U.S. Men's Update: Champions League Bronze
3-17 David Lee, second from right, receives the award as best blocker of the Champions League finals
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 19, 2013) – All the news about U.S. men’s volleyball players in the U.S. and around the world.
CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), a 2012 Olympian, along with U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.), a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, and their Russian Super League team Zenit Kazan took the bronze medal in the Champions League final round, which was played in Omsk, Russia. Kazan fell to fellow Russian Super League team Lokomotiv Novosibirsk in the semifinals, 19-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 15-12 on March 16. Lee scored 12 points on six attacks, a match-high five blocks and one ace. Anderson added 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace. In the bronze medal match on March 17, Kazan defeated Poland’s Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17. Lee started the third and fourth sets and scored 13 points on eight kills (72.7 kill percent, .636 hitting efficiency) and a match-high four blocks. Anderson started the first set and scored one point on one kill. Lee won the tournament’s award for best blocking.
Italy’s Serie A league is now in the first round of playoffs. U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and Andreoli Latina is 1-1 in a best-of-three series against U.S. setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Altotevere San Giustino. On March 13, host Latina defeated San Giustino, 25-15, 25-21, 25-20. Troy did not play in the match. McKibbin started the second and third sets and scored one point with a kill. He also helped set the team to a 42.7 kill percent and a .378 hitting efficiency. On March 17, host San Giustino defeated Latina, 25-17, 25-23, 16-25, 20-25, 16-14. McKibbin started all five sets and scored two points on one attack and one block. He also set the team to a 52.8 kill percent and a .465 hitting efficiency. Troy started the fourth and fifth sets for Latina, finishing with 14 points on 14 attacks (51.9 kill percent, .519 hitting efficiency). The tie-breaking, third match of the series will be played March 24 in Latina.
U.S. outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and BCC-NEB Castellana Grotte are also 1-1 in their playoff series against Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia. Host Castellana Grotte won the first match 27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 24-26, 15-13 on March 13. Menzel did not play in the match. On March 17, host Valentia took a 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 victory. Menzel played as a substitute and scored three points on three attacks. The tie-breaking third match of the series will be played March 24 in Castellana Grotte.
In Italy’s Serie A2 league, U.S. outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) and Sieco Service Ortona defeated Globo Banca Popolare Del Frusinate Sora, 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 25-21, 16-14 on March 17. Muagututia finished with 21 points on 15 attacks and a match-high six blocks. He was also credited with 45 receptions, 64 percent positive. Ortona will play its final match of the regular season on March 24. It is in eighth place in the Serie A2 league.
U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), a 2008 Olympian, setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and the German league team the Berlin Recycling Volleys won their first playoff match on March 17, defeating visiting VC Dresden, 25-21, 25-20, 25-14. Touzinsky scored six points on six attacks (66.7 kill percent, .667 hitting efficiency) and was credited with 32 receptions, 62 percent positive. Shoji scored one point with an ace. He set the team to a 62.2 kill percent and a .608 hitting efficiency. To view photos from the match, click here. The two teams will play again on March 24 at Dresden in the best-of-three series.
U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania), a 2004 and ’12 Olympian, and Drean Bolívar won their first two playoff matches over PSM Voley in the first round of playoffs in Argentina’s club league. On March 16, Bolívar defeated PSM Voley, 25-12, 25-19, 25-20. Suxho finished with three points on two kills and one ace. He also set Bolívar to a 64.2 kill percent and a .617 hitting efficiency. On March 17, Bolívar defeated PSM Volley, 25-18, 25-21, 25-23. Suxho scored three points on two kills and a block. He also set Bolívar to 54.3 kill percent and a .489 hitting efficiency. The teams will play their third match in the best-of-five series on March 23.
U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), a 2004, ’08 and ’12 Olympian, and Halkbank Ankara went 2-0 in the past week. On March 13, Halkbank beat Fenerbahçe Grundig, 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23. Priddy scored nine points on eight attacks and one block. He was credited with 24 receptions, 54 percent positive.
On March 16, Halkbank beat U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.), a 2004 Olympian, and Istanbul BBSK, 18-25, 28-26, 25-14, 25-23. Priddy scored 11 points on 11 attacks (50.0 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency) and was credited with 23 receptions, 57 percent excellent. Billings led his team with 17 points on 15 attacks and two blocks.
