COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 10, 2016) – The Chinese league has begun play and U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander is taking a lead role.

On Nov. 6, Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Beijing defeated Tianjin, including U.S. outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Seaside, Calif.), 25-21, 25-23, 25-16 to improve to 2-0. Sander led all scorers with 15 points on nine kills, a match-high three aces and three blocks. Muagututia finished with 12 points on 11 kills and one ace.


Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Cucine Lube Civitanova improved to 9-0 with two victories last week. On Nov. 6, Civitanova took a 22-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-10 win over outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and Sir Safety Conad Perugia. Christenson scored four points on three kills and one ace. He set Civitanova to a .421 hitting efficiency. Russell finished with 17 points on 11 kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace. He was credited with 26 receptions, 46 percent positive.

On Nov. 9, Civitanova defeated Bunge Ravenna, 25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 26-24. Christenson scored four points on three kills and one block. He set Civitanova to a .500 hitting efficiency. Middle blocker Conrad Kaminski (New Berlin, Wis.) is on Ravenna’s roster but did not play.

Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Azimut Modena suffered its first loss on Nov. 9, falling to Gi Group Monza, 22-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23. Holt scored six points on three kills and three aces. On Nov. 6, Modena beat Calzedonia Verona, 25-17, 25-20, 25-21. Holt’s brother Sam is on Verona’s roster but did not play in the match. Holt finished with 11 points on six kills, two blocks and a match-high three aces.

Setter James Shaw (Woodside, Calif.) and Kioene Padova fell to Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, 25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 27-25 on Nov. 6. Shaw scored two points on one kill and one block and set his team to a .324 hitting efficiency. On Nov. 9, Padova lost to Revivre Milano, 25-19, 25-18, 24-26, 25-19. Shaw scored two points on one kill and one ace. He set Padova to a .261 hitting efficiency.


Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who plays outside hitter for Zenit Kazan, helped his team to a 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 victory over libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu), setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk on Nov. 5. Anderson scored 13 points on 11 kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 14 receptions, 36 percent positive. Erik Shoji was credited with 13 receptions, 38 percent positive. Kawika Shoji played as a substitute.


Outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and Jastrzębski Węgiel defeated Asseco Resovia Rzeszów on Nov. 4, 25-17, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20. Touzinsky scored eight points on eight kills. He was credited with 21 receptions, 48 percent positive.

Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Cerrad Czarni Radom beat Espadon Szczecin, 25-20, 25-20, 27-29, 25-19 on Nov. 5. Smith scored 11 points on seven kills, two blocks and two aces. Watten was credited with 27 receptions, 52 percent positive.

Setter Jonah Seif (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and MKS Będzin fell to Łuczniczka Bydgoszcz, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19 on Nov. 5. Seif played as a substitute and started the third set, scoring two points on two blocks.


Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) has joined Ziraat Bankasi, which is leading the Turkish league. On Nov. 9, Bankasi beat Inegol Bld., 25-16, 25-22, 22-25, 27-25. Lee played as a substitute.


SVG Luneburg, including Americans Michael Brinkley, Scott Kevorken, Cody Kessel and Eric Fitterer, fell to Friedrichshafen, 25-22, 29-27, 25-18 on Nov. 5. Middle blocker Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) led his team with 15 points on 11 kills, a match-high three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Kessel (Colorado Springs) scored 10 points on eight attacks, one block and one ace. He was credited with 14 receptions, 79 percent positive. Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill.), an opposite, scored 10 points on seven kills, one block and two aces. Brinkley was credited with 36 receptions, 44 percent positive.


Outside hitter Greg Petty (Downers Grove, Ill.) was named the league MVP for the week after his team, Pamvohaikos defeated Panathinaikos, 18-25, 28-26, 25-19, 20-25, 15-10 on Nov. 7. Petty scored 17 points on 13 kills, two blocks and two aces. He was credited with 34 receptions, 53 percent positive.