COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 26, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team bounced back from two straight losses to defeat host Russia, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19 in an FIVB World League match on Friday in Kaliningrad, Russia.
The U.S. Men improved their record to 7-2 and strengthened their hold on first place in Pool B as second-place Poland fell to Iran, 3-2 in Tehran on Friday. Russia fell to 0-9.
The U.S. and Russia will play again on Saturday at 9:10 a.m. PDT. The match will be shown LIVE at youtube.com/watch?v=rnEdm0ii9O4.
Coming off a weekend in Iran in which they lost both matches 3-0 in front of deafening crowds, U.S. Men’s Head Coach John Speraw changed things around and started Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell at the outsides while Matt Anderson moved back to opposite, where he started most of 2014.
Max Holt and David Smith started at middle blocker, Micah Christenson at setter and Erik Shoji at libero. Middle blocker David Lee was the only substitute, playing briefly in the front row for Russell in the first and third sets.
The moves paid off as Anderson led all scorers with 17 points on 14 kills, two blocks and one ace.
The U.S. led in kills (34-28) and had a hitting percentage of .284. Russia’s hitting percentage was .132. The United States also led in blocks (11-8) and aces (5-3). The U.S. scored 25 points on Russian errors while giving up 21.
The score was tied 11-11 in the first set when two straight Russian errors gave the U.S. a 13-11 lead, which it expanded to 18-14 and then 20-15.
Russia led 16-15 at the second technical timeout of the second set when the U.S. went on a 4-0 run, including two Russia errors, an Anderson block and ace from Smith to take the lead.
The U.S. jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the third set and Russia never threatened.
Friday’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
Kills: Anderson 14, Sander 7, Russell 4, Holt 4, Smith 4, Christenson 1
Blocks: Holt 4, Smith 3, Anderson 2, Christenson 2
Aces: Smith 1, Anderson 1, Sander 1, Holt 1, Christenson 1
Digs: Anderson 2, E Shoji 2, Christenson 1, Sander 1
U.S. Roster for FIVB World League
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)
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
June 19: Iran d USA, 25-19, 29-27, 25-20
June 21: Iran d USA, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19
June 26: USA d Russia, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19
June 28: USA at Russia
July 3: USA at Poland
July 4: USA at Poland
July 15-19: World League Final Round (Must Qualify)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil