U.S. Men Renew Rivalry with Poland

By B.J. Evans | June 11, 2015, 9:04 p.m. (ET)

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (June 11, 2015) – The last time the U.S. Men’s National Team played Poland, it was at the 2014 FIVB World Championship in Poland.

The United States won the match in front of a stunned crowd of 10,600 in Lodz. It was Poland’s only loss as it went on to win the world title.

No doubt, Poland will be looking for a little revenge when it plays the U.S. Men on June 12 and 13 at the Sears Centre Arena. It will be supported by a largely Polish leaning crowd from around the Chicago area.

U.S. World League Page | FIVB World League Page

To heighten the stakes, both teams are 4-0 in World League pool play, however the U.S. leads the group with 12 points while Poland had 10 thanks to playing two five-set matches.

“I think they’re a great team and they have a lot of young, talented players just like us,” said U.S. Team Captain Paul Lotman, who has played for a Polish club team the last four winters. “It will be a big test for us. I know the environment is going to be predominantly Polish, so for them it will be a home match. I expect it will be two great matches.”

U.S. opposite Murphy Troy also played in Poland over the winter, as did middle blocker Russell Holmes, who played on the same team as Lotman.

Bartosz Kurek leads Poland in scoring with 89 points on 78 kills, six blocks and five aces. Mateusz Mika has 61 points on 55 kills, four blocks and two aces.

Matt Anderson leads the U.S. with 59 points on 47 kills, seven blocks and five aces. Troy is second with 42 points on 34 kills, five blocks and three aces.

The U.S. is still without outside hitter Taylor Sander, who has an ankle injury, although he is training with the team in Hoffman Estates. That leaves room on the roster for young outside hitters Aaron Russell and Thomas Jaeschke. Jaeschke, the 2015 AVCA Player of the Year, grew up in nearby Wheaton, Ill., and plays college volleyball for Loyola of Chicago.

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) 
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 (Pop, 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) 
15. Carson Clark (Pop, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine) 
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

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 v Poland, 7 p.m. CT
June 13: USA v Poland, 7 p.m. CT

Tehran, Iran
June 19: USA at Iran
June 21: USA at Iran

Kaliningrad, Russia
June 26: USA at Russia
June 28: USA at Russia

Krakow, Poland
July 3: USA at Poland
July 4: USA at Poland

July 15-19: World League Final Round (Must Qualify)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil