U.S. Men's Update: Return to Russia

By BJ Evans | Jan. 20, 2015, 4:34 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 20, 2015) – U.S. opposite and outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) is back in Russia playing for Zenit Kazan, but only in CEV Champions League matches.

Here is the English translation of an interview Anderson did with Russian media, taken from his personal web site at mattanderson1.com. To view the Russian original, click here.

Matt Anderson
   Matt Anderson wearing the uniform of Zenit Kazan.

You can watch Anderson and Kazan play U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and his Greek Team Olympiakos in the CEV Champions League on Jan. 21 at 8 a.m. PT on Laola1.tv.

Q: Matthew, who made the first step towards the resumption of cooperation you or “Zenith”?
A: It was a mutual decision. In fact, all this time we have been in touch. I often talked with assistant coach Tommaso Totolo. We discussed different options for my return. The question was only in the date. In the end it was decided that I will be back this season, will train with the team, but I will only play in the Champions League.

Q: This means a lot of training and a few games. In the event that Kazan will “Final Four” of the Champions League, then you are best to play in the tournament four matches.
A: I like this format. I look forward to the next home match of the Champions League with “Olympiakos” (January 21), then a week later will fight with “Friedrichshafen”. I missed the volleyball team and the Kazan fans. I hope that they are for me!

Q: Did you consider offers from other clubs?
A: No. Kazan became a second home for me, so I did not want to consider other options. I am very proud that I represent the “Zenith” and am very grateful to the club for its understanding. I really needed this break to disconnect from everything with no stress.

Q: In an interview with the legendary Lloy Ball said that all American volleyball difficult fate – to live away from home due to the fact that the club volleyball in the United States not developed.
A: This is actually a problem – until this pause in the career I’ve been home a couple of weeks maximum per year. A week before the start of the season and the week after. A long vacation in volleyball does not happen, because immediately after the club season ends we begin preparation with the national team for the World League. Team USA training camp is in California, so away from the club season I live there.

Q: Do you regret that at the time decided to link the fate of so unpopular with Americans for sport?
A: No way! In high school I played soccer as a goalkeeper. Honestly, it was boring for me. Friends advised to try volleyball – in the first game, I realized that this is my sport. In general, we are a volleyball family. My Mom and Dad played for many years, my sister played in high school and college.

Q: “I am full of energy and I want to win the Champions League” – With what feelings again went to the locker room Kazan team?
A: It feels like I’ve only been away from “Zenith” just one weekend! Judging by the reaction of my teammates, they understand me and do not hold grudges. The team, by the way, played great without me. I watched the matches in the Champions League and the game “Final Six” Cup of Russia. It was awesome! I was very happy for the team. Now we really want to win the Champions League and will make every effort to do this.

Q: Your salary is less?
A: Of course, as a short-term contract – until the end of the season.

Q:  And then?
A: Then we will discuss. I would like to stay in the “Zenith”. As for the money, it is not the most important thing now. Yes, I am a professional and I make money by playing volleyball but, above all, it’s my passion and I feel a renewed energy.

Q: How did you spend the last two months? What did you do?
A: I rested with my family – mother, sister, brother and nephew, met with friends. At the same time I kept fit. Now I am full of energy and am one hundred percent focused on volleyball.

Q: You laid out the online photos with hockey.
A: Yes, I got to go to a few matches, “Buffalo v Detroit” and “v Ottawa.” I also was in the locker room of the team. Both matches were won in shootouts, but unfortunately, this season Buffalo is not playing well. In addition to hockey, I also got to go to a Buffalo Bills football game.

Q: You are an active user of social networks: You have 50 thousand subscribers in Facebook and almost 60 in Twitter!
A:  Social networks – a great way to communicate with fans, childhood friends, former teammates on schools, universities. Especially if you are in another country. Not to say that I spend all of my time surfing the internet, but in the evenings I give it some time. Recently I began to manage my own social media to insure I keep connected with my fans; love it.

GERMANY

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including U.S. setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), defeated VfB Friedrichshafen, including U.S. middle blocker Nick Vogel (San Diego, Calif.), 19-25, 25-16, 25-13, 20-25, 15-10 on Jan. 18. Touzinsky scored 14 points on 11 kills, two blocks and one ace. He was credited with 27 receptions, 52 percent positive. Kawika Shoji scored three points on two blocks and one ace. He also set Berlin to a .339 hitting efficiency. Erik Shoji was credited with 15 receptions, 67 percent positive. Vogel started two sets, played in four, and scored five points on four kills and one ace. Friedrichshafen leads the league while Berlin is in second.

