U.S. Men to be Tested in Turin

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Sept. 25, 2018, 6:31 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Men celebrate their victory over Iran

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 25, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will begin the third round of the FIVB World Championship on Thursday at 8 a.m. PT when it will face Russia (6-2) at Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy.

The U.S. will play Brazil (7-1) on Friday at 8 a.m. PT and the top two teams in the three-team pool will advance to Saturday’s semifinals. The other three-team pool includes Italy (7-1), Poland (6-2) and Serbia (6-2).

All matches are being live streamed on FloVolleyball.tv, which is offering a 20 percent discount this month.

U.S. Men’s Head Coach John Speraw did not agree that one pool would be tougher than the other.

"Every time a competition enters the final phase there is always a conversation about the group draws,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I don't think there is an easier group. Italy and Serbia are playing so well. And I haven't seen Poland very much but when Kubiak is on fire, it's always hard. Our group is challenging, but that challenge can make us better."

The U.S. Men have achieved a big goal just by making it to the third round; and especially by making it undefeated at 8-0.

In 15 trips to the World Championship, the U.S. Men have only made it to the final six, four times. In 1986, they won the gold medal and in 1994, they took third. They finished sixth in 1956 and 2010.

Third-Round Schedule
(All times PT)
Sept. 26
8 a.m. Brazil vs Russia
12:15 p.m. Italy vs Serbia

Sept. 27
8 a.m. USA vs Russia
12:15 p.m. Poland vs Serbia

Sept. 28
8 a.m. Brazil vs USA
12:15 p.m. Italy vs Poland

Sept. 29
8 a.m. Semifinal 1
11:30 a.m. Semifinal 2

Sept. 30
8 a.m. Bronze medal match
11:30 a.m. Gold medal match

Individual Statistical Leaders after Two Rounds
(Includes only players from teams in final six)
Best Scorers
1 Ivan Zaytsev ITA (118 points on 95 kills, 9 blocks, 14 aces)
5 Matt Anderson USA (106 points on 90 kills, 6 blocks, 10 aces)
8 Aaron Russell USA (102 points on 90 kills, 8 blocks, 4 aces)

Best Spikers
1 Matt Anderson USA (90 kills, 30 faults on 152 attempts for 59.2%)
4 Taylor Sander USA (71 kills, 22 faults on 125 attempts for 56.8%)
5 Aaron Russell USA (90 kills, 19 faults on 159 attempts for 56.6%)

Best Blockers
1 Ilyas Kurkaev RUS (18 blocks, .62 per set)
8 Max Holt USA (13 blocks, .43 per set)

Best Servers
1 Maxim Mikhaylov RUS (15 aces, .52 per set)
3 Taylor Sander USA (13 aces, .43 per set)
8 Matt Anderson USA (10 aces, .33 per set)
9 Micah Christenson USA (10 aces, .33 per set)

Best Setters
1 Micah Christenson (242 running sets, 5 faults, 8.07 per set)

Best Diggers
1 Thales Hoss BRA (53 digs, 3 faults, 1.77 per set)
4 Erik Shoji USA (49 digs, 1 fault, 1.63 per set)

Best Receivers
1 Pawel Zatorski POL (59 excellent receptions, 5 faults, 36 per set)
2 Taylor Sander USA (52 excellent receptions, 4 faults, 35.56 per set)
3 Erik Shoji USA (38 excellent receptions, 5 faults, 34.74 per set)

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)
3C. 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. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Phoenix, Ariz., UC Irvine)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
12. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
13. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
18. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
20. 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
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Team Manager: Nate Ngo
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Team Doctors: Andrew Gregory and David Dyck
Scout Coach: Jon Parry
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall
Strength Coach: Tim Pelot 

U.S. Men’s World Championship Schedule
Round 2: Sofia, Bulgaria
Sept. 21: USA def Canada, 25-17, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17
Sept. 22: USA def Bulgaria, 25-20, 25-20, 25-18
Sept. 23: USA v Iran, 25-23, 26-24, 26-24

Round 1: Bari, Italy
Sept. 12: USA def Serbia, 15-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20, 15-20
Sept. 13: USA def Australia, 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 15-10
Sept. 15: USA def Russia, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20
Sept. 16: USA def Cameroon, 25-18, 25-20, 25-14
Sept. 18: USA def Tunisia, 25-12, 25-18, 25-13