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Anderson Again Leads U.S. Men to Victory

By B.J. Evans | June 27, 2015, 5:54 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 27, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team improved to 8-2 in the FIVB World League on Saturday with a 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18 pool play victory over host Russia in Kaliningrad.

The top two teams from Pool B advance to the Final Round, and a chance to win $1 million, on July 14-19 in Rio de Janeiro. The United States leads Pool B ahead of second-place Poland (6-3) and third-place Iran (5-4). Poland plays Iran in Tehran on Sunday. If Poland wins, the U.S. Men are guaranteed to advance as at least the second-place team.

If Iran beats Poland, then the U.S. Men will need to win at least one match against the European side in the final World League weekend on July 3-4 in Krakow.

DataVolley Statistics | Official Statistics | U.S. World League Page

Russia, at 0-10, is no longer a factor in the pool and must work now to stay in the top World League group. It will travel to Tehran to play Iran on July 3-4.

For the second straight match, Matt Anderson, who plays for a club team in Russia during the winter, seemed very comfortable in Kaliningrad. He started at opposite for the U.S. and led the team in scoring with 18 points on 14 kills, one block and a match-high three aces.

The U.S. led Russia in aces, 7-5, but also struggled with 26 service errors. In total, Russia scored 38 points on U.S. errors while giving up 25.

The U.S. led Iran in kills, 52-41 and had a .346 hitting efficiency. Russia’s hitting efficiency was .301. Aaron Russell had 12 kills for the U.S. Men and Taylor Sander added nine.

The U.S. out-blocked Russia, 11-4, led by setter Micah Christenson, who was credited with four blocks, and middle blocker David Smith, who totaled three.

Saturday’s starting lineup
Outside hitter: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell
Middle blocker: Max Holt and David Smith
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji

Saturday’s statistics
Kills: Anderson 14, Russell 12, Sander 9, Russell 4, Holt 8, Smith 3, Christenson 3, Lee 2
Blocks: Christenson 4, Smith 3, Holt 2, Anderson 1, Lee 1
Aces: Anderson 3, Lee 2, Christenson 2
Digs: E Shoji 6, Sander 3, Christenson 3, Anderson 2, Russell 1

U.S. Roster for FIVB World League
June 26-27
Kaliningrad, Russia

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College) 
1. Matt Anderson (OH/OPP, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State) 
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State) 
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU) 
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State) 
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State) 
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford) 
8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount) 
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California) 
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola) 
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California) 
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU) 
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State) 
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine) 
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw

Team Manager: Andrea Becker

Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Wall
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory

2015 FIVB World League

Galen Center in Los Angeles
May 30: USA d Iran, 25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23
May 31: USA d Iran, 25-16, 25-16, 20-25, 25-20
Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.
June 5: USA d Russia, 25-18, 24-26, 25-15, 28-26
June 6: USA d Russia, 25-23, 25-21, 25-16
Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 12: USA d Poland, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 15-9
June 13: USA d Poland, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-17
Tehran, Iran
June 19: Iran d USA, 25-19, 29-27, 25-20
June 21: Iran d USA, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19
Kaliningrad, Russia
June 26: USA d Russia, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19
June 28: USA d Russia, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18
Krakow, Poland
July 3: USA at Poland
July 4: USA at Poland
July 15-19: World League Final Round (Must Qualify)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil