COLORADO SPRINGS (Jan. 26, 2017) – U.S. setter Micah Christenson and his Italian team Cucine Lube Civitanova beat U.S. outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Poland’s Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, 25-22, 25-13, 25-14 in the third leg of pool play at the CEV Champions Cup on Jan. 19.

Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) scored three points on one kill, one block and one ace and set his team to a .593 hitting efficiency. Jaeschke (Wheaton, Ill.), who returned to Rzeszow at the beginning of January after taking the fall half of the season off, played as a substitute and scored one point on one kill.

The match was played in Rzeszow, Poland. The teams will play again on Feb. 1 in Italy.


Setter Matt West (Seattle, Wash.), middle blocker Nick Olson (New Berlin, Wis.) and Netherlands’ Abiant Lycurgus Groningen beat Bulgaria’s Levski Sofia, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-9 on Jan. 18 in the CEV Cup round of 16. Unfortunately, the victory was not enough to earn Groningen a spot in the next round.

West scored eight points on two kills, one block and five aces. He set his team to a .417 hitting efficiency. Olson started the final three sets and scored two points on one kill and one block.


Middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and France’s Chaumont beat Portugal’s Benfica Lisboa, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 in the first match of the round of eight on Jan. 18. McDonnell scored eight points on five kills, two blocks and one ace.


Four-time and gold medalist Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) is doing a four-part interview with the Arizona Sidelines Coaching Blog. This week, he discusses his experience before and during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.


Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Cerrad Czarni Radom defeated setter Jonah Seif (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), outside hitter Kyle Russell (Loomis, Calif.) and MKS Będzin, 25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 25-23 on Jan. 20. Smith finished with 16 points on 13 kills, one block and two aces. Watten was credited with 16 receptions, 63 percent positive. Seif started the second and third sets and scored four points on two kills and two aces. He helped set Będzin to a .309 hitting efficiency.


Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati) and Azimut Modena beat Outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and Sir Safety Conad Perugia, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-11 on Jan. 22. Holt scored five points on a match-high four blocks and one kill. Russell led Perugia with 21 points on 17 kills, three blocks and one ace. He was credited with three receptions, 100 percent positive.

Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Cucine Lube Civitanova defeated Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, 25-15, 25-18, 23-25, 25-13 on Jan. 22. Christenson was named the match MVP, scoring eight points on six kills, one block and one ace. He set Civitanova to a .612 hitting efficiency.

Setter James Shaw (Woodside, Calif.), middle blocker Taylor Averill (San Jose, Calif.) and Kioene Padova fell to Gi Group Monza, 25-17, 25-19, 19-25, 28-26 on Jan. 20. Averill scored 11 points on seven kills, a team-high three blocks and one ace. Shaw scored one points on one kill and set Padova to a .320 hitting efficiency.


Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk fell to Dinamo Moscow, 25-22, 26-24, 26-28, 25-17 on Jan. 22. Erik Shoji was credited with 20 receptions, 60 percent positive. Kawika Shoji started the first two sets and played as a substitute and helped set the team to a .406 hitting efficiency.


SVG Luneburg, including Americans Michael BrinkleyScott KevorkenCody Kessel and Eric Fitterer, went 1-1 in two matches over the past week. On Jan. 22, Buhl defeated Luneburg, 25-23, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23. Outside hitter Kessel (Colorado Springs, Colo.) started the final three sets and scored 12 points on eight kills, two blocks and two aces. He was credited with 30 receptions, 50 percent positive. Middle blocker Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) scored seven points on three kills, two blocks and two aces. Opposite Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill.) started the first two sets and scored six points on six kills. Brinkley (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was credited with 29 receptions, 59 percent positive.

On Jan. 25, Luneburg swept VCO Berlin, 25-20, 25-20, 25-19. Kessel scored 11 points on nine kills and two blocks. He was credited with 22 receptions, 68 percent positive. Fitterer played as a substitute and scored two points on one kill and one block.


Outside hitter Greg Petty (Downers Grove, Ill.) and Pamvohaikos fell to Panathinaikos, 25-14, 25-22, 25-12 on Jan. 21. Petty scored eight points on eight kills. He was credited with 33 receptions, 39 percent positive.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – #rockybalboa #betteryourself

A photo posted by Gregory Petty (@gregorypetty9) on


U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Beijing defeated Shanghai, 25-23, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19. Sander finished with 17 points, including four aces.

Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) and his team Tianjin fell to Sichuan, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19. Muagututia scored 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace.


Middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.)  and Chaumont defeated AS Cannes, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21 on Jan. 22. McDonnell scored seven points on four kills and three blocks.


Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Ziraat Bankasi defeated Arkas Spor, 25-15, 20-25, 24-26, 25-23, 15-13 on Jan. 22. Lee started the first three sets and played as a substitute and scored eight points on five kills and three blocks.