BYDGOSZCZ, Poland (Sept. 13, 2014) – How fast can a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team serve a volleyball?
|Max Holt serves against Puerto Rico on Sept. 4.|
Signs set up at Atlas Arena in Lodz, where the U.S. Men played Poland and Serbia at the FIVB World Championship, showed the speed of the players’ serves.
U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) have jump serves that topped out at 75 miles per hour. Most of the other U.S. jump servers were in the mid 60s.
Going into Saturday’s matches, U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) is second among all scorers with 129 points on 107 kills, 15 blocks and seven aces in seven matches. Anderson is third among all scorers with 123 points on 110 kills, six blocks and seven aces.
France’s Antonin Rouzier leads all scorers with 139 points on 128 kills, four blocks and seven aces.
Sander’s kill percent of 51.2 puts him 10th among all hitters. Holt is third among all blockers with 23 blocks on 149 attempts and a .79 per set average.
Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) is fourth among setters 261 excellent sets and two faults on 575 attempts. He averages nine excellent sets per set. Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) is eighth in digs with 105 and an average of 3.62 per set.
In a “Question of the Day” kind of format, we asked members of the U.S. Men’s Team what their favorite toy was growing up.
Kawika Shoji: “Power Rangers… the plastic action figures.”
Erik Shoji: “Me, too. We watched the show all the time.”
Editor’s Note: The Shojis also remembered a game they liked to play on the stairs of their home where Erik would stand at the bottom and Kawika would stand at the top and try to hit a ball past Erik. So apparently those volleyball genes can kick in pretty early.
David Smith: “I was an outdoor kid growing up. I’d play with any ball I could get hold of; basketball, soccer ball. I didn’t play with a volleyball until high school.”
Taylor Sander: "I liked to ride my bike and I had a little tractor I could ride. I also liked to skateboard when I was really young. And I had a little basketball hoop. I would do slam dunks all day.”
Max Holt: “There were a lot of them. K’Nex. I had an Erector set. GI Joe of course. Stretch Armstrong…”
Micah Christenson: “I played a lot of basketball. A basketball was always around. I used to skateboard a lot. I used to play marbles a lot.”
John Speraw: “I liked to throw water balloons. Is that a toy?”
Following the U.S. Men’s victory over Italy on Sept. 7, a reporter asked Speraw about the video challenge system and what he thought about coaches using challenges as an “extra timeout.”
“My overall opinion on the video challenge system is that it’s good for the game. I think, because it’s being implemented for the first or second year, there is bound to be some problems. Certainly every team here has had some problems with the way it’s been used. Particularly, the issue right now is the resolution of the video stream… There needs to be some improvement.
“Yes, coaches do use it for an additional timeout. I do. Everybody does in the entire world. It is not forbidden and, in the end, I think it’s a positive… It’s part of the gamesmanship.”