U.S. Men Win World League Pool on 4th of July

By B.J Evans | July 04, 2015, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 4, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team celebrated the Fourth of July by defeating Poland, 25-20, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23 in Krakow to win Pool B of the FIVB World League.

The United States finishes pool play at 9-3 to win the pool. Poland is second at 8-4. Both teams will compete in the World League Final Round on July 15-19 in Rio de Janeiro. The World League winning team earns $1 million.

In Saturday’s other Pool B match, Russia beat host Iran, 3-1, for its first victory of the 2015 World League.

DataVolley Statistics | Official Statistics | U.S. World League Page

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw used a new starting lineup and got good production from some bench players. Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke started and led all scorers with 19 points, including a match-high 17 kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Taylor Sander added 16 points on 13 kills, two blocks and one ace. Opposite Murphy Troy totaled 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace.

David Lee and Russell Holmes started at middle blocker and Kawika Shoji at setter. Erik Shoji rounded out the starting lineup at libero.

“I thought the total team effort made the difference today,” Speraw said. “Kawika, Thomas, Russell, Murphy and (Paul) Lotman all came off the bench to play great volleyball.”

The U.S. led in kills (57-48) and blocks (11-4). Holmes and Lee each had three blocks. Poland led in aces (7-3), but the U.S. improved on Friday with only 15 service errors. The U.S. hitting efficiency was .479. Poland’s was .260.

Erik Shoji was credited with 15 digs and Kawika Shoji with 13.

“Every loss is of course difficult,” Poland Head Coach Stephane Antiga said. “I just want to say that I really wanted to win. Every time we play in Poland, every one of us wants to win... Just like USA, our team looked a bit different today, as we decided to try new things, different variations of the game. USA gave us a lot of trouble with their very good performance on the left side of the attack – both their receivers played very well.”

Saturday’s starters
Outside hitter: Taylor Sander and Thomas Jaeschke
Middle blocker: David Lee and Russell Holmes
Opposite: Murphy Troy
Setter: Kawika Shoji
Libero: Erik Shoji

Saturday’s statistics
Kills: Jaeschke 17, Sander 13, Troy 13, Holmes 6, Lee 3, K Shoji 3, Lotman 2
Blocks: Holmes 3, Lee 3, Sander 2, Troy 1, Jaeschke 1, K Shoji 1
Aces: Sander 1, Troy 1, Jaeschke 1
Digs: E Shoji 15, K Shoji 13, Sander 8, Lotman 7, Troy 7, Jaeschke 6, Lee 3, Priddy 1, Holmes 1

U.S. Roster for FIVB World League
July 3-4
Krakow, Poland

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College) 
1. Matt Anderson (OH/OPP, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State) 
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State) 
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU) 
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State) 
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State) 
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford) 
8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount) 
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California) 
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola) 
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California) 
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU) 
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State) 
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine) 
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager: Andrea Becker
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Wall
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory 

2015 FIVB World League

Galen Center in Los Angeles
May 30: USA d Iran, 25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23
May 31: USA d Iran, 25-16, 25-16, 20-25, 25-20
Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.
June 5: USA d Russia, 25-18, 24-26, 25-15, 28-26
June 6: USA d Russia, 25-23, 25-21, 25-16
Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 12: USA d Poland, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 15-9
June 13: USA d Poland, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-17
Tehran, Iran
June 19: Iran d USA, 25-19, 29-27, 25-20
June 21: Iran d USA, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19
Kaliningrad, Russia
June 26: USA d Russia, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19
June 28: USA d Russia, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18
Krakow, Poland
July 3: Poland d USA, 19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 15-12
July 4: USA d Poland, 25-20, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23
July 15-19: World League Final Round (Must Qualify)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil