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Win Puts U.S. Men in Driver's Seat

By BJ Evans | Sept. 13, 2014, 7:57 p.m. (ET)

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland (Sept. 13, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team moved into third place in Pool E with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Australia on Saturday in an FIVB World Championship match at Luczniczk Hall in Bydgoszcz.

Paul Lotman
  Paul Lotman attacks against Australia.

With a one-point lead over Iran, the U.S. Men need to beat Argentina 3-0 or 3-1 on Sunday to guarantee advancement to the third round as one of the top-three teams. The U.S. will play Argentina at 10:30 a.m. ET. In other important Pool E matches, first-place France will play second-place Poland and fourth-place Iran will take on fifth-place Serbia.

The victory over Australia was the fourth win in a row for the U.S. Men, who got off to a slow start in their opening-round pool.

“It seems like every match we continue to get better and better, especially from the service line,” U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) said. “That was the biggest advantage for us, as well as our reception.

“This was a much-needed win for us. We needed three points and we need three more tomorrow in order to try to move on.”

Serving and serve-receive, which had both been issues for the U.S. Men during the first round, came together nicely on Saturday. The U.S. Men led in aces, 8-1 and had 14 service errors on 74 attempts. Australia had 13 service errors on 55 attempts.

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) praised Paul Lotman and Taylor Sander for their receiving and Micah Christenson for his serving.

“For the service game, we’ve spent a lot of time on it the last couple days, talking about some fundamentals,” Speraw said. “I think it’s really made a difference with a couple of the guys.”

Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) each had two aces for the U.S. while Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) each added one.

The U.S. Men were also credited with 29 excellent receptions and two faults on 42 attempts. Australia had 21 excellent receptions and 11 faults on 60 attempts.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) led the U.S. Men in excellent receptions with eight while Sander and Anderson each had seven.

Australia's Thomas Edgar led all scorers with 13 points.

The U.S. Men also led Australia in kills, 35-28, while the teams were tied in blocks, 6-6.

Playing opposite, Anderson led the U.S. Men with 12 points on nine attacks, one block and two aces. At outside hitter, Sander added 11 points on seven kills, two blocks and two aces.

Lotman, at outside hitter, and Holt, at middle blocker, each finished with nine points. Lee had six points and Christenson had two. Christenson was also credited with 15 excellent sets.

U.S. Roster for the FIVB World Championship
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College) 
1. Matt Anderson (OH/Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., 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)
10. Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California) 
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
19. Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawaii)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, San Diego, Calif., UCLA)
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: Anton Willert
Consultant Coaches: Tyler Hildebrand, Kathy DeBoer, Tim Pelot 
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock 
Doctors: David Dyck and Christopher Lee

2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship
Schedule and Results

First Round
Pool D (Top four advance)
France (4-1; 12 points)
Iran (4-1; 11 points)
USA (3-2; 9 points)
Italy (2-3; 5 points)
Belgium (1-4; 5 points)
Puerto Rico (1-4; 3 points)

2014 FIVB World Championship Schedule – Pool D
Kraków, Poland
View the entire World Championship schedule

Aug. 31
Iran def Italy, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22
USA def Belgium, 25-21, 17-25, 25-16, 21-25
France def Puerto Rico, 25-23, 25-22, 26-24

Sept. 2
Iran def USA, 25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 18-25, 17-15
Belgium def Puerto Rico, 25-19, 25-17, 25-20
Italy def France, 20-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-13, 15-12

Sept. 4
USA def Puerto Rico, 25-15, 25-8, 25-20
France def Iran, 25-18, 14-25, 25-19, 29-27
Italy def Belgium, 26-28, 25-15, 25-16, 28-26

Sept. 6
France def USA, 19-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-21
Iran def Belgium, 25-23, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20
Puerto Rico def Italy, 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22

Sept. 7
France def Belgium, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-12
Iran def Puerto Rico, 25-17, 25-22, 25-14
USA def Italy, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17

Second Round (Top three advance)
Pool E
France (16 pts; 5-1)
Poland (14 pts; 5-1)
USA (13 pts; 4-2)
Iran (12 pts; 4-2)
Serbia (9 pts; 3-3)
Argentina (6 pts; 2-4)
Italy (2 pts; 1-5)
Australia (0 pts; 0-5)

Łódź 
Sept. 10
USA def Poland, 29-27, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23 
Sept. 11
USA def Serbia, 23-25, 31-29, 25-17, 25-21

Bydgoszcz (All times ET)
Sept. 13
USA def Australia, 25-15, 25-19, 25-20
Sept. 14
10:30 a.m. USA v Argentina 

Third Round: Sept. 16-19 in Łódź or Katowice
Final Round: Sept. 20-21 in Łódź or Katowice

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