COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 15, 2018) – In a recent interview on the FIVB web site, U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson said the U.S. Men’s National Team’s goal for the new Volleyball Nations League is pretty simple.
“We want to win,” he said in the article posted to the FIVB web site. “I don’t think any weekend will be less difficult than any other. It will be a long tournament, accompanied by a lot of travel and physical work.”
He also offered his views on how volleyball could become an even better show.
“Anytime you can explain the game of volleyball in greater depth, it gives the viewers a better understanding of how intricate and powerful our sport can be. The commentators need to continue to bridge the gap between the extreme technical side of our tactics on the court and the viewer sitting at home flicking through the channels. I like how the slow-motion cameras have been able to accentuate the power and finesse behind some of the best players of our game.”
Read the entire interview on the FIVB web site.
Anderson and his Russian team Zenit Kazan remain undefeated in Champions League pool play. Kazan improved to 5-0 on Feb. 14 when it beat the Berlin Recycling Volleys of Germany, 25-17, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23.
Anderson led all scorers with 20 points on a match-high 19 kills (.567 hitting efficiency) and one ace. He was credited withy 14 receptions, 64 percent positive. U.S. outside hitter Kyle Russell played as a substitute for Berlin.
Italy’s Sir Safety Conad Perugia with outside hitter Aaron Russell and setter James Shaw is also undefeated at 5-0. On Feb. 15, it defeated Turkey’s Fenerbahce SK Istanbul, 25-22, 25-12, 20-25, 25-18. Russell scored 11 points on eight kills, one block and two aces. Shaw started the match and scored three points on two kills and one ace. He set the team to a .367 hitting efficiency.
Cucine Lube Civitanova with setter Micah Christenson and outside hitter Taylor Sander are 4-1 in pool play after beating Belgium’s Knack Roeselare, 25-16, 25-23, 25-23. Sander was a scoring leader with 13 points on 10 kills (.563 hitting efficiency), two blocks and one ace. He was credited with 12 receptions, 50 percent positive.
Setter Michael Saeta played as a substitute and scored one point as France's Chaumont fell to Russia's Dinamo Moscow, 25-16, 19-25, 25-19, 25-18 on Feb. 14.
Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke led Calzedonia Verona with 18 points as it defeated France’s Montpellier Volley in the quarterfinals of the CEV Cup, 26-24, 27-25, 22-25, 25-22. Jaeschke scored on 15 kills, two blocks and one ace.
Sir Safety Conad Perugia with Russell and Shaw continues to rule the roost in Italy.
On Feb. 11, Perugia beat Cucine Lube Civitanova with Christenson Sander, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20. Perugia improved its record to 20-2 and leads the league with 60 points. Civitanova is second at 18-4 with 53 points.
In the match, Russell scored 13 points on 11 kills and two aces. He was credited with 19 receptions, 42 percent positive. Shaw played as a substitute. Sander led his team with 16 points on 16 kills. He was credited with 26 receptions, 46 percent positive. Christenson scored three points on one kill and two aces. He set Civitanova to a .352 hitting efficiency.
Holt scored 10 points on eight kills (.666 hitting efficiency) and two blocks. Patch played as a substitute and scored two points on two kills.
Jaeschke and Calzedonia Verona defeated setter Kawika Shoji, outside hitter Jake Langlois and Gi Group Monza, 25-21, 16-25, 25-20, 25-23 on Feb. 11. Jaeschke scored 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks. He was credited with 35 receptions, 54 percent positive. Shoji started the last two sets and scored two points on one block and one ace. He helped set the team to a .386 hitting efficiency. Langlois did not play.
Middle blocker Taylor Averill and Revivre Milano defeated Biosi Indexa Sora, 25-22, 25-22, 25-16. Averill scored eight points on six kills (.750 hitting efficiency) and two blocks. American outside hitter Kupono Fey started the first two sets for Sora and scored one point on one kill.
Libero Erik Shoji and Taiwan Excellence Latina fell to Bunge Ravenna, 25-17, 25-18, 28-26 on Feb. 11. Shoji was credited with five receptions, 20 percent positive.
Anderson and Zenit Kazan beat Nova Novokuibyshevsk, 25-17, 25-19, 28-26 on Feb. 10. Anderson scored 11 points on 10 kill sand one ace.
Libero Dustin Watten and Cerrad Czarni Radom beat BBTS Bielsko-Biała, 25-22, 25-22, 24-26, 28-26 on Feb. 10. Watten was credited with 52 receptions, 48 percent positive.
Middle blocker David Smith and Aluron Virtu Warta Zawiercie fell to Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 on Feb. 10. Smith scored eight points on six kills (.857 hitting efficiency) and two aces.
Middle blocker Mitch Stahl started the fourth set and scored two points on two kills as he and Paris fell to Nice, 25-22, 14-025, 25-16, 26-24.
Setter Michael Saeta played as a substitute as Chaumont beat Rennes, 25-21, 23-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13 on Feb. 9.
Kyle Russell started the first two sets at opposite and scored four points on four kills for the Berlin Recycling Volleys in a 25-22, 25-21, 25-22 loss to SVG Luneburg on Feb. 10.
SHOJI Q AND A
Erik and Kawika Shoji will host a LIVE Instagram Q and A on Saturday (Feb. 17) between 12:30 and 1 p.m. PT. Get your questions on Instagram or Twitter by using the hashtag #shojibros.
Hey guys! @Kshoji7 and I will be hosting an Instagram Live Q and A Saturday night between 9:30 and 10:00 pm 🇮🇹 time (10:30 am Hawaii Time)! Sooo get your questions in either on Instagram or on Twitter by using the hashtag #shojibros. Can’t wait to answer your questions! 🇺🇸🏐 pic.twitter.com/cyhQufsTeL— Erik Shoji (@shojinator) February 15, 2018