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Poland Pushes Past U.S. Men

By B.J. Evans | July 03, 2015, 11 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 3, 2015) – On the final weekend of a long road trip, the U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Poland on Friday, 19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 15-12 in FIVB World League play in Krakow, Poland.

With the victory, Poland improved to 8-3 in the pool to tie the United States and secure its spot in the World League Final Round on July 15-19 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. and Poland will play again on Saturday to determine the pool winner.

Statistically, the teams were close, with Poland holding the edge in kills (56-55), blocks (11-8) and aces (5-4). Both teams had hitting efficiencies of .392. The U.S. scored on 37 Poland errors while committing 33, including 24 service errors.

DataVolley Statistics | Official Statistics | U.S. World League Page

“I was quite pleased with how we started the match,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “But for some reason we weren’t able to sustain our high level. We simply weren’t as consistent as we needed to be or as we’ve been throughout World League.”

Outside hitter Taylor Sander led the U.S. with 17 points on 16 kills and one block. Matt Anderson, playing opposite, added 16 points on 15 kills and one block. Outside hitter Aaron Russell had 13 points on 12 kills and one block.

Middle blocker David Lee, who played for Max Holt, who was designated as a libero so that backup libero Reid Priddy could play outside hitter if needed, finished with 12 points including a team-high three blocks, one ace and eight kills.

“I thought David Lee had a great match, as well as Erik Shoji,” Speraw said. “There were some bright spots that we can build on for tomorrow.”

Shoji was credited with 15 digs.

Friday’s Starters
Outside hitter: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell
Middle blocker: David Lee and David Smith
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji

Friday’s Statistics
Kills: Sander 16, Anderson 15, Russell 12, Lee 8, Smith 2, Christenson 2
Blocks: Lee 3, Sander 1, Anderson 1, Russell 1, Smith 1, Christenson 1
Aces: Christenson 2, Lee 1, Smith 1Digs: E Shoji 15, Anderson 9, Christenson 7, Lee 4, Russell 3, Sander 3, Smith 2

U.S. Roster for FIVB World League
July 3-4
Krakow, Poland

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)

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 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
Tehran, Iran
June 19: Iran d USA, 25-19, 29-27, 25-20
June 21: Iran d USA, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19
Kaliningrad, Russia
June 26: USA d Russia, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19
June 28: USA d Russia, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18
Krakow, Poland
July 3: Poland d USA, 19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 15-12
July 4: USA at Poland
July 15-19: World League Final Round (Must Qualify)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil