Thursday, 23 May 2024

Men’s Update: Shoji Brothers Flourishing in Russia

Hawaiian brothers Erik and Kawika Shoji are making waves in the world of volleyball, showcasing their talent while playing for Lokomotiv Novosibirsk in Russia. Adjusting to their new life, they have seamlessly integrated themselves into the team and have been delivering impressive performances on the court.

Life in Russia – An Interview with Erik Shoji

In a recent Twitter interview with, Erik Shoji provided insights into his experience and thoughts on life in Russia. Here are some of the questions and answers that shed light on his journey:

  1. What food do you miss the most in Russia? Where can I mail you some Ramen?

Erik shared, “The food I miss the most is Pad Thai! I love Thai food!”

  1. Name your volleyball dream team?

He responded with, “I just love playing with my teammates from the U.S. national team! We are a family, and I believe our strong bond shines through when we compete.”

  1. What is the scariest thing about living in Russia?

“The driving! I’ve never experienced such snowy and icy conditions before. Coming from Hawaii, I could really use some help!” Erik admitted.

  1. Name one libero that you idolize.

“I look up to Erik Sullivan and Rich Lambourne, the two U.S. liberos before me. Watching them has taught me a great deal,” he affirmed.

Success on the Court

Lokomotiv Novosibirsk currently holds the second position in the Russian SuperLeague standings, trailing behind U.S. teammate Matt Anderson and Zenit Kazan. In their most recent match against Ugra-Samotlor Nizhnevartovsk, Lokomotiv Novosibirsk emerged victorious with a score of 25-13, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22. Erik Shoji showcased his skills as a libero, making 18 receptions with a positive rating of 56%. Kawika Shoji, as the setter, played a crucial role in guiding the team to a remarkable hitting efficiency of .523. He contributed two points with one kill and one ace.

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Amidst their stellar performances, Matt Anderson and Zenit Kazan maintain an unbeaten record of 8-0. In their recent match against Fakel Novy Urengoy, Kazan secured victory with a score of 25-20, 25-20, 25-17. Anderson made a significant impact, scoring 12 points through eight kills, two blocks, and two aces. He also impressed with a positive reception rating of 47%.

Volleyball Highlights from Around the Globe

Apart from the Shoji brothers’ success in Russia, let’s take a look at some other notable performances in the world of volleyball:


  • Aaron Russell and Sir Safety Conad Perugia defeated Gi Group Monza with a score of 25-21, 25-20, 25-14. Russell contributed seven points, including six kills and one ace.
  • James Shaw and Kioene Padova secured victory against Top Volley Latina with a score of 26-28, 25-18, 19-25, 25-17, 17-15. Shaw made an impact with six points, consisting of three kills and three blocks.
  • Micah Christenson and Cucine Lube Civitanova faced their first defeat of the season against Diatec Trentino, losing with a score of 25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20. Christenson managed three points, including one kill, one block, and one ace.
  • Max Holt and Azimut Modena faced a defeat against Exprivia Molfetta, with a score of 25-27, 25-21, 25-20, 26-24. Holt made an impact with nine points, consisting of seven kills and two blocks.


  • Scott Touzinsky and Jastrzębski Węgiel emerged victorious against Espadon Szczecin, with a score of 25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 25-15. Touzinsky contributed to the win with one point from a kill and displayed excellent reception skills with a positive rating of 62%.
  • David Smith and Dustin Watten, representing Cerrad Czarni Radom, faced a defeat against PGE Skra Bełchatów, with a score of 25-12, 25-23, 25-18. Smith made two points by scoring a kill and a block, while Watten showcased his reception abilities with a positive rating of 56%.
  • Jonah Seif and MKS Będzin fell short against Indykpol AZS Olsztyn with a score of 20-25, 25-22, 25-13, 22-25, 15-6. Seif contributed one point with a kill.
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  • SVG Luneburg, featuring Michael Brinkley, Scott Kevorken, Cody Kessel, and Eric Fitterer, emerged victorious against TV Rottenburg with a score of 25-17, 25-20, 19-25, 25-15. Kessel, as an outside hitter, made a significant impact with 17 points, consisting of 16 kills and one block. Kevorken, the middle blocker, contributed 11 points through eight kills, two blocks, and one ace. Brinkley, as a libero, displayed excellent reception skills with a positive rating of 58%. Fitterer, an opposite, made a crucial contribution with one point from an attack.


  • Taylor Sander and Beijing secured victory against Henan with a score of 25-16, 25-23, 25-18. Sander made six points.
  • Garrett Muagututia and Tianjin faced a defeat against Shandong with a score of 25-21, 29-27, 25-21. Muagututia contributed six points, including two aces.


  • David Lee and Ziraat Bankasi continue to lead the league with a resounding win of 25-14, 25-13, 25-16 against MSK Urfa. Lee played a crucial role, substituting in the second set and starting the third.
  • Will Price and Istanbul BBSK secured victory against Tokat Belediye Plevne with a score of 25-21, 25-20, 25-20. Price made 10 points through ten kills.


  • Greg Petty and Pamvohaikos faced a defeat against Kifissia, with a score of 27-25, 25-20, 25-22. Petty displayed an impressive performance, contributing 13 points with twelve kills and one block.


Q: What team are the Shoji brothers playing for in Russia?
A: Erik and Kawika Shoji are currently playing for Lokomotiv Novosibirsk in Russia.

Q: Who are the libero players that Erik Shoji idolizes?
A: Erik Shoji looks up to Erik Sullivan and Rich Lambourne, the two U.S. liberos who came before him.

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Q: How did Lokomotiv Novosibirsk perform in their recent match?
A: Lokomotiv Novosibirsk emerged victorious with a score of 25-13, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22 against Ugra-Samotlor Nizhnevartovsk. Erik Shoji showcased excellent reception skills, and Kawika Shoji played a crucial role as the setter.

Q: Which team remains undefeated in the Russian SuperLeague?
A: Matt Anderson and Zenit Kazan maintain an unbeaten record of 8-0 in the Russian SuperLeague.


In this article, we delved into the journey of the Shoji brothers as they adapt to life in Russia. Erik Shoji provided insightful answers in an interview, giving us a glimpse into his experiences. We also discussed the outstanding performances of various volleyball players around the world, showcasing their skills and dedication to the sport. From Italy to Poland, Germany to China, and Turkey to Greece, volleyball enthusiasts have plenty to celebrate. With their incredible talent and determination, these athletes continue to captivate audiences with their prowess on the court.