Wednesday, 29 May 2024

MNT Update: Anderson Helps Ziraat Win Third Consecutive Turkish Cup

Trophies, match MVPs, and comeback wins marked the past week for U.S. Men competing overseas with their professional clubs.


On November 1, Ziraat Bankasi, with opposite Matt Anderson, secured their third consecutive AXA Sigorta Champions Cup victory. They defeated Halkbank with setter Micah Ma’a by a score of 3-1 (22-25, 31-29, 25-19, 25-23). Anderson contributed 18 points, including 14 kills and four blocks. Ma’a led the team to an impressive .530 hitting efficiency and added one kill and one ace.

In another match on October 25, Anderson and Ziraat Bankasi emerged victorious against Rams Global Cizre with a score of 3-1 (25-15, 19-25, 25-21, 25-11). Anderson showcased his skills with 18 points, including 14 kills, three blocks, and one ace.

Continuing their winning streak, Ziraat Bankasi, with Anderson, triumphed over Kuşgöz İzmir Vinç Akkuş on October 29 with a straight-set victory (25-20, 25-19, 25-19). Anderson delivered a solid performance, contributing 10 points solely from kills.

On the same day, Halkbank and setter Micah Ma’a secured a 3-1 victory (25-12, 23-25, 25-19, 25-16) against Türşad. Ma’a contributed with two blocks, one ace, and led the team to an incredible .610 hitting efficiency.


On October 24, outside hitter T.J. DeFalco, alongside Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, achieved a decisive 3-0 victory (25-21, 25-19, 25-21) against Ślepsk Malow Suwałki. DeFalco’s outstanding performance earned him the title of match MVP, leading all scorers with 22 points, including 15 kills, three blocks, and four aces. He also made three digs.

DeFalco continued to excel on October 29, as Asseco Resovia Rzeszów staged a remarkable comeback to win 3-2 (19-25, 19-25, 34-32, 25-18, 15-10) against Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie. DeFalco contributed a staggering 23 points from 21 kills, one block, and one ace.

On October 24, Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, featuring libero Erik Shoji and middle blocker David Smith, overcame a two-set deficit to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory (22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 24-22) against PSG Stal Nysa. Shoji showcased his defensive skills with 13 digs and 28 receptions, while Smith contributed 10 points through six kills, three blocks, and one ace.

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On the same day, setter Josh Tuaniga and Indykpol AZS Olsztyn fell short against Jastrzębski Węgiel, losing 3-1 (25-27, 25-20, 25-17, 25-12). However, Tuaniga displayed remarkable teamwork, leading his team to a .460 hitting efficiency and contributing one kill.

Continuing their winning streak, Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle defeated Indykpol AZS Olsztyn and Tuaniga in straight sets on October 28 (25-19, 25-21, 26-24). Shoji recorded six digs and 13 receptions, while Smith contributed one point through a block.

On October 24, KGHM Cuprum Lubin and opposite Jake Hanes won the first two sets but ultimately succumbed to PGE GiEK Skra Bełchatów in a thrilling 3-2 match (23-25, 25-27, 29-27, 25-16, 15-10). Hanes showcased his talent with 18 points, including 14 kills and four aces.

Continuing their tough battles, Hanes and Lubin faced BOGDANKA LUK Lublin on October 29, resulting in another five-set match. Unfortunately, Lubin fell short with a score of 3-2 (14-25, 25-23, 25-21, 17-25, 15-11). Nevertheless, Hanes proved his worth with 24 points, including 19 kills, three blocks, and two aces.


In France, St-Nazaire, with opposite Kyle Ensing and outside hitter Jordan Ewert, secured a 3-1 victory (23-25, 29-27, 25-18, 25-18) against Nice on October 28. Ewert’s remarkable performance earned him the title of match MVP, contributing an impressive 27 points from 16 kills, three blocks, and eight aces.

On the same day, Chaumont Volley-Ball 52, featuring middle blockers Patrick Gasman and Michael Marshman, defeated Narbonne Volley and libero Kyle Dagostino with a straight-set victory (25-22, 25-20, 25-9). Marshman contributed eight points, including five kills, one block, and two aces, while Gasman added four points from two kills, one block, and one ace. Dagostino was credited with seven receptions.


