Men's Update: Champions League Begins

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Dec. 09, 2019, 3:29 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 9, 2019) – Pool play at the men’s CEV Champions League began Dec. 3 featuring teams with several U.S. Men’s players.

In Pool B, Germany’s Berlin Recycling Volleys beat ACH Volley Ljubljana of Slovenia, 25-21, 25-15, 26-24.

Berlin opposite Ben Patch was named the best player of the match. He led all scorers with 17 points on 14 kills and three blocks. Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk added eight points on eight kills.

Berlin outside hitters Cody Kessel and J.T. Hatch played as substitutes for Berlin but did not score. Opposite Kyle Ensing was on Berlin’s roster but did not play.

Libero Kyle Dagostino started for Ljubljana and was credited with 17 receptions, 29 percent positive.

Also in Pool B, Russia’s Kuzbass Kermerovo beat Russia’s Fakel Novy Urengoy with libero Erik Shoji, 26-24, 25-21, 25-18. Shoji was credited with 14 receptions, 29 percent positive.

Middle blocker David Smith and Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle of Poland beat Vojvodina NS Seme Nove Sad of Serbia on Tuesday, 25-20, 25-21, 25-21 in Pool E. Smith scored seven points on three kills, three blocks and one ace.

In Pool E, middle blocker Brendan Schmidt, setter Joe Worsley and Germany’s VfB Friedrichshafen fell to Belgium’s Knack Roeselare, 25-23, 25-21, 25-15. Schmidt scored four points on three kills and one block. Worsley subbed in the second set and started the third, but did not score.

In Pool D, middle blocker Price Jarman and France’s Tours fell to Poland’s Verva Warszawa Orlen Paliwa, 25-15, 25-22, 25-23. Jarman started sets 2 and 3 and scored four points on three kills and one block.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell and Italy’s Itas Trentino will begin Champions League play on Dec. 12 against Fenerbahce HDI Sigorta Istanbul of Turkey.

MA’A RELEASES NEW MUSIC

Setter Micah Ma’a has released two songs under the artist name Kama. The most recent release came out Nov. 22 and is called Tomorrow. His first released song was called Birds. You can hear both songs on Spotify.

ITALY

Leo Shoes Modena, which includes outside hitter Matt Anderson, setter Micah Christenson and middle blocker Max Holt, is in second place in the Italian Serie A League with an 8-2 record. On Dec. 8, it fell to Calzedonia Verona, including outside hitter Garrett Muagututia and setters Jennings Fraciscovic and Corey Chavers, 25-23, 25-17, 29-31, 19-25, 15-13.

Muagututia scored 11 points on nine kills and two blocks. Chavers played as a substitute. Anderson finished with 17 points on 14 kills and three aces. Holt also scored 17 points on 13 kills, three blocks and one ace. Christenson scored three points on two blocks and one ace and set Modena to a .417 hitting efficiency.

Verona is in eighth place at 5-6.

Aaron Russell and Itas Trentino sit in fourth place at 7-2. On Dec. 1, Trentino fell to Sir Safety Conad Perugia, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-23. Russell played as a substitute and scored two point on two kills.

Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia (2-8) with outside hitter T.J. DeFalco is in 12th place in the league. On Dec. 8, Vibo Valentia beat Top Volley Cisterna, 25-22, 28-26, 18-25, 23-25, 17-15. DeFalco led Valentia with 17 points on 15 kills, one block and one ace.

POLAND

Smith and Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle lead the Polish league with an 9-1 record. On Dec. 8, Kedzierzyn-Kozle beat Trefl Gdańsk, 25-23, 19-25, 36-34, 25-17. Smith scored eight points on six kills, one block and one ace.

Libero Dustin Watten and GKS Katowice are in ninth place at 3-7. On Dec. 7, Katowice lost to VERVA Warszawa ORLEN Paliwa, 25-23, 21-25, 26-28, 25-23, 16-14. Watten was credited with 24 receptions, 50 percent positive.

Outside hitter Brenden Sander has joined Cerrad Enea Czarni Radom. On Dec. 7, Radom fell to setter Josh Tuaniga and Ślepsk Malow Suwałki, 25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-7. Tuaniga scored six points on four kills and two aces. Suwałki finished with a .437 hitting efficiency. Sander started the third and fourth sets and played as a substitute and scored eight points on seven kills and one ace.

Radom (5-6) is in eighth place in the league and Suwałki (3-5) is in 11th.

Setter Kawika Shoji and Asseco Resovia Rzeszow are in 12th place in Poland at 2-8. On Dec. 7, Resovia Rzeszow fell to Jastrzębski Węgiel, 25-12, 25-20, 25-15. Shoji played as a substitute.

GERMANY

The Berlin Recycling Volleys continue to lead the league at 10-0. On Nov. 30, they beat Buhl, 25-18, 27-25, 25-21. Patch led Berlin with 18 points on 13 kills, four blocks and one ace. Jendryk added four points on four kills. Kessel started the third set and scored five points on five kills. He also had 14 receptions, 50 percent positive. Ensing played as a substitute and scored one point on one kill. Hatch did not play. Outside hitter Greg Petty scored nine points for Buhl on seven kills, one block and one ace. He also had 29 receptions, 41 percent positive.

Friedrichshafen is in second place in the league at 8-1. The team suffered its first loss on Nov. 30 to Herrsching, 18-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-16, 15-8. Schmidt scored four points on three kills and one ace. Worsley played as a substitute. U.S. opposite Jalen Penrose led Herrsching with 21 points on 18 kills, one block and two aces.

Outside hitter David Wieczorek and opposite Michael Wexter led Giesen in a 25-22, 20-25, 29-27, 25-20 loss to Luneburg on Nov. 30. Wexter scored 25 points on 19 kills, two blocks and a match-high four aces. Wieczorek scored 20 points on 20 kills. U.S. setter Leo Durkin started the first two sets for Luneburg but did not score. Outside hitter Michael Michelau played for Luneburg as a substitute.

RUSSIA

Shoji and Fakel Novy Urengoy sit in third place at 7-2. On Dec. 7, Urengoy beat Nova, 23-25, 25-12, 26-24, 25-21. Shoji was credited with 11 receptions, 64 percent positive.

FRANCE

Middle blocker Mitch Stahl and Chaumont are in fifth place in the French league at 6-5. On Dec. 6, Chaumont defeated Toulouse, 25-19, 25-20, 25-20. Stahl scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and one ace.

In a battle of U.S. setters on Nov. 29, Matt West and Cannes beat Micah Ma’a and Poitiers, 26-24, 23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-13. West set Cannes to a .390 hitting efficiency and scored three points on one kill and two blocks. His teammate, opposite Kyle Russell, scored 15 points on 14 kills and one ace. Ma’a set Poitiers to a .383 hitting efficiency and scored four points on two aces, one kill and one block.

On Dec. 6, West and Cannes fell to Tourcoing, 18-25, 22-25, 25-23, 30-28, 15-13. West scored two points on two aces and set Cannes to a .417 hitting efficiency.

On Dec. 6, Ma’a and Poitiers lost to Narbonne, 21-25, 25-20, 27-29, 25-20, 25-23. Ma’a scored six points on two aces, three kills and one block. He set Poitiers to a .362 hitting efficiency. U.S. opposite James Shaw is on Narbonne’s roster but has been sitting out due to injury.

Cannes is in ninth place at 5-6 while Poitiers is in 12th at 4-7. Narbonne is in 14th place at 3-8.

Middle blocker Price Jarman has been playing as a substitute for Tours, which is in third place at 6-4.