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U.S. Men Make it 4-0 in World League

By B.J. Evans | June 06, 2015, 11 p.m. (ET)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (June 6, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team took the lead in Pool B of the FIVB World League on Saturday with a 25-23, 25-21, 25-16 victory over Russia at the Walter Pyramid.

The United States is 4-0 after the first two weeks of World League and has won all its matches 3-1 or 3-0 to earn 12 points. Poland, which the U.S. will play next on June 12 and 13 in Hoffman Estates, Ill., is also 4-0, but has 10 points.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw puts a premium on his team improving with each match. On Saturday, the U.S. Men improved in each set, paced by outside hitter Matt Anderson, who led all scorers with 14 points.

DataVolley Statistics | Official Statistics | World League Event Page

Russia kept the score close in the first two sets, but in the third, the U.S. took a 15-4 lead before Russia started to mount any sort of rally.

“You could tell Russia was very prepared, particularly with how they were setting up their block against our tendencies,” Speraw said. “I think we responded by playing much better ourselves and I thought we did some very nice things at the net as well. I am very pleased to get three points and six on the weekend.”

Russia held a 12-7 lead in blocks, but the U.S. led in kills (39-25) and aces (5-2).

“We played better (than Friday) on the block,” Russia coach Sergio Busato said. “But in other skills we played very bad. We played very bad in reception, we played very bad in attack, we played very bad in the serve. In this moment, we are looking at (the Final Round in) Rio de Janeiro with binoculars.

Anderson scored his 14 points on 12 kills, one block and one ace. He was also credited with 11 receptions. Outside hitter Aaron Russell scored 10 points on 10 attacks. Opposite Murphy Troy added 10 points on eight attacks and two blocks.

Pavel Moroz paced Russia with 12 points on 12 kills.

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

Saturday's stats:
Points: Anderson 14, Russell 10, Troy 10, Smith 8, Holt 5, Christenson 3, Lee 1
Kills: Anderson 12, Russell 10, Troy 8, Smith 5, Holt 3, Christenson 1
Blocks: Troy 2, Holt 2, Smith 2, Anderson 1
Aces: Christenson 2, Smith 1, Lee 1, Anderson 1
Digs: Russell 7, Shoji 7, Holt 6, Anderson 3, Troy 3, Christenson 3, Smith 2, Lee 1

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) 
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State) 
6. Paul Lot man (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 (Pop, 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) 
15. Carson Clark (Pop, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine) 
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

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 v Poland, 7 p.m. CT
June 13: USA v Poland, 7 p.m. CT

Tehran, Iran
June 19: USA at Iran
June 21: USA at Iran

Kaliningrad, Russia
June 26: USA at Russia
June 28: USA at Russia

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