Five U.S. Men's Players Advancing at Club Worlds

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Nov. 28, 2018, 7:52 p.m. (ET)
Kawika Shoji and David Smith playing for Asseco Resovia
Kawika Shoji, left, and David Smith compete for Asseco Resovia Rzeszów at the Club World Championship.
 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 28, 2018) – Four European men’s club volleyball teams, each with at least one U.S. Men’s player on the roster, have secured slots in the semifinals of the FIVB Club World Championship in Płock and Rzeszów, Poland.

On Tuesday, Russia’s Fakel Novy Urengoy with libero Erik Shoji beat Poland’s Skra Belchatow, 23-25, 27-29, 30-28, 25-21, 21-19 to improve to 2-0 in pool play and advance.

“We have a lot of fight in our team, Shoji told the FIVB. “Obviously we are happy to win and advance.”

When asked about losing the first two sets, Shoji responded, “I think their serves were different than yesterday. They had more variation and we aren’t used to that, so we adjusted.”

Italy’s Cucine Lube Civitanova, with outside hitter Brenden Sander, defeated outside hitter Matt Anderson and Russia’s Zenit Kazan, 20-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 19-17 to get to 2-0 and make the semis.

On Wednesday, outside hitter Aaron Russell and Italy’s Trentino Volley beat Brazil’s Sada Cruzeiro and outside hitter Taylor Sander, 17-25, 28-26, 25-23, 27-25 to improve to 2-0 and move on to the semis.

Setter Kawika Shoji, middle blocker David Smith and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów of Poland beat Iran’s Khatam Arkakan, 25-21, 25-21, 25-11 to reach 2-0 and advance to the semis.

Semifinal seeding will be determined by the final pool play matches on Thursday. The semifinals will be in Częstochowa, Poland. FloVolleyball.tv, a subscription service, is showing all Club World Championship matches live.

Results
Nov. 26

Cucine Lube Civitanova def Skra Belchatow, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 27-25
Trentino Volley def Khatam Ardakan, 25-19, 25-15, 25-19
Fakel Novy Urengoy def Zenit Kazan, 25-23, 26-28, 21-25, 25-22, 15-11
Asseco Resovia Rzeszów def Sada Cruzeiro, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 24-26, 17-15

Nov. 27
Cucine Lube Civitanova def Zenit Kazan, 20-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 19-17
Fakel Novy Urengoi def Skra Belchatow, , 23-25, 27-29, 30-28, 25-21, 21-19

Nov. 28
Trentino Volley def Zada Cruzeiro, 17-25, 28-26, 25-23, 27-25
Asseco Resovia Rzeszów def Kahtam Aradakan, 25-21, 25-21, 25-11

Nov. 29
8:30 a.m. Fakel Novy Urengoy vs Cucine Lube Civitanova
8:30 a.m. Asseco Resovia Rzeszów vs Trentino Volley
11:30 a.m. Skra Belchatow vs Zenit Kazan
11:30 a.m. Khatam Ardakan vs Sada Cruzeiro

Dec. 1
8:30 a.m. Semifinal
11:30 p.m. Semifinal

Dec. 2
8:30 a.m. Bronze Medal
11:30 a.m. Gold Medal