Montpellier in a 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 16-14 victory over Nantes Reze on Nov. 8. Hughes was also credited with 11 receptions, 91 percent positive.

U.S. libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and his French team Ajaccio fell to Paris, 26-24, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 on Nov. 9. Watten was credited with 26 receptions, 73 percent positive.

Opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and his team Rennes are 4-1 in the French B league. Billings is serving as team captain. On Nov. 7, Rennes defeated Plessis-Robinson, 25-14, 25-19, 25-17. Billings led all scorers with 20 points on a match-high 13 kills, a match-high six blocks and one ace.

POLAND

Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and their Plus Liga team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów are 8-0 to open the season. On Nov. 9, Resovia Rzeszów defeated Cerrad Czarni Radom, 28-26, 19-25, 25-21, 28-26. Holmes started the first two sets and scored four points on three kills and one ace. Lotman did not play in the match.

Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and his Polish team LOTOS Trefl Gdańsk are also 8-0 to open the season. On Nov. 7, Gdańsk defeated BBTS Bielsko-Biala, 20-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-22. Troy started the first three sets and scored 10 points on seven attacks and three blocks.

AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.) is playing libero for Transfer Bydgoszcz, which is 6-2 in the Plus Liga. On Nov. 8, he was credited with 30 receptions, 53 percent positive in Bydgoszcz’s 23-25, 25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11 victory over Cuprum Lubin.

GREECE

Opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) is playing in Greece with Olympiacos SFP Piraeus, which leads the league at 7-0. On Nov. 10, Olympiakos defeated AEK, 26-24, 25-14, 23-25, 25-21. Clark started the first two sets and scored nine points on eight kills and one block.
On Nov. 8, Setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) and SC Lamia fell to MENT, 25-16, 25-27, 25-23, 25-23. McKibbin started all four sets and helped his team to a .319 hitting efficiency.

CEV Champions League

David Lee and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk opened Champions League with a 25-20, 25-27, 25-16, 25-20 victory over Bulgaria’s Marek Union-Ivkoni Dupnitsa. Lee scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and one ace.

Paul Lotman, Russell Holmes and Asseco Resovia Rzeszow defeated Budvanska Rivijera Budva of Montenegro, 25-22, 25-15, 25-18 in their Champions League opener. Holmes finished the match with seven points on three attacks, two blocks and two aces. Lotman started the second two sets and scored three points on two kills and an ace.

Kawika Shoji, Erik Shoji, Scott Touzinsky and the Berlin Recycling Volleys defeated ACH Volley Ljubljana of Slovenia, 26-28, 25-19, 28-26, 25-16. Kawika Shoji scored four points on one kill and a match-high three aces. Touzinsky started the first three sets and scored five points on five attacks. He was credited with 16 receptions, 63 percent positive. Erik Shoji played as a substitute.

Carson Clark and Olympiakos Piraeus defeated Austria’s Posojilnica AICH/DOB, 21-25, 27-25, 25-17, 25-23. Clark finished with 10 points on eight kills and two blocks.

Nick Vogel and VfB Friedrichshafen fell to Russia’s Zenit Kazan, 25-19, 25-18, 25-14. Vogel scored three points on three kills.

David Smith, Dan McDonnell and Tours fell to Belgium’s Noliko Maaseik, 22-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17, 16-14. Smith scored 17 points on 13 attacks, four blocks and three aces. McDonnell added 14 points on seven attacks, and a match-high seven blocks.

U.S. middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) and Austria’s Hypo Tirol Innsbruck fell to Belgium’s Precura Antwerp, 22-25, 25-15, 29-27, 25-23. Hein scored seven points on two kills and a match-high five blocks.