COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 6, 2015) – U.S. setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) has begun his final season with the University of Southern California. The 21-year-old did an interview with the World of Volley web site where he discussed his thoughts about the 2014 season and his plans for the future. The interview was posted on Dec. 31.
Q: Do you think that you are ready to play for a team overseas?
MC: I do think that I'm ready to play for a team overseas after my university career is over this year. Being able to have the international experience of playing with the USA team has helped me prepare for playing professionally overseas and I am excited for that next step in my career.
| Micah Christenson blocks against Iran at the USAV Cup.
Q: Which country would be the best choice for you?
MC: I do not know which country would be best for me because I have never played in any pro leagues overseas yet. I have heard good things about a lot of leagues and have talked to my teammates about their experiences so that has helped, but I do not know what would be best for me just yet.
Q: Are you satisfied with the results of U.S. National team?
MC: I was very happy with the results of this past summer’s World League tournament because we won with a relatively new and young team. On the other hand, I think myself along with my teammates and coaching staff was not satisfied with the results of World Championships. We didn't start the tournament playing the type of volleyball we're capable of, and by the end we were playing better but it was too late because we had already lost too many points from the first stage. We know we are capable of being better and look forward to working with each other this summer to improve our play even more as a team.
Q: Do you have some plans for New Year’s Eve?
MC: I will be in California at USC for New Year's Eve as we have a match that night! I wish my family could join me, but I will most likely be with my girlfriend's family in Redondo Beach, California.
Q: What other sport would you compete in if you were not playing yours?
MC: I would absolutely love to play basketball again if I were not playing volleyball. I still go in the gym and shoot around every once in a while and remember the good times I had playing basketball. I was successful when I played in Hawaii in High School and I really enjoyed playing the game. It was my first sport and the first sport I fell in love with and will always have a special place in my heart.
Q: If you could change one rule about volleyball, what would it be?
MC: I would change the process in which players substitute in and out of the match. I think it takes too long and slows the pace of the game down which I believe substitutions shouldn't do.
Q: What is the best compliment you have ever received?
MC: I don't remember one specifically, but I really appreciate compliments that I receive that are commenting on my character and integrity. I really take pride in those things and when people notice that and appreciate about me then I really enjoy that.
U.S. opposite and outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) has announced that he will return to his Russian club team Zenit-Kazan to play in their CEV Champions League matches. Anderson posted the following message to his web site at mattanderson1.com:
I’m Back. After some great relaxation and time spent with my family over the holidays, I have decided the best thing for me as a person and professional volleyball player is to return to competition. So, I am returning to Kazan, Russia on the 5th of January to begin training and preparation for the Champions League. Our last two Champions League pool play matches are the 21st against Olympiakos and on the 27th facing Friedrichshafen.
I want to thank Zenit-Kazan for understanding that I needed a break from competition and look forward to making another run at a Champions League Title.
Thanks All and See you in Russia ! Go Zenit-Kazan
U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.), who plays for the Russian team Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, scored 10 points for the Stars of the World as it defeated the Russian Stars, 26-24, 23-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-10 in the Russian All-Star match on Dec. 29. U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) was on the Stars of the World team as well but did not play in the match. View a video of highlights from the match (including Lee showing off his dancing moves) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgumRrMPf7c.
Lee scored five points on Jan. 4 as Novosibirsk defeated Kuzbass Kemerovo, 21-25, 25-23, 25-15, 26-24. Lee started the third and fourth sets and scored on four kills and one block.
Holt scored nine points on six kills and three blocks as Dinamo Moscow beat Dinamo Krasnodar, 18-25, 28-30, 25-19, 25-19, 15-6 on Jan. 4.
Kazan is in second place in the Russian SuperLeague; Moscow is third and Novosibirsk is fourth.
U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) was named the match MVP as he led his Polish PlusLiga team Lotos Trefl Gdansk past outside hitter AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.) and Transfer Bydgoszcz, 20-25, 26-24, 16-25, 25-23, 15-10 on Jan. 3. Troy scored 21 points on 19 attacks, one block and one ace. Nally scored six points six kills and was credited with 20 receptions, 60 percent positive.
U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) played as a substitute and scored one point as Asseco Resovia Rzeszów defeated Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle, 25-13, 25-22, 25-12 on Jan. 4. U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) did not play in the match. Rzeszów is in first place in the league at 15-3 while Gdansk is third at 15-2. Bydgoszcz is fourth at 12-6.
U.S. libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and his French team Ajaccio have won their last two matches and are in fourth place in the league. On Jan. 3, Ajaccio defeated St-Nazaire, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18. Watten was credited with 13 receptions, 69 percent positive.
U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and middle blocker Daniel McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and Tours went 1-1 in their last two matches. On Jan. 3, Tours fell to Paris, 29-27, 25-27, 25-21, 25-23. Smith scored nine points on five kills and a match-high four blocks. McDonnell started three sets and scored three points on two kills and one block. Tours is in sixth place in the league.
U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) scored 14 points on 11 kills, one block and two aces as Calzedonia Verona defeated Cucine Lube Banca Marche Treia, 25-17, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22 on Jan. 3. Verona is in fifth place in the league.
U.S. setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) played as a substitute as CMC Ravenna defeated Copra Piacenza, 25-22, 25-19, 25-21 on Jan. 3. CMC Ravenna is in sixth place in the league.
U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Olympiacos defeated Lamia 25-18, 25-17, 27-25 on Jan. 5. Clark started the first two sets and scored six points on four kills, one block and one ace. Olympiacos is in first place in the league.
U.S. opposite Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.) leads the Chinese league in scoring. On Jan. 4, Price scored 16 points as his team Beijing fell to Shanghai, 22-15, 25-19, 22-25, 26-24, 15-9.
U.S. outside hitters Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) and Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Fujian fell to Army, 25-15, 25-23, 25-22 on Jan. 4. Muagututia started all three sets and led his team with 14 points. Jablonsky started the first set and scored four points.