USA Volleyball Features U.S. Men Sack St. Lu...

U.S. Men Sack St. Lucia at NORCECA

Sept. 23, 2013, 9:54 p.m. (ET)

LANGLEY, B.C., Canada (Sept. 23, 2013) – Veteran players and newcomers combined to carry the U.S. Men’s National Team over St. Lucia, 25-12, 25-10, 25-11 on Monday at the NORCECA Continental Championship at the Langley Events Center.

Futi Tavana goes high for the attack
  Futi Tavana goes high for the attack against St. Lucia.

The United States (1-0) will play Dominican Republic in its second pool play match on Tuesday at 8 p.m. PT. The events are being live streamed at The Championship winner will qualify for the FIVB Grand Champions Cup in November in Japan.

The U.S. Men dominated the match, leading in kills (57-23), blocks (12-2) and aces (11-1). (All statistics are unofficial)

“We are getting warmed up in the tournament, trying to play as well as we can to set the tone for the rest of the tournament,” said U.S. Team Captain Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), who was playing with the National Team for the first time since the 2012 Olympic Games. “We have a mixed team. We have guy who have played in three Olympics, guys who have played in two Olympics, guys who have played in one Olympics and guys playing in their first tournament. We hope it’s the right mix to help us.”

Three U.S. players competed in their first matches for the senior team: middle blocker Futi Tavana (Kalaheo, Hawaii) and setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu), who both started the match, and outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who started the second and third sets.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) was happy with the victory.

“We’re happy to get the opportunity to compete and we’re happy with the victory,” Speraw said. “We wanted to take care of our side of the net and improve on the aspects of our game that we worked on all summer.”

U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) led all scorers with 14 points on a match-high 12 kills, one block and one ace. Middle blockers David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Tavana each scored 11 points. Lee had four kills, a match-high five blocks and two aces. Tavana had seven attacks and four blocks.

Among other U.S. scorers, Menzel finished with seven points on five attacks and two aces. Christenson had six points on a match-high five aces and one block. Rooney finished with five points on four kills and one block.

Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), also playing in his first U.S. match since the 2012 Olympic Games, started the first set and scored two points on two attacks. Setter Kyle Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) started the third set and scored one point on one kill.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) was credited with eight receptions, 62 percent positive. Menzel also had eight receptions, 62 percent positive.

Speraw started Priddy and Rooney at outside hitter, Lee and Tavana at middle blocker, Troy at opposite, Christenson at setter and Shoji at libero.

Menzel took over for Priddy to start the second and third sets. Caldwell replaced Christenson to start the third.

The U.S. Men never trailed in the first set and held an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) and a 16-8 advantage at the second.

St. Lucia kept the second set close and held a 7-6 lead when Troy scored with a kill giving the serve to Christenson, who served for the next five points, including three straight aces, to give the U.S. a 12-7 lead and St. Lucia did not rally.

The third-set score was tied 6-6 when Troy scored with a kill and followed with an ace to spark a 4-0 run that put the U.S. firmly in the lead.

2013 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team
NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship
Sept. 23-28 in Langley, B.C., Canada

U.S. Roster for the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship
No. - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)

1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2 - Sean Rooney (OH, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 - Kyle Caldwell (S, 6-8, Newport Beach, Calif., UCLA)
4 - David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
8 - Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 - Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
11 - Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
14 – Jeff Menzel (OH, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
15 - Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17 - Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
21 - Futi Tavana (MB, 6-7, Kalaheo, Hawaii, BYU)
22 - Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw (Los Angeles)
Team Manager: Anton Willert (Berlin, Germany)
Assistant Coach: Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Wall (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Andrea Becker (Martinez, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Charlie Sullivan (Springfield, Mass.)
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Team Doctor: Chris Lee

NORCECA Men’s Continental Championships Schedule
All times PT
Sept. 23
4 p.m.: United States def. St. Lucia, 25-12, 25-10, 25-11 (Group A)
6 p.m.: Cuba def. Bahamas, 3-0 (Group B)
8 p.m.: Canada vs. Guatemala (Group C)

Sept. 24
4 p.m.: Mexico vs. Guatemala (Group C)
6 p.m.: Cuba vs. Puerto Rico (Group B)
8 p.m.: United States vs. Dominican Republic (Group A)

Sept. 25
4 p.m.: Puerto Rico vs. Bahamas (Group B)
6 p.m.: Dominican Republic vs. St. Lucia (Group A)
8 p.m.: Canada vs. Mexico (Group C)

Sept. 26
9th-Place Final, 4 p.m.
Quarterfinals, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals, 8 p.m.

Sept. 27
7th/8th-Place Final, 4 p.m.
Semifinals, 6 p.m.
Semifinals, 8 p.m.

Sept. 28
Fifth-Place Match, 4 p.m.
Bronze-Medal Match, 6 p.m.
Championship Finals, 8 p.m.

Past Champions
1969:  Cuba (USA, third)
1971:  Cuba (USA, second)
1973:  USA
1975:  Cuba (USA, third)
1977:  Cuba (USA, fifth)
1979:  Cuba (USA, fifth)
1981:  Cuba (USA, second)
1983:  USA
1985:  USA
1987:  Cuba (USA, second)
1989:  Cuba (USA, third)
1991:  Cuba (USA, second)
1993:  Cuba (USA, second)
1995:  Cuba (USA, second)
1997:  Cuba (USA, second)
1999:  USA
2001:  Cuba (USA, second)
2003:  USA
2005:  USA
2007:  USA
2009:  Cuba (USA, second)
2011:  Cuba (USA, second)