U.S. Men Race past Russia at World Cup

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Oct. 14, 2019, 2:02 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 14, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team swept Russia, 25-23, 25-11, 25-16 on Monday at the FIVB World Cup in Hiroshima, Japan.

The U.S. Men (8-2) will conclude the World Cup on Tuesday (7 p.m. Monday PT) against Egypt (2-7). A victory would assure the U.S. of the bronze medal.

Related: OFFICIAL STATISTICS

Russia did not send its top players to the World Cup and it came into the match with a 4-5 record.

It started strong in the first set. But U.S. servers ramped up the pressure in the second and third sets. In the third set, Russia scored eight points on kills and eight points on U.S. errors.

In the end, the U.S. led in kills (45-27), blocks (9-2) and aces (7-3). It scored 14 points on Russian errors and committed 18.

The U.S. kill percentage was 64.3 behind setter Micah Christenson. Russia’s kill percentage was 48.2.

Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia led all scorers with 16 points on a match-high 11 kills, two blocks and three aces.

“I’m just glad that we were able to win,” Muagututia said. “That’s all that matters to me is winning. It’s a bonus to play well.

“I think we’ve been growing throughout the tournament. Hopefully we’ll finish with a win and our best play tomorrow.”

Outside hitter Aaron Russell added 11 points on seven kills, one block and three aces. Middle blocker Max Holt posted 10 points on six kills, a match-high three blocks and one ace.

Opposite Matt Anderson and middle blocker Mitch Stahl each scored nine points.

U.S. STARTERS VS RUSSIA

Outside hitters: Aaron Russell and Garrett Muagututia
Middle blockers: Max Holt and Mitch Stahl
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: Josh Tuaniga (S), Ben Patch (Opp), Michael Saeta (SS)

U.S. STATISTICS VS RUSSIA

Kills: Muagututia 11, Anderson 9, Stahl 8, Russell 7, Holt 6, Patch 3, Christenson 1
Blocks: Holt 3, Muagututia 2, Russell 1, Stahl 1, Patch 1, Christenson 1
Aces: Muagututia 3, Russell 3, Holt 1
Digs: Shoji 6, Anderson 5, Muagututia 3, Christenson 3, Russell 1

For roster and standings, visit the World Cup Page