COLORADO SPRINGS (Dec. 16, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, qualified for the 2017 FIVB Champions Cup by virtue of being ranked first in the NORCECA Zone.

The Champions Cup is played the year after the Olympic Games in Japan.

Along with the U.S. Men, world No. 1 and Olympic champion Brazil, No. 4 Italy, No. 7 Iran, No. 9 France and No. 14 Japan are scheduled to compete on Sept. 12-13 at Nippongaishi Hall in Nagoya and Sept. 15-17 at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium.

The U.S. Men finished fifth at the 2013 Champions Cup and second in 2005.


University of Hawaii women’s volleyball coach Dave Shoji has announced that he will take a break from his job to pursue treatment for prostate cancer.

Shoji, who is based in Honolulu, is the father of U.S. Olympians Erik and Kawika Shoji. Shoji recently finished his 42nd year with the University of Hawaii. With 1,202 wins, he is ranked second in all-time NCAA Division I women’s volleyball victories.


Stephane Antiga, who coached Poland’s men’s national team to the 2014 FIVB World Championship, has signed to coach Canada’s men’s team for the 2020 quadrennial.

Antiga will succeed Glenn Hoag, who has taken another role with Volleyball Canada.

Antiga, 40, played under Hoag in France’s professional league. His playing career as an outside hitter included:  Paris Volley (1994 – 2003), BRE Banca Lannutti Cuneo (2003-04), Portol Palma de Mallorca (2004 – 2007), Delecta Bydgoszcz (2011 – 2013), PGE Skra Bełchatów (2007 – 2011, 2013 – 2014).  He was also a fixture on the French National Team from 1998 to 2010.


Two teams with U.S. players will play in the semifinals of the Cup of Russia, which will be played Saturday (Dec. 17).

Zenit Kazan, which includes Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who plays outside hitter, went 2-0 in pool play to advance. Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, which includes libero Erik Shoji and setter Kawika Shoji, went 1-1.

Kazan beat Novosibirsk in their pool play meeting on Dec. 14, 25-16, 25-19, 25-23. Anderson started only the first set and scored one point on one kill. Erik Shoji played as a substitute in the third set and was credited with three receptions. Kawika Shoji started the first two sets and played as a substitute in the third. He scored one point with an ace and helped set his team to a .320 hitting efficiency.


Setter James Shaw (Woodside, Calif.), who plays for Kioene Padova, took a ball to the face in the seconds set of a match against Bunge Ravenna on Dec. 11. Padova lost the match, 25-17, 35-37, 25-14, 25-21. American middle blocker Conrad Kaminski (New Berlin, Wis.) played as a substitute in the match and scored a point on an attack.

A report the next day said the injury was not serious, but Shaw sat out Padova’s next match in the Cup of Italy on Dec. 14 where Padova fell to Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, 25-14, 20-25, 25-16, 26-24. U.S. middle blocker Taylor Averill (San Jose, Calif.) did play in the match for Padova as a substitute.

U.S. outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and Sir Safety Perugia defeated LPR Piacenza, 25-22, 25-21, 21-25, 24-14 on Dec. 11. Russell scored six points on five kills and one ace. He was credited with 13 receptions, 23 percent positive.

Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Cucine Lube Civitanova beat Gi Group Monza, 25-23, 25-14, 25-20 on Dec. 11. Christenson scored two points on one block and one ace. He set Civitanova to a .479 hitting efficiency.


Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Cerrad Czarni Radom won two matches over the past week. On Dec. 10, Radom beat GKS Katowice, 25-23, 25-19, 29-27. Smith scored 10 points on seven kills, two blocks and one ace. Watten was credited with 14 receptions, 50 percent positive. On Dec. 14, Radom defeated Łuczniczka Bydgoszcz, 18-25, 32-30, 14-25, 25-17, 15-11. Smith scored nine points on four kills and a match-high five blocks. Watten was credited with 19 receptions, 58 percent positive.

Outside hitter Scott Touzinsky and his Polish team Jastrzębski Węgiel also won two matches. On Dec. 10, Węgiel defeated ONICO AZS Politechnika Warszawska, 28-30, 20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-12.  Touzinsky scored 10 points on 10 kills and was credited with 17 receptions, 35 percent positive. On Dec. 14, Węgiel beat GKS Katowice, 25-15, 24-26, 25-19, 25-16. Touzinsky scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks. He was credited with 12 receptions, 25 percent positive.

Also in Poland, setter Johah Seif (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), outside hitter Kyle Russell (Loomis, Calif.) and MKS Będzin lost two matches over the week. On Dec. 9, ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle beat Będzin, 25-16, 25-16, 25-18. Seif started the second set and played as a substitute. Russell started the second and third sets and scored two points on one block and one ace. He was credited with 22 receptions, 27 percent positive.  On Dec. 14, Będzin fell to Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, 25-20, 25-17, 25-18. Seif started the first two sets and helped set his team to a .379 hitting efficiency. Russell started the third set and scored seven points on seven kills. He was credited with 13 receptions, 15 percent positive.


SVG Luneburg, including Americans Michael BrinkleyScott KevorkenCody Kessel and Eric Fitterer, fell to United Volleys Rhein-Main, 25-20, 25-20, 25-12 on Dec. 10. Middle blocker Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) scored seven points on five kills and a team-high two aces. Outside hitter Kessell (Colorado Springs) scored six points on six kills and was credited with 15 receptions, 47 percent positive. Opposite Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill.) added six points on five kills and one block. Libero Brinkley (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was credited with 15 receptions, 47 percent positive.


Middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and Chaumont defeated Narbonne, 22-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 15-8 on Dec. 10. McDonnell scored eight points on six kills, one block and one ace.


Outside hitter Greg Petty (Downers Grove, Ill.) led all scorers with 17 points as Pamvohaikos beat Panachaiki 2013, 25-18, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21. Petty scored on 15 kills and two blocks. He was credited with 35 receptions, 54 percent positive.


U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Beijing beat Fujian, 25-14, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14 on Dec. 8. Sander played in the match but did not score.

Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia scored 14 points, including 13 kills, as his team Tianjin defeated Zhejiang, 14-25, 25-20, 25-20, 28-26 on Dec. 8.


Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Ziraat Bankasi defeated opposite Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.) and Istanbul BBSK, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22 on Dec. 10. Lee scored nine points on six kills and a team-high three blocks. Price played as a substitute and scored one point on a kill.