COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 14, 2016) – The Russian SuperLeague completed it season on April 12, giving some players a chance to spend time at home before rejoining their national teams.
Matt Anderson and his team Zenit Kazan won the SuperLeague title this season and will play in the semifinals of the CEV Champions Cup this weekend. Anderson, who plays outside hitter for Kazan, has already re-signed to play for the Russian club in 2016-17.
Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) played his final match of the 2015-16 season with Dinamo Moscow on April 12 and he is headed back to the U.S. Here are five things you might not know about Max Holt.
- Basketball and baseball were his favorite sports when he was a kid. He also played soccer in high school.
- He started taking volleyball seriously after his club team, Cincinnati Attack, won at the Boys’ Junior National Championships in2004.
- He likes to play the guitar
- He is friends with former Cincinnati Reds closer (now with the New York Yankees) Aroldis Chapman.
- His younger brother, Sam, played volleyball at the Cal State Northridge, but left before his senior season to play for Italy’s Sir Safety Perugia, the same team Aaron Russell plays for.
In the final two matches of the regular season, Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow went 2-0. On April 9, Moscow beat Ural Ufa, 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23. Holt scored 11 points on five kills, two blocks and a team-high four aces. On April 12, Moscow defeated Nova Novokuybyshevsk, 25-23, 26-24, 25-18. Holt scored four points on three kills, one block. Moscow finished second in the SuperLeague with a 19-7 record.
Anderson and Kazan also went 2-0 in their last two matches. However Anderson did not play in either match. Kazan won the SuperLeague with a final record of 25-1.
In the semifinals of the league playoffs, outside hitter Aaron Russell and Sir Safety Perugia are 2-0 against setter Micah Christenson, outside hitter Reid Priddy and Cucine Lube Banca Marche Civitanova.
On April 9, Perugia defeated Civitanova, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 15-13. Russell scored 10 points on 10 kills and was credited with 23 receptions, 26 percent positive. Christenson score one point with a kill and set his team to a .461 hitting efficiency. Priddy started the final two sets and scored eight points on six kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 16 receptions, 63 percent positive. On April 12, Pergia beat Civitanova, 30-28, 25-20, 25-14. Russell scored 10 points on eight kills and two blocks. He was credited with 14 receptions, 36 percent positive. Christenson scored three points on one kill and two blocks. He set his team to a .391 hitting efficiency. Priddy played as a substitute.
The teams will play the third match in the best-of-five series on April 21 in Civitanova. The winner will play the winner of the other semifinal between DHL Modena and Diatec Trentino.
In their final match of the regular season, opposite Murphy Troy and Lotos Trefl Gdańsk beat MKS Będzin, 25-16, 28-30, 25-15, 25-22 on April 12. Troy scored 16 points on 16 kills. Gdańsk finished the regular season in fourth place with an 18-8 record. Gdańsk will play PGE Skra Bełchatów in the best-of-five playoffs starting on April 21. Middle blocker Russell Holmes, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów will play Zaksa Kędzierzyn-Koźle in the best-of-five playoffs starting April 21.
Libero Erik Shoji, outside hitter Paul Lotman and the Berlin Recycling Volleys are playing middle blocker Scott Kevorken and SVG Luneburg in the league semifinals. On April 12, Berlin beat Luneburg, 25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 18-25, 15-12. Lotman score 22 points on 21 kills and one ace. He was credited with 32 receptions, 53 percent positive. Shoji added 19 receptions, 58 percent positive. Kevorken scored eight points on six kills and two aces. The playoffs will continue on April 16.
Middle blocker David Smith and Tours won their best-of-three playoff against Nantes Reze, 2-0. On April 8, Tours beat Nantes Reze, 25-15, 25-17, 25-22. Smith scored two points on two kills. On April 12, Tours won, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-18. Smith scored eight points on three kills, three blocks and two aces. At the end of the regular season, Smith was the top-ranked middle blocker in the league and missed being named MVP by one vote.
Middle blocker David Lee, outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky and PAOK finished the regular season in fourth place, but beat No. 1 Olympiakos in the best-of-five semifinals, 3-1. In the fourth match on April 13, PAOK won, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18. Lee scored 10 points on seven kills, two blocks and one ace. Jablonsky scored eight points on seven kills and one block. He was credited with 27 receptions, 30 percent positive. PAOK will play AO Foinikas Syrou, including U.S. player Cody Caldwell, in the finals.
In the final match of the first round of the playoffs, opposite Will Price and Instanbul BBSK defeated setter Kawika Shoji and Arkas Spor, 20-25, 15-25, 25-21, 25-17, 15-10 on April 8. Price led his team with 24 points on 16 kills, six blocks and two aces. Shoji scored one point with a block and set his team to a .466 hitting efficiency.