Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

MNT Update: Anderson and Ziraat Maintain Undefeated Streak in Champions League

Catching up with the U.S. Men overseas before many of the clubs take the week off for the holidays.

Champions League

Continuing the fourth round of Champions League play, Ziraat Bankasi of Türkiye, with opposite player Matt Anderson, emerged victorious over Olympiacos Piraeus of Greece with a score of 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22) on December 12. Anderson displayed an impressive performance, contributing 17 points with 16 kills and one block.

On December 13, Poland’s Grupa Azoty Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle, with middle blocker David Smith and libero Erik Shoji, triumphed over Knack Roeselare of Belgium with a score of 3-2 (25-20, 21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-10). Shoji showcased his expertise with a 60 percent positive reception rate and only two errors. Smith, however, did not partake in the match.

Ziraat Bankasi and Anderson continued their winning streak by defeating Zaksa with Smith and Shoji in straight sets, with a score of 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21) on December 19. Anderson played a pivotal role, contributing 15 points with 11 kills, three blocks, and one ace. Shoji had a 33 percent positive reception rate with only one error. Smith, just like in the previous match, did not participate.

Poland’s Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, accompanied by outside hitter T.J. DeFalco, unfortunately lost to Italy’s Trentino Itas with a score of 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-20) on December 13. DeFalco did not take part in the match.

Germany’s SVG Lüneburg, with middle blocker Matthew Knigge, experienced defeat against Poland’s Jastrzębski Węgiel, with a score of 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-13) on December 13. Despite the loss, Knigge managed to contribute eight points with seven kills and one ace.

On December 20, SVG Lüneburg and Knigge endured another loss, this time against Guaguas Las Palmas of Spain with a score of 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-16). Knigge, however, performed well, contributing five points with four kills and one ace.

Berlin Recycling Volleys of Germany, accompanied by Cody Kessel, fell to Gas Sales Daiko Piacenza of Italy with a score of 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19) on December 13. Kessel showcased his skill with eight points on eight kills.

On December 14, Türkiye’s Halkbank, with setter Micah Ma’a, achieved a sweeping victory against Portugal’s Sport Lisboa e Benfica with a score of (25-17, 25-23, 25-16). Ma’a made valuable contributions with four points, including one kill, one block, and two aces.

In a subsequent match, Berlin and Kessel defeated Halkbank and Ma’a with a score of 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-22). Kessel did not participate, while Ma’a showcased his skills by contributing four points with three kills and one ace.

The Champions League will resume in the new year, with Asseco and DeFalco taking on Tours VB of France on January 9.

CEV CHALLENGE CUP

On December 13, Poland’s Projekt Warszawa, accompanied by middle blocker Taylor Averill, emerged victorious over France’s St-Nazaire, with opposite player Kyle Ensing and outside hitter Jordan Ewert, with a score of 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-18). Averill played a crucial role, contributing four points with three kills and one ace, while Ensing and Ewert showcased their skills by scoring nine and six points, respectively.

In a rematch on December 20, Projekt Warszawa secured another victory against St-Nazaire, with a score of 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18). Averill continued to shine, contributing four points with three kills and one ace. Meanwhile, Ewert displayed an outstanding performance with 18 points, including 17 kills and one ace. Ensing also made valuable contributions, scoring 14 points with 14 kills.

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Romania’s CSA Steaua Bucuresti, accompanied by outside hitter Brett Wildman, faced defeat against Germany’s Helios Grizzlys Giesen with a score of 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 16-14) on December 14. Wildman did not participate in the match.

ITALY

On December 8, Prisma Taranto Volley, with middle blocker Jeff Jendryk and opposite player Kyle Russell, fell to Gas Sale Bluenergy Piacenza with a score of 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-16). Russell made notable contributions, scoring 15 points with nine kills, one block, and five aces. Jendryk showcased his skills with eight points, including seven kills and one block.

Prisma Taranto Volley, with Jendryk and Russell, faced another defeat, this time against Allianz Milano, with a score of 3-2 (19-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 15-3) on December 17. Jendryk continued to impress with 12 points, including eight kills, three blocks, and one ace. Russell recorded one kill.

Verona Volley, with outside hitter Francesco Sani, secured a victory against Allianz Milano with a score of 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 15-11) on December 10. Sani played a crucial role in the win, contributing 16 points with 14 kills and two blocks.

