USA Volleyball Features Men's Update: They a...

Men's Update: They are the Champions

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org | April 07, 2016, 6:48 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 7, 2016) – It was a big weekend for two teams with U.S. Men’s National Team players as Germany’s Berlin Recycling Volleys won the CEV Cup and Italy’s Calzedonia Verona took the CEV Challenge Cup.

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including libero Erik Shoji an outside hitter Paul Lotman, beat Russia’s Gazprom-Ugra Surgut, 25-18, 25-18, 25-18 on April 2 in the second match of the two-match CEV Cup final. Lotman led his team with 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 24 receptions, 33 percent positive. Shoji was credited with nine receptions, 78 percent positive.Berlin Recycling Volleys

Calzedonia Verona, including outside hitter Taylor Sander, defeated Russia’s Fakel Novy Urengoy, 25-20, 18-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-6 on April 3. Sander was named the Most Valuable Player as he led his team with 20 points on 16 kills and four blocks. He was credited with 33 receptions, 45 percent positive.

ITALY

Taking their best-of-five, quarterfinal series down to the wire, Sir Safety Conad Perugia, with outside hitter Aaron Russell, defeated Taylor Sander and Calzedonia Verona, 25-20, 26-24, 18-25, 23-25, 17-15 on April 6. Russell scored 17 points on 16 attacks and one block. He was credited with 14 receptions, 29 percent positive. Sander scored 18 points on 13 kills, a match-high four blocks and one ace.

Perugia will move on to the semifinals where it will face Cucine Lube Banca Marche Civitanova, which features setter Micah Christenson and outside hitter Reid Priddy. The best-of-five semifinals will begin April 9.

RUSSIA

Matt Anderson and Zenit Kazan beat Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow, 25-9, 26-28, 25-17, 25-21 on April 6. With the victory, Kazan secured the league championship with two regular-season matches left to play. Anderson, who plays outside hitter for Kazan, scored 14 points on eight kills and a match-high six aces. He was credited with 21 receptions, 62 percent positive. Holt scored 10 points on six kills, one block and a team-high three aces.

POLAND

Middle blocker Russell Holmes, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów beat opposite Murphy Troy and Lotos Trefl Gdańsk, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 on April 6. Holmes scored seven points on four kills, one blocks and two aces. Jaeschke added five points on five kills. He was credited with 16 receptions, 44 percent positive. Troy scored 10 points on eight attacks and two aces. The match was the regular-season finale for Rzeszów. Gdańsk will play its final match on April 12.

FRANCE

Middle blocker David Smith and Tours finished the season in second place after going 1-1 in their finals two matches of the regular season. On April 1, Tours beat Toulouse, 25-16, 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 15-8. Smith scored 11 points on five kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace. On April 5, Tours fell to Chaumont, 27-29, 25-23, 17-25, 25-22, 16-14. Smith scored six points on three kills and three blocks. American outside hitter Scott Rhein, who plays for Chaumont, started the final four sets and scored 11 points on 11 kills. He was credited with 31 receptions, 65 percent positive. The playoff quarterfinals will begin April 9 with Tours facing Nantes Rezé and Chaumont going up against Paris.

TURKEY

League playoffs are underway in Turkey. Setter Kawika Shoji and Arkas Spor are 1-1 after their first two matches. On April 6, Arkas Spor beat Fenerbahce, 24-26, 25-17, 25-23, 27-25. Shoji scored seven points on five aces, one kill and one block. He set his team to a .477 hitting efficiency. On April 7, Arkas Spor fell to Halkbank, 25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 26-24. Shoji scored two points on two aces. He set Arkas to a .396 hitting efficiency.

Opposite Will Price are 2-0 in the playoffs so far. On April 6, Istanbul BBSK beat Halkbank, 25-21, 20-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-10. Price led Istanbul with 20 points on 15 kills and a match-high five blocks. On April 7, Istanbul beat Fenerbahce, 25-20, 30-28, 25-22. Price led his team with 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks.