U.S. Men Fall to Italy and Finish Fourth

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Sept. 17, 2017, 2:28 a.m. (ET)

Ben Patch attacks

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 17, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team ended the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup with a 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 29-27 loss to Italy on Sunday in Osaka, Japan.

Matt Anderson was named the tournament's Best Opposite. Anderson was the fourth-leading scorer (87 points) and attacker (70 kills on 134 attempts; .410) in the tournament. He was second in aces (9; .45 per set) and he was the United States' leading blocker (.40 per set).

The U.S. finished the tournament in fourth place with a 2-3 record. They will compete next at the NORCECA Men’s Championship on Sept. 26-Oct. 1 in Colorado Springs.

OFFICIAL STATISTICSMATCH REPLAYFIVB WGCC WEB PAGE | NORCECA MEN'S CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The U.S. led Italy in kills (52-51) and blocks (7-6) but trailed in aces (4-2) and struggled with 41 errors, including 25 service errors. The U.S. also struggled with Italy’s tough serving.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw started Thomas Jaeschke and Aaron Russell at outside hitter, Max Holt and David Smith at middle blocker, Matt Anderson at opposite, Micah Christenson at setter and Erik Shoji at libero.

After losing the first set, Speraw moved Anderson to outside hitter and put Ben Patch in at opposite. Russell played at the other outside.

Later in the second set, he brought Kawika Shoji in for Christenson at setter. Jeff Jendryk started the third set at middle blocker for Holt.

The changes seemed to spark the U.S., which won the third set. It held a 14-11 lead in the fourth set. But Italy fought back. Italy took match point at 24-23. The U.S. fought it off and took three set points, but could not convert. With the score tied 27-27, Italy scored on two straight U.S. net violations.

Russell and Patch led the U.S. in scoring with 16 points each. Anderson had 13.

U.S. Starters vs Italy
Outside hitters: Aaron Russell and Thomas Jaeschke
Middle blockers: Max Holt and David Smith
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji

U.S. Statistics vs Italy
Kills: Ben Patch 16, Russell 13, Anderson 11, Smith 7, Kawika Shoji 2, Jeff Jendryk 1, Holt 1, Christenson 1
Blocks: Anderson 2, Holt 2, K Shoji 1, Russell 1, Jendryk 1
Aces: Russell 2
Digs: E Shoji 8, Russell 5, Smith 4, Anderson 3, Christenson 3, Patch 2, Jendryk 1, Jaeschke 1, Holt 1, K Shoji 1

FIVB World Grand Champions Cup
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. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
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)
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)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
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: John Crawley
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall
Strength Coach: Tim Pelot

Schedule/Results
All times PT

Sept. 12: Brazil def. France, 27-25, 27-25, 25-22
Sept. 12: Iran def. Italy, 25-19, 23-25, 28-26, 29-31, 15-11
Sept. 12: USA def. Japan, 25-21, 25-18, 25-13

Sept. 13: Italy def. Brazil, 15-25, 27-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12
Sept. 13: Iran def USA, 20-25, 17-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-12
Sept. 13: France def. Japan, 25-15, 25-23, 25-23

Sept. 15: Brazil def. Iran, 25-22, 25-19, 25-13
Sept. 15: USA def. France, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16
Sept. 15: Italy vs Japan, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22

Sept. 16: Brazil def. USA, 28-26, 15-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13
Sept. 16: Italy def France, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21
Sept. 16: Iran def. Japan, 21-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-20

Sept. 17: Italy def. USA, 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 29-27 
Sept. 17 at 10:40 p.m.: Iran vs France
Sept. 17 at 2:15 a.m.: Brazil vs Japan