U.S. Men's Update: At the Head of the Pac

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Feb. 18, 2016, 6:54 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 18, 2016) – Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly was named the Pac-12 Men’s Volleyball Player of the Century and several other present and former National Team members were named to the Pac-12 All-Century Men’s Volleyball roster.

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Kiraly, an outside hitter, led UCLA to three national titles during his collegiate career, and was an All-American all four years. He won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. Men’s National Team and one in beach volleyball.Erik Shoji

Current U.S. Men’s libero Erik Shoji (Stanford; 2009-12) made the list at his position.

Among the former Men’s National Team setters to make the list were Ricci Luyties (UCLA; 1981-84), Dusty Dvorak (USC; 1977-80) and Brandon Taliaferro (UCLA; 1997-2000).

The former Men’s National Team middle blockers to make the list were Bryan Ivie (USC; 1988-91), Doug Partie (UCLA; 1981-84), Jeff Nygaard (UCLA; 1992-95) and Scott Fortune (Stanford; 1985-87, 89).

Besides Kiraly, the Men’s National Team outside hitters on the list were Pat Powers (USC; 1978-80), Paul Nihipali (UCLA; 1994-97), Ernie Suwara (UCLA; 1965-67) and Mike Lambert (Stanford; 1993-95, 97).

Former UCLA Head Coach Al Scates, who has worked with the U.S. Men’s Team at various events, was named Coach of the Century.

To view the entire list, click here.

POLAND

Middle blocker Russell Holmes scored 12 points and Thomas Jaeschke added 11 as Asseco Resovia Rzeszów fell to PGE Skra Bełchatów, 25-22, 31-29, 24-26, 23-25, 15-13 on Feb. 10. Holmes scored on a match-high seven blocks, three kills and two aces. Jaeschke compiled 10 kills and one ace. He was credited with 26 receptions, 58 percent positive. On Feb. 13, Rzeszów defeated Jastrzębski Węgiel, 25-15, 25-15, 25-14. Jaeschke finished with 13 points on 10 kills, two blocks and one ace. He was credited with 11 receptions, 36 percent positive. Holmes added nine points on three kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace. Rzeszów is in third place in the league at 11-6.

On Feb. 10, opposite Murphy Troy and Lotos Trefl Gdańsk defeated AZS Częstochowa, 19-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23. Troy scored 18 points on 16 kills and two aces. On Feb. 13, Gdańsk beat PGE Skra Bełchatów, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16. Troy scored 13 points on 10 kills, two blocks and one ace. Gdańsk is in fourth place in the league at 13-3.

ITALY

Setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Reid Priddy and Cucine Lube Banca Marche Civitanova defeated outside hitter Taylor Sander and Calzedonia Verona, 25-19, 28-26, 23-25, 25-21 on Feb. 10. Christenson scored two points on a kill and a block and set his team to a .441 hitting efficiency. Priddy played as a substitute. Sander scored 18 points on 17 kills and one ace. On Feb. 14, Marche Civitanova beat Revivre Milano, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17. Christenson scored three points on three kills and set his team to a .394 hitting efficiency. Priddy played as a substitute and scored one point with a kill. He was credited with three receptions that were 100 percent positive.  Civitanova is in second place in the league at 16-2.

Also on Feb. 14, outside hitter Brian Cook, middle blocker Taylor Averill and Tonazzo Padova defeated Sander and Verona, 19-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-20. Cook scored 10 points on nine kills and one ace and was credited with 31 receptions, 61 percent positive. Averill scored seven points on five kills and two blocks. Sander scored 16 points on 12 kills, three blocks and one ace. He was credited with 21 receptions, 48 percent positive. Verona is in fifth place in the league at 10-8. Padova is in ninth at 6-12.

RUSSIA

Matt Anderson, who played outside hitter for Zenit Kazan, and his team defeated Nova Novokuybyshevsk, 25-17, 25-18, 27-25 on Feb. 10. Anderson started the first two sets and scored 11 points on nine kills and two blocks. He was credited with seven receptions, 29 percent positive. On Feb. 13, Kazan beat Ural Ufa, 25-22, 25-17, 25-19. Anderson scored 15 points on 10 kills, two blocks and a match-high three aces. He was credited with 24 receptions, 54 percent positive. Kazan is in first place in the league at 14-1.

Middle blocker Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow beat Neftyanik Orenburg, 25-13, 25-16, 25-18 on Feb. 10. Holt scored seven points on six kills and one ace. Moscow is in second place in the league at 11-4.

GERMANY

Outside hitter Paul Lotman led all scorers with 18 points as the Berlin Recycling Volleys beat the SWD powervolleys Duren, 25-20, 29-27, 25-20 on Feb. 10. Lotman scored on 14 kills, two blocks and two aces. He was credited with 19 receptions, 53 percent positive. Libero Erik Shoji, who also plays for Berlin, was credited with 12 receptions, 58 percent positive. Setter Matt West plays for Duren, but did not play in the match. On Feb. 13, Berlin defeated Netzhoppers KW-Bestensee, 25-20, 25-17, 25-19. Lotman scored seven points on six kills and one ace. He was credited with 19 receptions, 58 percent positive. Shoji was credited with six receptions, 67 percent positive.

Setter Graham McIlvaine and TV Ingersoll Bühl beat United Volley RheinMain, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, 28-26 on Feb. 10. McIlvaine scored nine points on three kills, two blocks and a team-high four aces. He set his team to a .356 hitting efficiency. On Feb. 14, Bühl beat VSG Coburg/Grub, 22-25, 25-12, 25-20, 25-19. McIlvaine scored three points on three blocks and set the team to a .412 hitting efficiency.

On Feb. 10, middle blocker Scott Kevorken and SVG Lüneburg beat Coburg/Grub, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 20-25, 15-13. Kevorken scored 10 points on five kills, three blocks and two aces.

GREECE

Middle blocker David Lee, outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky and their team PAOK beat Ethnikos Alexandroupolis, 25-15, 19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 15-12 on Feb. 7. Lee scored 15 points on nine kills, a match-high four blocks and once ace. Jablonsky added 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 13 receptions, 62 percent positive.

PAOK has also advanced to the semifinals of the Hellenic League Cup.

TURKEY

On Feb. 7, setter Kawika Shoji and Arkas Spor defeated Bornova Anadolu Lisesi, 29-27, 27-25, 25-11. Shoji scored seven points on one kill, a match-high four blocks and two aces. He set his team to a .425 hitting efficiency. On Feb. 14, Arkas Spor beat Besiktas, 25-23, 19-25, 25-19, 25-15. Shoji scored four points on a match-high four aces. He set his team to a .461 hitting efficiency. Arkas Spor is in second place in the league at 11-5.

Opposite Will Price and Istanbul BBSK beat M.Milli Piyango, 27-25, 28-26, 25-16 on Feb. 7. Price scored 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks. On Feb. 13, Istanbul fell to league-leading Halkbank, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18. Price led all scorers with 16 points on 15 kills and one ace. Istanbul is in third place in the league at 10-5.

FRANCE

Middle blocker David Smith scored 13 points on eight kills, a match-high four blocks and one ace as his team Tours beat Montpellier, 25-21, 25-22, 20-25, 25-11 on Feb. 12.

Libero Dustin Watten and Nancy fell to Stade Poitevin Volley, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 31-29 on Feb. 11. Watten was credited with 23 receptions, 61 percent positive.

CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

U.S. teammates collided this week in the first round of the Champions League playoffs. Champions League matches can be watched live and on-demand on Laola1.tv.

Matt Anderson and Russia’s Zenit Kazan beat Murphy Troy and Poland’s Lotos Trefl Gdansk, 25-19, 22-25, 25-17, 25-15 on Feb. 16. Anderson scored 13 points on 12 kills and one block. He was credited with 17 receptions, 41 percent positive. Troy led his team with 14 points on 12 kills and two aces.

Micah Christenson, Reid Priddy and Italy’s Cucine Lube Banca Marche Civitanova defeated Kawika Shoji and Arkas Izmir, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19. Christenson scored two points on two blocks and set his team to a .470 hitting efficiency. Priddy did not play. Shoji scored three points on one kill and two blocks and set his team to a .345 hitting efficiency.

David Smith and Tours fell to Russia’s Belgorie Belgorod, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23 on Feb. 17. Smith scored four points on three kills and one ace.

CEV CUP

Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow defeated outside hitter Aaron Russell and Italy’s Sir Safety Perugia, 25-20, 25-19, 25-22 in the Challenge Round of the CEV Cup on Feb. 18. Holt scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and one ace. Russell scored nine points on nine kills. He was credited with 18 receptions, 61 percent positive.

Erik Shoji, Paul Lotman and Germany’s Berlin Recycling Volleys fell to Finland’s VaLePa Sastamala, 29-31, 25-20, 28-26, 25-21. Lotman scored 13 points on 12 kills and one block. He was credited with 44 receptions, 43 percent positive. Shoji was credited with 15 receptions, 67 percent positive.