U.S. Men End Season with NORCECA Gold

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Oct. 01, 2017, 10:30 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Men celebrate win over Dominican Republic

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, October 1, 2017 – In its final match of the 2017 season, the U.S. Men’s National Team won the NORCECA Championship with a 25-17, 25-10, 25-12 victory over Dominican Republic on Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

The United States won its 10th NORCECA title with a 5-0 record.

OFFICIAL STATISTICS

Setter and Team Captain Micah Christenson was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Outside hitter Aaron Russell was named one of the Best Spikers.

The United States dominated Saturday’s match from start to finish, leading Dominican Republic in spikes (32-19), blocks (12-1) and aces (11-1). The U.S. scored 20 points off Dominican errors while committing 18. The U.S. hitting efficiency was .617.

“We had an emotional match with Canada yesterday so I was pleased with our team’s ability to come back and be really quite focused and perform at a high level,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “I was worried about a letdown and I thought they went out and did a really admirable job of playing USA Volleyball.”

U.S. opposite Matt Anderson led all scorers with 12 points on seven spikes (.778), two blocks and four aces.

Middle blocker David Smith scored 10 points on a match-high seven blocks, two attacks and one ace. Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, who substituted for Taylor Sander in the first set, scored 10 points on six spikes and four aces.

Most of the U.S. players will head to their international club teams over the next week and were happy to have ended the 2017 U.S. season on a high note.

“When I joined the team, our goal was to win Grand Champions Cup,” said Anderson, who re-joined the team in July and did not compete in the FIVB World League. “We came up short, but we played well and came away with things we needed to work on.

“Our goal after that was to come here and qualify for the World Championships, which we did. So yes, it was a successful season.”

Jaeschke admitted that the feeling after the match was bittersweet.

“These are your best friends for six months and then you just don’t see them,” he said.

“There will be a lot of guys in Italy (where Jaeschke will be playing), so that makes it a lot better. But you spend so much time together and become a family and then you just disappear for a long time. That’s why a professional league in the United States would be so great for us as players and as Americans.”

U.S. Starters vs. Dominican Republic
Libero: Erik Shoji
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Outside hitters: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell
Middle blockers: Max Holt and David Smith

U.S. Statistics vs. Dominican Republic
Kills: Anderson 7, Russell 6, Anderson 6, Holt 6, Sander 3, Smith 2, Christenson 2
Blocks: Smith 7, Russell 2, Anderson 2, Christenson 1
Aces: Jaeschke 4, Anderson 4, Smith 1, Russell 1, Christenson 1
Digs: Smith 4, Jaeschke 4, E Shoji 4, Sander 3, Christenson 3, Russell 3, Anderson 2, Holt 1

U.S. Men’s Roster

1. Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
13. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6. Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
14. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
20C. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager Nate Ngo
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coach: Greg Walker
Strength Coach: Tim Pelot

NORCECA Championship Schedule and Results
(All times MDT)

Sept. 26       Gym           Match
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   Trinidad & Tobago def St. Lucia, 25-15, 25-16, 25-17
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Costa Rica def Martinique, 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   USA def Guatemala, 25-12, 25-14, 25-10
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Mexico def St. Vincent, 25-7, 25-16, 25-10
         
Sept. 27        
5 p.m.    SportsCenter 1   Canada def St. Lucia, 25-9, 25-13, 25-8
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Costa Rica def St. Vincent, 25-10, 25-19, 25-21
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   Dominican Republic def Guatemala, 25-16, 25-20, 25-18
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Mexico def Martinique, 25-11, 25-15, 25-12
         
Sept. 28        
5 p.m.    SportsCenter 1   Canada def Trinidad & Tobago, 25-21, 25-12, 25-10
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Martinique def St. Vincent, 25-10, 25-14, 25-20
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   USA def Dominican Republic, 25-17, 25-21, 25-10
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Mexico def Costa Rica, 25-19, 25-16, 25-10
         
Sept. 29        
5 p.m.    SportsCenter 1   QF: Dominican Republic def Trinidad & Tobago, 25-18, 25-22, 25-21
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Class 7-10: Martinique def St. Vincent, 25-16, 25-18, 25-16
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   QF: USA def Costa Rica, 25-11, 25-7, 25-8
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Class 7-10: Guatemala def St. Lucia, 25-17, 25-15, 25-16
         
Sept. 30        
3 p.m.    SportsCenter 1   Class 5-8: Guatemala def Costa Rica, 20-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-15
3 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Class 9-10: St. Vincent def St. Lucia, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   Semi: Dominican Republic def Mexico, 25-20, 25-23, 25-23
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Class 5-8: Trinidad & Tobago def Martinique, 25-20, 25-23, 25-18
7 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   Semi: USA def Canada, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21
         
Oct. 1        
2 p.m.    SportsCenter 2   Class 7-8: Martinique def Costa Rica, 10-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 15-12
3 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   Bronze Medal Match: Canada def Mexico, 21-25, 25-13, 27-25, 25-18
4 p.m.   SportsCenter 2   Classification 5-6: Guatemala def Trinidad & Tobago, 25-18, 25-10, 25-15
5 p.m.   SportsCenter 1   Gold Medal Match: USA def Dominican Republic, 25-17, 25-10, 25-12