COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 28, 2016) – Middle blocker David Smith and his French team Tours are battling in the league semifinals this week.
Smith is a 2012 Olympian who helped the U.S. Men’s National Team with the FIVB World Cup last year and is hoping to play in his second Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Most volleyball fans know that Smith lives with severe hearing loss and uses hearing aids and reads lips. Here are five other things you might not know about David Smith:
- Although he had a successful volleyball career at Saugus High School, Smith was not highly recruited by colleges and was going to walk-on at UC Santa Barbara until then UC Irvine Head Coach John Speraw took an interest at the last minute.
- Smith played on the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team in 2004-05.
- He helped UC Irvine win its first NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship in 2007.
- Smith’s wife, Kelli was a top distance runner at UC Irvine. She continues to compete and recently won a marathon in France where the prize was her weight in wine.
- Kelli and David have a son named Cohen who was born in 2012.
David Smith and Tours are tied with Paris 1-1 in the best-of-three, league semifinals. On April 23, host Tours beat Paris, 25-17, 25-22, 25-23. Smith scored five points on two kills and three blocks. On April 27, host Paris beat Tours, 25-18, 21-25, 25-16, 14-25, 15-11. Smith scored 12 points on eight kills and four blocks. The deciding match of the series will be played April 30 in Tours.
Middle blocker David Lee, outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky and PAOK won the Greek league championship, 3-1 over outside hitter Cody Caldwell and AO Foinikas Syrou. In the final match on April 28, PAOK won, 21-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-14, 15-10. Jablonsky scored 10 points on nine kills and one block. He was credited with 29 receptions, 66 percent positive. Lee scored eight points on seven kills and one block. Caldwell led Syrou with 17 points on 17 kills. He was credited with 36 receptions, 58 percent positive.
Outside hitter Aaron Russell, outside hitter Sam Holt and Sir Safety Conad Perugia advanced to the league finals after defeating setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Reid Priddy and Cucine Lube Banca Marche Civitanova in the best-of-five semifinal, 3-1. In the fourth match on April 25, host Perugia won, 25-20, 25-23, 27-25. Russell was named the match MVB, leading all scorers with 19 points on a match-high 14 kills, one block and a match-high four aces. He was credited with eight receptions, 25 percent positive. Christenson scored three points on one kill and two blocks and set his team to a .375 hitting efficiency. Priddy started the first two sets and scored one points with one kill. He was credited with 10 receptions, 40 percent positive.
Perugia will play DHL Modena in the best-of-five final that begins on May 1.
Libero Erik Shoji, outside hitter Paul Lotman and the Berlin Recycling Volleys have taken a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five league final round against Friedrichshafen. On April 26, host Berlin beat Friedrichshafen, 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19. Shoji was credited with 21 receptions, 57 percent positive. Lotman scored 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks. He was credited with 18 receptions, 50 percent positive.
On April 28, visiting Berlin won 13-25, 25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 19-17. Shoji was credited with 21 receptions, 62 percent positive. Lotman scored eight points on eight kills. He was credited with 29 receptions, 41 percent positive. The next match is scheduled for May 1 in Berlin.
The U.S. players in Poland are finished for the season as both teams lost in the league semifinals. Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, including outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and middle blocker Russell Holmes, lost 3-0 to Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle. In the final match on April 26, host Rzeszów lost 25-23, 25-21, 25-13. Jaeschke scored eight points on seven kills and one block. He was credited with 20 receptions, 60 percent positive. Holmes scored four points on three kills and one ace.
Opposite Murphy Troy and Lotos Trefl Gdańsk fell to PGE Skra Bełchatów, 3-0. In the final match on April 26, host Gdańsk lost 25-11, 25-19, 25-17. Troy played as a substitute and scored three points on two kills and one block.
In the league finals, opposite Will Price and Istanbul BBSK finished second and setter Kawika Shoji and Arkas Spor placed third. In the final match between the two teams on April 24, Istanbul BBSK beat Arkas Spor, 25-22, 25-22, 25-19. Price led all scorers with 22 points 18 kills, two blocks and two aces. Shoji started the first two sets and scored two points on two kills.