Men's Update: Champions League Battles

By BJ Evans | March 10, 2015, 1:43 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 10, 2015) – The first round of the final six playoff at the CEV Champions League saw three teams with U.S. players come out on top.

Poland’s visiting Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, including middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), defeated Russia’s Lokomotiv Novosibirsk and middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.), 20-25, 25-21, 29-27, 25-17.

Paul Lotman and Russell Holmes
   Paul Lotman, left, and Russell Holmes see something funny in Russia.

“We flew straight from Surgut where we had our last game in the Russian SuperLeague,” Lee said in a CEV press release. “We knew that Resovia is a very strong team but the fact that so many players performed well last week was the main point that determined the final result of that match.

“I still hope that we can beat them… I know that Resovia have a lot of fans and it is going to be very loud on Wednesday night, which makes it even more difficult for us to fight our way back. My team is a little down right now from a psychological standpoint but I think we still stand a chance of making the final four.”

Holmes scored nine points on five kills and a match-high four blocks. Lee entered the match as a substitute in the third set and started the fourth. He scored three points on two kills and one block. Lotman did not play. The teams will play again on March 11 in Poland.

Holmes was named to the Dream Team of the Week by laola1.tv.

Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Russia’s Zenit Kazan hosted Halkbank Ankara and defeated the Turkish team, 25-19, 25-18, 25-17.  Anderson scored nine points on six kills, one block and two aces. The teams will play again on March 11 in Turkey.

Outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) played as a substitute as Italy’s Sir Safety Perugia defeated Poland’s visiting PGE Skra Belchatow, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 23-25, 16-14. The teams will play again on March 11 in Turkey.

WORLD LEAGUE

The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team, the 2014 FIVB World League champion, will begin defense of the title in Southern California and Hoffman Estates, Ill., this summer.
USA Volleyball will host Iran at the Galen Center in Los Angeles (May 30-31), Russia at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. (June 5-6), and Poland at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. (June 12-13).

Galen Center Tickets | Walter Pyramid Tickets | Sears Centre Arena TicketsUSAV World League Page | FIVB World League Page

CEV CUP
Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored 10 points as Russia’s Dinamo Moscow beat Turkey’s visiting Fenerbahce SK Istanbul, 25-16, 25-19, 25-18 in the Challenge Round of the CEV Cup on March 4. Holt scored on six kills, two blocks and two aces. The teams will play again on March 11.

LIVE ON LAOLA1.TV

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
March 11 at 9 a.m. PT: Russia’s Zenit Kazan (Matt Anderson) at Turkey’s Halkbank Ankara
laola1.tv/en-int/live/match-of-the-week-halkbank-ankara-zenit-kazan/301731.html

March 11 at 10 a.m. PT: Italy’s Sir Safety Perugia (Joe Sunder) at Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow
laola1.tv/en-int/live/pge-skra-belchatow-sir-safety-perugia/301729.html

March 11 at 12:30 p.m. PT: Russia’s Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (David Lee) at Asseco Resovia Rzeszow (Russell Holmes and Paul Lotman) of Poland
laola1.tv/en-int/live/asseco-resovia-rzeszow-lokomotiv-novosibirsk/301734.html

CEV CUP
March 11 at 9 a.m. PT: Russia’s Dinamo Moscow (Max Holt) at Turkey’s Fenerbahce SK Istanbul
laola1.tv/en-int/live/fenerbahce-sk-istanbul-dinamo-moscow/306257.html

POLAND

U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) led all scorers with 27 points as his Polish team Lotos Trefl Gdansk defeated PGE Skra Be┼échatów, 22-25, 32-30, 21-25, 25-22, 15-10 on March 7 in the playoff semifinals. Troy scored on 20 kills, one block and a match-high six aces. The teams play again on March 14 in the best-of-five series.

In the other semifinal, Asseco Resovia Rzeszow beat Jastrzebski Wegiel, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21. Russell Holmes was not on the roster for the match. Paul Lotman played the third set as a substitute and started the fourth and finished with six points on five kills and one block. The teams will play again on March 16.

U.S. libero AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.) and Transfer Bydgoszcz, playing for fifth-12th place in the Polish PlusLiga, defeated MKS Banimex Bedzin, 25-14, 25-22, 19-25, 25-14 on March 9. Nally was credited with 25 receptions, 40 percent positive.

ITALY

Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) scored 13 points on seven kills, a match-high four blocks and two aces as Calzedonia Verona defeated Exprivia Neldiritto Molfetta, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14, 25-15 on March 8.

Outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) started the third set and scored one point on one block as his Italian team Sir Safety Perugia defeated Revivre Milano, 29-27, 25-20, 26-24 on March 8.

Setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) played as a substitute as his Italian team CMC Ravenna beat Tonazzo Padova, 25-23, 26-24, 25-22 on March 8.

FRANCE

Middle blockers David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and their French team Tours beat Chaumont, 25-22, 25-15, 16-25, 26-24 on March 7. Smith scored 12 points on four kills, a match-high seven blocks and one ace. McDonnell added 10 points on eight kills and two blocks.

Libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Ajaccio defeated outside hitter Connor Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Montpellier, 25-22, 16-25, 25-14, 23-25, 15-13 on March 7. Watten was credited with 26 receptions, 73 percent positive. Hughes started the first set and played as a substitute, scoring five points on five kills. He was also credited with 16 receptions, 81 percent positive.

GERMANY

Setter B.J. Boldog and his German team CV Mitteldeutschland advanced to the quarterfinals of the league playoffs by going 2-0 against Herrsching. Mitteldeutschland will play middle blocker Nick Vogel (San Diego, Calif.) and Friedrichshafen in the quarterfinals, which begin March 15.

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), will play the Netzhoppers in the quarterfinals, starting on March 14.

Middle blocker Scott Kevorken and Lüneburg will play Bühl in the quarterfinals, starting on March 14

GREECE

Opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) substituted in the third set and started the fourth as his Greek team Olympiakos defeated AO Kifisias, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 29-27 on March 9. Clark scored seven points on seven kills.

Outside hitter Brian Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) scored 12 points for Panathinaikos in its 25-16, 25-16, 25-22 win over DP Aris on March 7. Cook scored on 10 kills and two blocks. Middle blocker Connor Dougherty played for Aris and scored five points on three kills, one block and one ace.