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Men's Update: Late to Practice

By BJ Evans | May 05, 2015, 7:31 p.m. (ET)

PALO ALTO, Calif. (May 5, 2015) – The summer training block for the U.S. Men’s National Team began May 4, with most of the players on the roster for the FIVB World League in attendance.

Aaron Russell
   Aaron Russell will have to wait a little while to put the
   national team uniform back on.

Among those who are not in the National Team gym yet are Aaron Russell and Thomas Jaeschke who are both playing in the NCAA Men’s DI-II Championship tournament at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

Jaeschke and Loyola (25-2), seeded No. 3, open the tournament on May 5 In the first play-in match will play No. 6 seed Pfeiffer (19-2), with the winner advancing to the championship bracket to play No. 2 seed UC Irvine (28-4). In the second play-in match, No. 4 seed Hawaii (21-6) will play Russell and No. 5 seed Penn State (20-9). The winner will be placed in the championship bracket to play No. 1 Lewis (25-3).

Game times for the play-in matches are 6 and 8 p.m. PT. Game times for the semifinals on May 7 are 6 and 8 p.m. PT. The championship match will be played May 9 at 6:30 p.m. PT. The semifinals will be streamed live at NCAA.com and the championship match will be broadcast live on ESPNU.


In the Polish league finals, with middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), swept opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and his Polish PlusLiga team Lotos Trefl Gdansk, 3-0.

In the final match on April 28, Rzeszow won, 19-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-18. Murphy led Gdansk with 18 points on 14 kills, two blocks and two aces. Lotman played as a substitute for Rzeszow. I was his third league title with the team. Holmes was not on the roster attending to a family matter.


There will be several chances to see the U.S. Men’s National Team play in the United States this summer, starting on May 15 when the team will play a Red-Blue scrimmage doubleheader with the U.S. Women’s Team at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, Calif.

The U.S. Women will play the opening Red-Blue match at 5:30 p.m. PT, followed by the U.S. Men at 7:30. An autograph session will follow the conclusion of the men’s match. Admission is $5 to watch both matches. Youth 18 and under are admitted free, as are Starlings Club teams and parents. The doubleheader will be the first public Red-Blue matches for both programs in 2015.

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On May 21-23, the U.S. Men along with teams from Canada, Cuba and Mexico will battle in the first step toward 2016 Olympic Games qualification at the NORCECA Champions Cup at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The event is free. For more information, CLICK HERE.

The following weekend, the U.S. Men will begin World League when they host Iran at the Galen Center on May 30 and 31 in Los Angeles. On June 5 and 6, the U.S. Men will play Russia at the Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State. On June 12 and 13, the United States will host Poland at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. For more information and to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.
Finally, in their last U.S. appearance before the World Cup (the first Olympic qualifier), the Men’s National Team will host world No. 1 Brazil for four matches of the USAV Cup between Aug. 20 and 30 at venues around Southern California.


The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) lost the league championship series to Friedrichshafen, 3-2. 

On April 30, host Berlin lost, 20-25, 25-21, 25-27, 25-23, 16-14. Touzinsky finished with 17 points on 15 kills and two blocks. He was also credited with 24 receptions, 67 percent positive. Kawika Shoji scored three points on two blocks and one ace. Erik Shoji was credited with 24 receptions, 67 percent positive.

In the final match on May 3, visiting Berlin fell, 25-19, 18-25, 25-20, 26-24. Touzinsky scored 11 points on 11 kills. He was credited with 34 receptions, 50 percent positive. Kawika Shoji scored one point with an ace and set Berlin to a .470 hitting efficiency. Erik Shoji was credited with 16 receptions, 56 percent positive.


Middle blockers David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and their French team Tours have advanced to the playoff finals of the French league where they will face Paris. Tours defeated AS Cannes in the semifinals, 2-0. In the second match on April 29, host Tours won, 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-15. Smith scored 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks. McDonnell added 11 points on eight kills and three blocks. The final series will begin on May 9.


Outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) and Sir Safety Perugia lost to Energy TI Diatec Trentino in the semifinals of the Italian league playoffs, 2-0. In the second match on April 28, Perugia fell, 25-22, 28-26, 12-25, 25-18. Sunder played as a substitute and scored one point on one kill.

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Thomas Jaeschke

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Russell Holmes