Men's Update: Helping out a Friend of Volleyball

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans | Feb. 08, 2017, 6:35 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS (Feb. 8, 2017) – Members of the U.S. Men’s National Team are pulling together to support Bruno Serato, owner and head chef of the Anaheim White House restaurant, which was destroyed by fire on the morning of Feb. 7.

When the U.S. Men’s team first moved to Anaheim, Calif., in 2006, the team ate lunch daily at the upscale restaurant. It was always amusing to see the players in their sweats, post-workout sitting at tables with fancy white tablecloths, silver and china.

In recent years, the meals were less frequent, but they were always delicious and served with great care by Bruno and his staff. Most recently, the U.S. Men hosted Iran’s men’s volleyball team at a dinner held at the Anaheim White House’s West Wing in 2015.

Bruno also received acclaim for his work feeding low-income children in and around Anaheim for the past 12 years through his own foundation. In 2011, CNN recognized Bruno’s efforts by naming him one of their Top 10 Heroes. Over the years, members of the U.S. Men’s Team have helped serve pasta to the children with Bruno.

Since the fire, players have donated to a GoFundMe effort to help Serato rebuild. They are also donating pasta to help Bruno continue to feed children.

“Such a terrible tragedy for someone who helps so many people,” 2012 Olympian Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) wrote on his Facebook page. “I don't need to list what Bruno has given to USA Volleyball and the community of Anaheim. If you know him, you will help. Please share/donate to help get the White House up and running again!”

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ITALY

Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Cucine Lube Civitanova continue to win. On Feb. 2, Civitanova beat outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and Sir Safety Perugia, 33-31, 25-10, 20-25, 25-16.

Christenson scored eight points on three kills, a match-high three blocks and two aces and set Civitanova to a .494 hitting efficiency. Russell scored nine points on eight kills and one block. He was credited with 25 receptions, 40 percent positive.

On Feb. 8, Christenson was named match MVP as Civitanova beat Bunge Ravenna, 25-15, 25-16, 26-24. Christenson scored eight points on four kills, three blocks and one ace. He set his team to a .473 hitting efficiency. Middle blocker Conrad Kaminski (New Berlin, Wis.) started the third set for Ravenna and scored three points on two kills and one block.

Perugia came back to sweep Exprivia Molfetta, 25-20, 25-16, 25-17 on Feb. 8. Russell scored nine points on six kills, one block and two aces. He as credited with seven receptions, 57 percent positive.

Civitanova leads the league with a 20-2 record. Perugia is in third at 17-5.

Also in Italy, middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati) and Azimut Modena were swept by Calzedonia Verona, 25-20, 25-17, 26-24 on Feb. 5. Holt played as a substitute and started the third set, scoring one point on one kill. Outside hitter Brian Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) played as a substitute.

Following the match, Modena announced that it had parted ways with Cook and also its head coach, Roberto Piazza.

On Feb. 8, Modena beat Gi Group Monza, 23-25, 25-13, 22-25, 28-26, 15-10. Holt scored nine points on six kills, two blocks and one ace.

Setter James Shaw (Woodside, Calif.), middle blocker Taylor Averill (San Jose, Calif.) and Kioene Padova lost a battle to Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, 19-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 21-19 on Feb. 5. Shaw scored five points on five kills and set Padova to a .319 hitting efficiency. Averill added 10 points on five kills, three blocks and two aces. Padova’s record is 4-17.

On Feb. 8, Padova came back to beat Revivre Milano, 32-30, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20. Shaw scored five points on three kills, one block and one ace. He set Padova to a .320 hitting efficiency. Averill scored 10 points on nine kills and one block.

POLAND

Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Cerrad Czarni Radom suffered a tough loss to ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, 21-25, 26-24, 17-25, 25-19, 19-17 on Feb. 4.  Smith scored nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace. Watten was credited with 21 receptions, 29 percent positive.

Setter Jonah Seif (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and MKS Będzin lost to Jastrzębski Węgiel, 21-25, 25-22, 28-26, 25-20 on Feb. 3. Seif started the first three sets and substituted in the fourth. He scored four points on three blocks and one ace. He set the team to a .396 hitting efficiency. Outside hitter Kyle Russell (Loomis, Calif.)  played as a substitute.

RUSSIA

Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who plays outside hitter for Zenit Kazan, and his team came back from 0-2 to beat Kuzbass Kemerovo, 22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 16-14 on Feb. 5. Anderson scored 16 points on 11 kills, a match-high four blocks and one ace. He was credited with 24 receptions, 25 percent positive.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk defeated Gazprom-Ugra Surgut, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22 on Feb. 5. Erik Shoji was credited with 13 receptions, 69 percent positive. Kawika Shoji played as a substitute and started the fourth set.

CHINA

Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Beijing beat Sichuan in the first match of their league semifinal series, 25-22, 25-19, 25-23 on Feb. 5. Sander scored 10 points.

FRANCE

Middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.)  and Chaumont lost a battle to Paris, 33-31, 21-25, 27-25, 18-25, 16-14. McDonnell scored 14 points on seven kills, two blocks and a match-high five aces.

TURKEY

Opposite Will Price led all scorers with 23 points as his team, Istanbul BBSK, fell to Galatasaray HDI Sigorta, 32-34, 27-25, 25-23, 28-26 on Feb. 5. Price scored on 20 kills and three blocks.        

GERMANY

SVG Luneburg, including Americans Michael BrinkleyScott KevorkenCody Kessel and Eric Fitterer, fell to Solingen Volleys, 25-19, 28-26, 25-22 on Feb. 4. Outside hitter Kessel (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led his team with 10 points on 10 kills. He was credited with 43 receptions, 44 percent positive. Middle blocker Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) started the third set and scored five points on four kills and one block. Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill.), at opposite, played as a substitute and scored four points on three kills and one ace. Brinkley (Huntington Beach, Calif.) did not play.