On October 28, the JT Thunders Hiroshima, with outside hitter Aaron Russell, secured a 3-1 victory (23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-16) against the JTEKT STINGS. Russell was in exceptional form, providing 23 points, including 20 kills, two blocks, and one ace.

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In the following match on October 29, Russell and the JT Thunders Hiroshima swept the JTEKT STINGS with a straight-set victory (25-18, 25-23, 25-18). Russell was once again the standout player, contributing 17 points from 14 kills and three blocks.

Additionally, the Panasonic Panthers, with outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, secured victories in two matches. On October 28, they defeated Toray Rose with a score of 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 25-22), with Jaeschke contributing 23 points from 20 kills, one block, and two aces. The Panthers continued their winning streak on October 29, once again defeating Toray Rose with a 3-1 victory (25-13, 26-24, 21-25, 25-22). Jaeschke had another impressive performance with 22 points from 20 kills, one block, and one ace.


On October 28, Prisma Taranto Volley, including middle blocker Jeff Jendryk and opposite Kyle Russell, faced a close defeat against Itas Trentino, losing 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 18-25, 26-24, 15-8). Russell showcased his exceptional skills with an outstanding 28 points from 25 kills and three aces, while Jendryk contributed eight points through seven kills and one block.

In another match on October 29, opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Pallavolo Padova faced a defeat against Cucine Lube Civitanova, losing 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-21). Garcia contributed 14 points, including 11 kills and three aces.


On November 1, SVG Lüneburg, with middle blocker Matthew Knigge, faced a 3-0 defeat (25-23, 25-22, 25-22) against Herrsching. Knigge contributed six points through five kills and one block.


On October 28, Lycurgus Volleyball, featuring outside hitter Kyle McCauley, faced a 3-0 defeat (25-18, 25-20, 25-20) against Sliedrecht Sport. McCauley contributed eight points through seven kills and one block.


On October 28, Zenit Kazan, with setter Micah Christenson, won the Russian Super Cup with a 3-0 victory (25-23, 25-22, 25-17) against Dynamo. Unfortunately, statistics for this match were not available.


The first round of the Champions League concluded last week, with libero Tim McIntosh and Hypo Tirol advancing to the second round with a 2-1 record. Hypo Tirol’s next match will be against Partizan on November 10. Notably, McIntosh impressed viewers with an incredible dig nearly touching the ceiling, which was captured in a video posted on his Instagram.

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The qualification round for the CEV Cup is now complete. Narbonne Volley and libero Kyle Dagostino failed to advance after losing both of their matches against NANTES Rezé Métropole with scores of 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-16) and 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23). However, Chaumont Volley-Ball 52, with middle blockers Patrick Gasman and Michael Marshman, will face NANTES Rezé Métropole in the Main Phase beginning on November 22.


CSA Steaua București, with outside hitter Brett Wildman, achieved a 2-0 record in the qualification round. They secured victories against VC Lorentzweiler with scores of 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23) and 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-20). Wildman contributed four points, including three kills and one ace, in the second meeting.


Q: What were some notable victories for U.S. Men competing overseas?

A: Several notable victories include Ziraat Bankasi’s third consecutive AXA Sigorta Champions Cup win with Matt Anderson’s exceptional performance, Asseco Resovia Rzeszów’s comeback against Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie led by T.J. DeFalco, and Chaumont Volley-Ball 52’s victory against Narbonne Volley with outstanding performances from Patrick Gasman and Michael Marshman.

Q: Who were the standout players in the matches?

A: In their respective matches, players such as Matt Anderson, T.J. DeFalco, Aaron Russell, Thomas Jaeschke, and Kyle Russell showcased exceptional skills and delivered outstanding performances.

Q: What is the significance of these victories for the U.S. Men?

A: These victories demonstrate the talent and competitiveness of U.S. Men competing overseas. They contribute to the growth and development of American volleyball on a global scale.


The U.S. Men’s volleyball players have had a fantastic week, securing victories, earning match MVP titles, and contributing outstanding performances for their professional clubs overseas. Standout players such as Matt Anderson, T.J. DeFalco, Aaron Russell, and Thomas Jaeschke have showcased their skills and helped their teams achieve success in various countries, including Turkey, Poland, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia. These victories highlight the talent and competitiveness of American players on the international stage. To stay updated with the latest news and performances of U.S. Men competing overseas, visit