COLORADO SPRINGS (Dec. 16, 2016) – Zenit Kazan, which includes Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who plays outside hitter, won the Cup of Russia, defeating Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, which includes libero Erik Shoji and setter Kawika Shoji, 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 25-17 on Dec. 17.
Anderson led all scorers in the match with 19 points on 15 kills, one block and three aces. He was credited with 20 receptions, 45 percent positive. Kawika Shoji set his team to a .337 hitting efficiency. Erik Shoji was credited with 30 receptions, 20 percent positive.
If you happen to be doing some holiday shopping in Russia, Zenit Kazan is selling a 2017 calendar that includes a photo of Anderson for January.
U.S. middle blocker Max Holt, the 2016 Male Indoor Player of the Year, has signed with his Italian team Azimut Modena until 2020.
Holt (Cincinnati) joined Modena this season after spending the last three winters with Dinamo Moscow. From 2010-12, Holt played for Piacenza in the Italian league and his first professional job was with Verona in 2009-10 after he finished with Penn State University. Holt earned an Olympic bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro this year.
On Dec. 18, Holt and Modena defeated Revivre Milano, 23-25, 21-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-11. Holt scored nine points on eight kills and one block. U.S. outside hitter Brian Cook was on Modena’s roster, but did not play.
Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Cucine Lube Civitanova beat LPR Piacenza, 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23 on Dec. 18. Christenson scored five points on one kill and four aces. He set Piacenza to a .395 hitting efficiency.
Outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and Sir Safety Perugia defeated Kioene Padova, 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 on Dec. 18. Setter James Shaw (Woodside, Calif.) was on the roster for Padova, but did not play. Middle blocker Taylor Averill (San Jose, Calif.) started the fourth set and scored two points on two kills.
Middle blocker Conrad Kaminski (New Berlin, Wis.) started the third and fourth sets as his Italian team Bunge Ravenna fell to Top Volley Latina, 28-26, 21-25, 25-23, 27-25 on Dec. 18. Kaminski scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and one ace.
Poland’s men’s national team has hired Italian Ferdinando De Giorgi to coach the team through 2020. He replaces Stephane Antiga, who coached Poland’s men’s national team to the 2014 FIVB World Championship.
Antiga signed to coach Canada’s men’s team for the 2020 quadrennial.
Outside hitter Scott Touzinsky and his Polish team Jastrzębski Węgiel defeated Łuczniczka Bydgoszcz, 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 on Dec. 16. Touzinsky scored four points on four kills and was credited with 18 receptions, 50 percent positive.
Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Cerrad Czarni Radom fell to Indykpol AZS Olsztyn, 22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-15 on Dec. 18. Smith scored 10 points on eight kills and two aces. Watten was credited with 20 receptions, 40 percent positive.
Also in Poland, setter Johah Seif (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), outside hitter Kyle Russell (Loomis, Calif.) and MKS Będzin defeated Espadon Szczecin, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21 on Dec. 19. Seif scored one point on one block and set his team to a .465 hitting efficiency. Russell scored 11 points on 11 kills. He was credited with 15 receptions, 20 percent positive.
SVG Luneburg, including Americans Michael Brinkley, Scott Kevorken, Cody Kessel and Eric Fitterer, swept the Netzhoppers Solwo Konigspark, 25-20, 25-18, 25-21 on Dec. 17. Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill.) led Luneburg with 16 points on 13 kills, two blocks and one ace. Kessel (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored 13 points on 10 kills, two blocks and one ace. He was credited with 18 receptions, 56 percent positive. Kevorken scored six points on five kills and one block. Brinkley was credited with an attack attempt.
Middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and Chaumont are leading France’s A League with an 8-1 record. On Dec. 17, Chaumont swept Toulouse, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20. McDonnell scored six points on five kills and one ace.
Outside hitter Greg Petty (Downers Grove, Ill.) scored 14 points as Pamvohaikos beat M.G.S. Ethnikos Alexandroupolis, 25-22, 25-15, 25-16. Petty scored on 10 kills, one block and a match-high three aces. He was credited with 25 receptions, 36 percent positive.
U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Beijing beat Jiangsu, 25-17, 25-19, 25-23 on Dec. 18. Sander scored 11 points on 11 kills.
Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia led all scorers with 14 points as his team Tianjin fell to Shanghai, 25-14, 25-21, 25-16 on Dec. 18. Muagututia scored on 13 kills and one ace.
Opposite Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.) and Istanbul BBSK defeated Arkas Spor, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21 on Dec. 17. Price scored 15 points on 13 kills and two blocks.
CEV CHAMPIONS CUP
Max Holt, Brian Cook and Azimut Modena are 2-0 after beating Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow, 25-22, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22 on Dec. 20. Holt scored 11 points on six kills, three blocks and two aces. Cook did not play in the match.
Matt Anderson and Zenit Kazan improved to 2-0 (and 6-0 in sets) by beating France’s Paris Volley, 25-17, 25-15, 25-21 on Dec. 21. Anderson did not play in the match.
Micah Christenson and Italy’s Cucine Lube Civitanova improved to 1-1 by beating Czech Republic’s Dukla Liberec, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 on Dec. 20. Christenson scored four points on one kill and four blocks and set Civitanova to a .438 hitting efficiency.
CEV Champions Cup matches are broadcast on Laola1.tv.