On December 17, Verona Volley continued their winning streak with a sweeping victory against Cisterna Volley (25-23, 25-17, 27-25), with Sani contributing 18 points, including 16 kills and two blocks. In an exciting moment during the second set, Sani executed a successful attack that slipped through the block, resulting in a point. For the highlights, check out his Instagram post.

Pallavolo Padova, with opposite player Gabi Garcia Fernandez, lost to Vero Volley Monza with a score of 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) on December 17. Garcia displayed his skills, contributing 15 points with 12 kills and three serves.

POLAND

Setter Josh Tuaniga and Indykpol AZS Olsztyn achieved victory over opposite player Jake Hanes and KGHM Cuprum Lubin with a score of 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-14) on December 9. Tuaniga led the team to a remarkable .440 hitting efficiency and added one kill and one block. Hanes made significant contributions, scoring six points with five kills and one block.

On December 16, KGHM Cuprum Lubin and Hanes faced defeat against Exact Systems Hemarpol Częstochowa with a score of 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 27-25, 26-24). Despite the loss, Hanes showcased an outstanding performance, scoring 25 points with 22 kills, two blocks, and one ace.

Indykpol AZS Olsztyn and Tuaniga started strong, leading 2-0 in the match. However, they fell short of victory as BOGDANKA LUK Lublin made a stunning comeback, winning in five sets (27-29, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-9) on December 17. Tuaniga displayed excellent leadership, guiding the team to a .443 hitting efficiency and contributing four points, including one kill, one block, and two aces.

On December 10, Projekt Warszawa and Averill achieved victory over Jastrzębski Węgiel with a score of 3-1 (25-22, 11-25, 25-23, 25-23). Averill did not participate in the match.

Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, with Shoji and Smith, faced defeat against Trefl Gdańsk with a score of 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-21) on December 10. Shoji showcased his expertise with seven digs and 15 receptions.

On December 16, Projekt Warszawa, with Averill, achieved victory over Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, with Shoji and Smith, with a score of 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22). Averill made valuable contributions, scoring eight points with five kills, two blocks, and one ace. Shoji showcased his skills with 10 digs and 21 receptions.

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Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, accompanied by DeFalco, achieved victory over Enea Czarni Radom with a score of 3-2 (24-26, 25-17, 25-21, 25-27, 15-7) on December 11. DeFalco did not participate in the match.

Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, with DeFalco, secured another victory against Barkom Każany Lviv with a score of 3-1 (25-20, 25-21, 21-25, 28-26) on December 18. DeFalco did not participate in the match.

GERMANY

On December 3, SVG Lüneburg, with Knigge, achieved a sweeping victory over Baden Volleys SSC Karlsruhe (25-21, 25-16, 25-17). Knigge did not participate in the match.

SVG Lüneburg, with Knigge, emerged victorious after a challenging match against SWD Powervolleys Düren, winning in five sets (25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 20-18) on December 17. Knigge showcased his skills, contributing 11 points with seven kills, three blocks, and one ace.

Berlin Recycling Volleys, accompanied by Kessel, achieved victory over FT 1844 Freiburg with a score of 3-1 (25-15, 25-18, 22-25, 25-19) on December 9. Kessel made significant contributions, scoring 14 points with 11 kills and three blocks.

On December 17, Berlin Recycling Volleys, with Kessel, secured a sweeping victory over Baden Volleys SSC Karlsruhe (25-18, 25-16, 25-13). Kessel showcased his skills, contributing 10 points with six kills and four blocks.

TÜRKIYE

On December 9, Ziraat Bankasi, with Anderson, achieved a sweeping victory over Bigadiç Bld with a score of 3-0 (26-24, 26-24, 25-12). Anderson did not participate in the match.

Ziraat Bankasi, with Anderson, continued their unbeaten streak with a sweeping victory over Brand Group Alanya Belediyespor (25-23, 25-18, 25-17) on December 16. Anderson displayed his skills, contributing 14 points with 11 kills, one block, and two aces.

Halkbank, with Ma’a, also maintained their undefeated streak with a 3-1 victory over Galatasaray HDI Insurance (25-18, 25-15, 19-25, 25-18) on December 17. Ma’a played a crucial role, leading the team to a .517 hitting efficiency and contributing five points, including one kill, two blocks, and two aces.

FRANCE

Over the last two weeks, Narbonne Volley, with libero Kyle Dagostino, achieved their first wins of the season. Their first victory came against Nice with a score of 3-1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-17) on December 9. Dagostino made valuable contributions, excelling in his role with 19 receptions.

The following week, Narbonne achieved another victory, this time against Nantes Rezé with a score of 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23) on December 16. Dagostino continued to showcase his expertise, contributing 22 receptions.

On December 9, Chaumont Volley-Ball 52, with middle blockers Patrick Gasman and Michael Marshman, achieved victory over Montpellier with a score of 3-1 (18-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-22). Gasman contributed seven points with four kills and three blocks, while Marshman made notable contributions, scoring seven points with three kills, three blocks, and one ace.

Chaumont, with Gasman and Marshman, secured another win, this time against Sète with a score of 3-0 (25-19, 27-25, 25-22) on December 16. Marshman made valuable contributions, scoring eight points with six kills and two blocks. Gasman did not participate in the match. Setter Joe Worsley, another American player, was named match MVP after leading the team to a .434 hitting efficiency and contributing three points with one kill and two blocks.

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St-Nazaire, with Ensing and Ewert, achieved victory over Sète with a score of 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-22) on December 9. Ensing showcased his skills, scoring 20 points with 15 kills, two blocks, and three aces. Ewert also made valuable contributions, scoring 16 points with 15 kills and one block.

On December 16, St-Nazaire faced defeat against Tourcoing with a score of 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-11). Despite the loss, Ensing displayed another exceptional performance, scoring 22 points with 20 kills and two aces. Ewert also performed well, contributing 18 points with 15 kills and three aces.

AUSTRIA

On December 9, Hypo Tirol, with libero Tim McIntosh, achieved victory over VBC TLC Weiz with a score of 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-15, 25-14). McIntosh showcased his skills, excelling in his role with 26 receptions.

Hypo Tirol and McIntosh secured another win, this time against UVC McDonalds Ried with a score of 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-13) on December 16. McIntosh continued to display his expertise, contributing 12 receptions.

On December 18, Hypo Tirol and McIntosh improved to 11-0 on the season after their victory over UVC Holding Graz with a score of 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-19). McIntosh continued to excel in his position, showcasing his skills with 19 receptions.

FINLAND

Hurrikaani Loimaa, with libero Troy Gooch, achieved victory over Savo Volley with a score of 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-10) on December 9. Gooch played a crucial role, excelling in his position with 14 receptions.

On December 10, Hurrikaani Loimaa, with Gooch, secured another victory, this time against Karelian Hurmos with a score of 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19). Gooch continued to showcase his expertise, contributing 21 receptions.

Hurrikaani Loimaa, with Gooch, faced defeat against Raision Loimu in five sets (26-24, 19-24, 21-25, 25-19, 15-10) on December 16. Gooch continued to excel in his role, contributing 30 receptions.

NETHERLANDS

On December 8, Lycurgus Volleyball, with outside hitter Kyle McCauley, achieved victory over Scherp in Packaging with a score of 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-22). McCauley showcased his skills, scoring 14 points with 12 kills, one block, and one ace.

ROMANIA

On December 9, CSA Steaua Bucuresti, accompanied by Wildman, faced defeat against SCMU Craiova with a score of 3-0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-21). Wildman did not participate in the match.

CSA Steaua Bucuresti, with Wildman, encountered another loss, this time against SCM Zalau with a score of 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22) on December 17. Wildman made valuable contributions, scoring one point with one kill.

RUSSIA

On December 9, Zenit Kazan, with setter Micah Christenson, emerged victorious over Kuzbass with a score of 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 15-6). Christenson led the team to an impressive .452 hitting efficiency.

Zenit Kazan and Christenson secured another victory, this time against Ural with a score of 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-21) on December 13. Christenson led the team to a remarkable .547 hitting efficiency and contributed three kills, two blocks, and one ace.

On December 20, Zenit Kazan achieved a sweeping victory over Ugra (25-23, 26-24, 25-22). Christenson continued to lead the team to success, with a hitting efficiency of .382 and two blocks.

CLUB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Halkbank, with Ma’a, fell in the semifinals against Italy’s Sir Safety Susa Perugia with a score of 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 31-29) on December 9 in Bengaluru, India.

In the third-place match, Halkbank and Ma’a encountered defeat against Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds with a score of 3-2 (17-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-12).