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U.S. Men Beat Iran in Ljubljana Challenge

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Sept. 06, 2018, 11:41 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 6, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team began its official warmup for the FIVB World Championship with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-20 win over Iran at the Ljubljana Volleyball Challenge on Thursday in Slovenia.

The U.S. Men will play Canada on Friday at 8 a.m. PT. No live stream is available, but you can keep up with set scores on the @USAVolleyball Twitter account.

“It was good to play against somebody else that is not Team USA,” U.S. opposite Matt Anderson told the Slovenian Federation. “The things on the court are a little bit more uncontrollable. You need to deal with the uncertainty and it's good that we played as good as we did.”

The U.S. Men led Iran in kills (53-32), blocks (7-5) and aces (9-2). Micah Christenson set the U.S. to a .540 hitting efficiency while Iran hit .283 behind setter Mohammad Taher Vadi.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell led all scorers with 12 points on a match-high three blocks, seven kills and two aces. Anderson added 10 points on a match-high three aces, six kills and one block.

Opposite Ben Patch, who started the third set for Anderson, finished with eight points all on kills.


Outside hitter: Aaron Russell and Taylor Sander
Middle blockers: Max Holt and Taylor Averill
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: Ben Patch (Opp), Jake Langlois (OH), Jeff Jendryk (MB), Dan McDonnell (MB)

Kills: Patch 8, Russell 7, Anderson 6, Sander 6, Averill 3, Jendryk 2, Holt 2, Langlois 2, Christenson 1
Blocks: Russell 3, Averill 2, Anderson 1, Holt 1
Aces: Anderson 3, Russell 2, Christenson 2, Averill 1, Sander 1
Digs: Shoji 8, Christenson 8, Russell 4, Holt 3, Langlois 3, Sander 2, Patch 2, Anderson 2, Averill 1

2018 Ljubljana Volleyball Challenge

U.S. Men’s Roster
1. Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
3C. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
10. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Phoenix, Ariz., UC Irvine)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
12. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
13. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
18. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Team Manager: Nate Ngo
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Psychologist: Andrea Becker
Team Doctors: Andrew Gregory and David Dyck
Scout Coach: Jon Parry
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall
Strength Coach: Tim Pelot

U.S. Men's Schedule
All times Pacific
Sept. 6: USA def Iran, 25-18, 25-15, 25-20
Sept. 7: USA vs. Canada, 8 a.m.
Sept. 8: USA vs. Slovenia, 9 a.m.

U.S. Men’s World Championship Pool Play Schedule
Bari, Italy
All matches will be shown on Flovolleyball.tv
(All times PT)

Sept. 12 at 11:30 a.m.: Serbia
Sept. 13 at 8 a.m.: Australia
Sept. 15 at 11:30 a.m.: Russia
Sept. 16 at 8 a.m.: Cameroon
Sept. 18 at 8 a.m.: Tunisia


Related Athletes

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Matt Anderson

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Taylor Averill

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Micah Christenson

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Max Holt

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Jeff Jendryk

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Jake Langlois

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Dan McDonnell

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Ben Patch

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Aaron Russell

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Taylor Sander

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Erik Shoji