U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), a 2008 Olympian, and Arkas Izmir Spor defeated 4 Eylül Bld., 25-16, 25-22, 25-21 on March 16. Hansen played as a substitute and did not score.
The final regular season matches in the Turkish league will be played March 23.
U.S. opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.), libero Alfee Reft (Oxnard, Calif.) and Montpellier have moved up to eighth in the French league after going 2-0 in their last two matches. On March 15, they defeated Chaumont, 22-20, 21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 22-20. Clark started the first four sets and scored nine points on eight attacks and one block. Reft was credited with 38 receptions, 61 percent positive. On March 19, Montpellier beat Rennes, 25-18, 25-13, 25-21. Clark scored seven points on six attacks and one block. Reft was credited with 30 positive receptions, 63 percent positive.
Toulouse, the French league team of U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.), went 2-0 in its last two matches. On March 15, Toulouse defeated Avignon, 25-21, 25-19, 25-20 on March 15. Patak led all scorers with 23 points on a match-high 18 attacks and a match-high five aces. Hein scored seven points on five attacks (50.0 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency) and two blocks. Toulouse is 13th in the league. On March 19, Toulouse defeated Beauvais, 27-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20. Patak led all scorers with 26 points on a match-high 19 kills (57.6 kill percent, .515 hitting efficiency) and six blocks. Toulouse is in 12th place in the league.
U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), a 2012 Olympian, and the French league team Tours went 1-1 in the last week. On March 15, Tours fell to Nantes Reze, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15. Smith scored eight points on eight attacks. On March 19, Tours came back to defeat Cannes, the French league team of U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and middle blocker Matt Rawson (Los Angeles), 21-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-11. Smith scored 14 points on nine attacks (75.0 kill percent, .667 hitting efficiency) and two blocks. Neither Rawson nor Tarr played for Cannes. Tours still leads the league at 21-4 with one match left in the regular season. Cannes is in fifth at 14-11.
On March 15, Cannes fell to Sete, 25-22, 25-18, 25-19. Rawson scored two points on two kills. Tarr did not play due to injury.
In France’s B league, AS Orange Nassau, including U.S. libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and outside hitters Damien Scott (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) fell to Lyon, 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 on March 15. Vance scored 11 points on 11 attacks and was credited with 12 receptions, 42 percent positive. Scott added three points on two kills and one block. He was credited with 27 receptions at 30 percent positive. Watten was credited with 19 receptions at 42 percent positive.
The Finnish team Raision Loimu, which includes U.S. opposite Dean Bittner (Lakewood, Calif.), middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and outside hitter Jordan DuFault (Lakewood, Calif.) went 1-1 in its final regular season matches. On March 15, Loimu defeated Team Lakkapaa Rovaniemi, 25-18, 25-11, 25-13. Bittner started the first three sets and led all scorers with 14 points on 11 attacks (55.0 kill percent, .450 hitting efficiency), one block and two aces. However he was injured in the match and had to come out. MacDonnell started the first three sets and scored four points on one attack and three blocks. DuFault scored three points on two kills and one ace. U.S. opposite Shawn Sangrey (Columbus, Pa.) plays for Lakkapaa Rovaniemi and finished with eight points on seven attacks and one block. On March 16, Loimu fell to Lentopalloseura Etta O., 25-22, 25-15, 19-25, 22-25, 15-10. DuFault scored 18 points on 17 attacks and one ace. McDonnell added 12 points on five attacks, a match-high five blocks and two aces. Bittner did not play. Loimu finished the regular season in sixth place while Lakkapaa finished eighth. On March 19, Loimu lost its first playoff game to Pielaveden Sampo, 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-18. McDonnell scored 17 points on eight kills, three blocks and a match-high six aces. DuFault scored nine points on six attacks and three blocks. Bittner did not play.
CEV CHALLENGE CUP
U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Copra Elior Piacenza have advanced to the finals of the CEV Challenge Cup and will play Russia’s Ural Ufa in the two-match finals. Piacenza will travel to Ufa on March 20 for the first match while it will host the Russian team on March 24.
Matches can be viewed live and on demand at laola1.tv.
Relive the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team’s 2012 season with the 2012 Yearbook. There are lots of full-color illustrations, results, statistics and biographies. To view the book, click here.