ITALY

U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led all scorers with 14 points as his Italian team Calzedonia Verona defeated Revivre Milano, 21-18, 21-14, 21-15 on Jan. 18. Sander scored on 13 kills and one block. He was also credited with 17 receptions, 82 percent positive.

U.S. setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) played as a substitute as his Italian team CMC Ravenna fell to Top Volley Latina, 18-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-15, 19-17 on Jan. 18.

Outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) played as a substitute and scored one point as Sir Safety Perugia fell to Energy TI Diatec Trentino, 23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-19 on Jan. 18.

RUSSIA

U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored five points on four kills and one block as his Russian SuperLeague team Dinamo Moscow defeated Kuzbass Kemerovo, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18 on Jan. 18.

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) started four sets and scored six points on five kills and one block as his Russian team Lokomotiv Novosibirsk defeated Gazprom Yugra Surgut, 19-25, 25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 15-9 on Jan. 14. On Jan. 17,  started three sets and scored four points on four kills as Novosibirsk fell to Neftanik Orenburg, 25-23, 25-21, 20-25, 32-30) on Jan. 17.

POLAND

U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) started the first two sets and scored six points on four kills and two aces as his Polish PlusLiga team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów defeated  
AZS Politechnika Warszawska, 25-15, 21-25, 25-19, 25-14 on Jan. 17. U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) was on Rzeszów’s roster, but did not play in the match.

U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) was held to four points on four kills as his Polish team Lotos Trefl Gdańsk fell to AZS Częstochowa, 25-18, 25-16, 25-23 on Jan. 18.

FRANCE

U.S. libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) was credited with 10 receptions, 80 percent positive, as his French team Ajaccio defeated Tourcoing, 24-26, 17-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-13 on Jan. 17.

U.S. middle blocker David Smith scored 14 points on 10 kills and four blocks and middle blocker Dan McDonnell added 10 points on seven attacks and three blocks as their French team Tours fell to Sète, 25-15, 25-23, 21-25, 16-25, 15-9 on Jan. 17.

GREECE

U.S. opposite Carson Clark led his Greek team with 11 points as Olympiakos defeated DP Aris, 25-17, 25-16, 25-22 on Jan. 17. Clark scored on eight kills, two blocks and one ace.

CHINA

In the final match of the regular season in China, U.S. outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) and his team Fujian fell to Jiangsu, 25-15, 25-23, 25-17. Muagututia led Fujian with 12 points. Fujian finished in eight place and did not qualify for the playoffs.

U.S. opposite Will Price finished the regular season as the league’s best scorer with 368 points. His team Beijing finished in fourth place to qualify for the playoffs. On Jan. 18, Beijing played the first semifinal against Shanghai and lost 25-22, 29-31, 25-20, 25-9. Price led all scorers with 20 points.

CEV CUP

Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow defeated France’s Spacer’s Toulouse VB, 22-25, 25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 18-16 in the CEV Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 13. Holt scored 12 points on five kills, five blocks and two aces. The two teams will play again on Jan. 21.

CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

The CEV Champions League resumes Jan. 21 with matches available for viewing online:
Jan. 21 at 8 a.m. PT: Zenit Kazan (Matt Anderson) at Olympiakos Peraeus (Carson Clark) – http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/live/zenit-kazan-olympiacos-piraeus/241374.html
Jan. 21 at 9 a.m. PT: Jihostroj Ceske Budejovice at Hypo Tirol Innsbruck (Andy Hein) – http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/live/jihostroj-ceske-budejovice-hypo-tirol-innsbruck/241378.html  
Jan. 21 at 9 a.m. PT: Asseco Resovia Rzeszow (Paul Lotman, Russell Holmes) at Volley Ljubljana – http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/live/asseco-resovia-rzeszow-ach-volley-ljubljana/241377.html
Jan. 21 at 10:30 a.m. PT:Berlin Recycling Volleys (Erik Shoji, Kawika Shoji, Scott Touzinsky) at Budvanska Rivijera Budva
http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/live/berlin-recycling-volleys-budvanska-rivijera-budva/241387.html
Jan. 21 at 11:25 a.m.: Posojilnica AICH at VfB Friedrichshafen (Nick Vogel)
http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/live/posojilnica-aich-dob-vfb-friedrichshafen/241392.html
Jan. 22 at 11:30 a.m. PT: Sir Safety Perugia (Joe Sunder) at Tours (Dan McDonnell, David Smith) – http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/live/sir-safety-perugia-tours-vb/241398.html