U.S. Men's Update: Five Things about Kawika Shoji

By B.J. Evans | Nov. 11, 2015, 7 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 11, 2015) – Five things you might not know about U.S. setter Kawika Shoji:Kawika Shoji

1. He played libero for the 2007 U.S. Men’s Junior National Team that finished seventh at the FIVB World Championship.

2. He lettered in volleyball, basketball and golf at Iolani School in Honolulu.

3. He was the state prep basketball player of the year his senior year at Iolani.

4. He has been named best setter in both the Finnish volleyball league and the German Bundesliga. This winter he is playing for Akas Spor Kulubul in Turkey.

5. He is a big fan of Asian food.

Find out more about Kawika on his USAV bio.

TURKEY

Kawika Shoji’s Turkish team is still looking for its first league victory of the season. On Nov. 7, Arkas fell to Inegol Bld., 25-21, 25-20, 25-19 to fall to 0-3. Shoji set the team to a .204 hitting efficiency.

U.S. opposite Will Price is playing for Istanbul BBST, which is 3-0 so far this season. On Nov. 7, Istanbul defeated Fenerbahce, 25-23, 25-22, 24-26, 30-28. Priced led all scorer s with 24 points, including a match-high 19 kills and a match-high four aces. American Levi Cabral scored 12 points for Fenerbahce.

GERMANY

Libero Erik Shoji, outside hitter Paul Lotman and their German team Berlin Recycling Volleys improved to 3-0 in the Bundesliga with a 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 win over VfB Friedrichshafen on Nov. 8. Lotman scored 13 points on eight kills, two blocks and a match-high three aces. He was also credited with 21 receptions, 43 percent positive. Shoji was credited with seven receptions, 86 percent positive.

SWD powervolleys Duren, which includes setter Matt West, improved to 3-1 with a 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 win over TSV Herrsching on Nov. 7. West started the first two sets and scored two points on one kill and one ace. He set helped set Duren to a .452 hitting efficiency. Duren is coached by former U.S. Men’s National Team technical coordinator Anton (Willert) Brams.

Middle blocker Scott Kevorken and SVG Luneburg fell to United Volleys RheinMain, 25-19, 19-25, 25-13, 25-23 on Nov. 7. Kevorken scored five points on two kills and a team-high three blocks.

Setter Graham McIlvaine, outside hitter Peter Russell and outside hitter Daniel Tublin all contributed as TV Ingersoll Buhl beat TV Rottenburg, 17-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 15-11 on Nov. 7. McIlvaine started the first set and played as a substitute. Russell started the second and third sets and scored four points on four kills. Tublin started the first set.

RUSSIA

Matt Anderson, who plays outside hitter for Zenit Kazan in Russia, and his team are 2-0 after their first two matches. On Nov. 8, Kazan defeated Belogorie Belgorod, 25-21, 29-27, 25-15. Anderson scored nine points on eight kills and one block. On Nov. 11, Kazan beat Yenisey Krasnoyarsk, 25-17, 34-32, 25-14. Anderson started the third set and scored four points on four kills.

Middle blocker Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow are also 2-0 after the first two weeks. On Nov. 11, Moscow beat Ural Ufa, 25-15, 24-26, 25-27, 25-22, 15-10. Holt started the first three sets and scored five points on three kills, one ace and one block.

ITALY

Setter Micah Christenson and his Italian team Cucine Lube Banca Marche Civitanova are 4-0 in the league and in second place. On Nov. 11, Civitanova beat Tonazzo Padova, 25-22, 16-25, 25-10, 25-23. Christenson scored four points on one kill and three blocks and also set his team to a .315 hitting efficiency. U.S. middle blocker Taylor Averill, who plays for Padova, scored 14 points on 10 kills and four blocks. Outside hitter Brian Cook played as a substitute for Padova and scored one points with a kill.

U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander and Calzedonia Verona are 3-1 in the league. On Nov. 4, Sander was named the match MVP as Verona beat Ninfa Latina, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22. Sander scored 12 points on 10 kills and two aces. He was also credited with 20 receptions, 70 percent positive. On Nov. 8, Verona beat Exprivia Molfetta, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 20-25, 16-14. Sander scored 19 points on 16 kills, one block and two aces.

Sir Safety Conad Perugia, which includes outside hitter Aaron Russell and middle blocker Sam Holt, is 4-0 in the league. Russell and Holt have seen limited playing time.

POLAND

Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke got his first playing time in a league match for Asseco Resovia Rzeszow on Nov. 11 and helped his team defeat PGE Skra Belchatow, 25-21, 16-25, 25-20, 25-22. Jaeschke scored 11 points on seven kills, one block and a team-high three aces. He was credited with 33 receptions, 36 percent positive. 

Opposite Murphy Troy started two sets and scored three points on kills as his team Lotos Trefl Gdansk beat AZS Czestochowa, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20 on Nov. 11.

FRANCE

Middle blocker David Smith and Tours continued to struggle on Nov. 7 as they fell to Sete, 20-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-20, 15-11. Smith scored 11 points on three kills, a team-high five blocks and three aces. American Jace Olsen also plays for Tours but did not compete in the match. 

Libero Dustin Watten and Nancy also lost, falling to Montpellier, 22-25, 26-24, 29-27, 25-17 on Nov. 6. Watten was credited with 20 receptions, 65 percent positive.