Micah Ma'a
Micah Ma'a celebrates

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 7, 2024) – U.S. Men’s National Team players squared off in the CEV Champions League playoffs and competition continued in leagues around the world.


Setter Micah Ma’a and Türkiye’s Halkbank will advance to the Champions League quarterfinals after going 1-1 in two playoff matches against libero Erik Shoji, middle blocker David Smith and Poland’s Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle.

On Jan. 31, Kędzierzyn-Koźle beat Halkbank, 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 16-25, 15-12) on Jan. 31. Shoji was credited with 27 receptions, 52 percent positive. Smith scored four points on three kills and one ace. Ma’a scored three points on a kill, a block and an ace. He set Halkbank to a .431 hitting efficiency.

On Feb. 7, host Halkbank came back to sweep Kędzierzyn-Koźle, 3-0 (32-30, 25-21, 25-22), giving it a 5-3 set advantage to advance. Ma’a scored four points on two kills, one block and one ace. He set Halkbank to a .404 hitting efficiency. For Kędzierzyn-Koźle, Smith scored five points on two kills, two blocks and one ace. Shoji was credited with 12 receptions, 67 percent positive.

Kędzierzyn-Koźle was the three-time defending Champions League winner.

Outside hitter Cody Kessel and the Berlin Recycling Volleys will also advance after winning two matches over France’s Tours. On Jan. 31, Berlin beat Tours, 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-13, 25-22). On Feb. 8, it beat Tours, 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22). Kessel played as a substitute in both matches.

In the quarterfinals, which will begin in late February, Halkbank will play Italy’s Cucina Lube Civitanova. Berlin will play Italy’s Itas Trentino. Opposite Matt Anderson and Türkiye’s Ziraat Bankkart, which advanced straight to the quarterfinals, will face Spain’s Guaguas Las Palmas.


Middle blocker Taylor Averill and Poland’s Projekt Warszawa advanced to the finals of the CEV Challenge Cup after winning two matches over Finland’s AKAA Volley in the semifinals. Averill did not play in either match. Warszawa will play Italy’s Mint Vero Volley Monza in the finals.


Asseco Resovia Rzeszów improved to 15-5 with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 26-24) win over Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle (9-10) on Feb. 4.

For Rzeszów, outside hitter T.J. DeFalco had 13 points on 10 kills, two blocks and an ace. On the other side of the net for Kędzierzyn-Koźle, middle David Smith had an ace, and libero Erik Shoji had six digs and 12 receptions.

Indykpol AZS Olsztyn (8-12) and setter Josh Tuaniga picked up a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-20) win over PGE GiEK Skra Bełchatów on Feb. 2. Tuaniga played as a substitute.

On Feb. 4, Project Warszawa (17-3) and Taylor Averill defeated KGHM Cuprum Lubin 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19). Averill did not play. For Lubin (4-15), Jake Hanes had two points on an ace and a kill.


Micah Ma’a and Halkbank (18-0) beat Rams Global Cizre BLD, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22) on Feb. 3. Ma’a scored five points on three kills and two aces. He set hist team to a .381 hitting efficiency.

Matt Anderson and Ziraat Bankkart (14-4) defeated Bursa Büyükşehir Belediyespor Kulübü, 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-16) on Feb. 3. Anderson scored 15 points on 14 kills (.423 hitting efficiency) and one block.


Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and the Panasonic Panthers (23-1) won two matches over the Suntory Sunbirds. On Feb. 3, Panasonic won 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-22). Jaeschke scored 18 points on 15 kills and three aces. On Feb. 4, Panasonic won 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21). Jaeschke scored 20 points on 16 kills, two blocks and two aces.


Outside hitter Francesco Sani and Rana Verona Volley (10-7) beat opposite Gabi Garcia and Pallavolo Padova (5-12), 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-20) on Feb. 3. Sani did not play. Garcia scored eight points on six kills, one block and one ace.

Gioiella Prisma Taranto (2-15) with middle blocker Jeff Jendryk and opposite Kyle Russell fell to Cisterna Volley 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20) on Feb. 4. Jendryk and Russell each scored 10 points, and each had eight kills. Jendryk had one block and one ace. Russell had two blocks.


Setter Micah Christenson and Zenit Kazan (18-3) fell to VC Belogorie, 3-0 (33-31, 25-23, 25-19) on Feb. 3. Christenson scored one point with a kill and set Kazan to a .375 hitting efficiency.


Chaumont Volley-Ball 52 (15-4) with middle blockers Patrick Gasman and Michael Marshman beat Nice 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-16) on Feb. 3. Gasman scored nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace. Marshman added five points on four kills and a block. U.S. middle Dan McDonnell played as a substitute and scored a point. Setter Joe Worsley scored three points on a kill, a block and an ace and set the team to a .667 hitting efficiency with zero hitting errors.

St-Nazaire (10-9) with opposite Kyle Ensing, outside hitter Jordan Ewert and setter Quinn Isaacson fell to Plessis-Robinson 3-2 (25-23, 18-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-10) on Feb. 3. Ewert led all scorers with 27 points on a match-high 21 kills (.429), two blocks and a match-high four aces. Ensing added 21 points on 14 kills and a match-high seven blocks. Isaacson started the first two sets and scored one point with a kill. He helped set the team to a .364 hitting efficiency.

Libero Kyle Dagostino and Narbonne fell to Tours, 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-23) on Feb. 3. Dagostino was credited with 10 receptions, 40 percent positive.


Outside hitter Cody Kessel and the Berlin Recycling Volleys (16-1) beat TSV Haching München, 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-11). Kessel scored seven points on six kills and one block.


Hypo Tirol (17-0) and libero Tim McIntosh won two matches in two days. On Feb. 3, Tirol beat VBK Wörther-See-Löwen, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-17). McIntosh was credited with 17 receptions, 76 percent positive.

On Feb. 4, Hypo Tirol beat SJ Sokol V/Post SV Wien, 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-17). McIntosh was credited with five receptions, 80 percent positive.


Nova Tech Lycurgus HS 1 (13-7) and outside hitter Kyle McCauley fell to Active Living Orion HS 1 on Jan. 31, 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 16-25, 25-21). McCauley played as a substitute and did not score. U.S. outside Cole Gillis scored 11 points on 10 kills and one block. Setter Cole Bogner set the team to a .365 hitting efficiency.


Libero Troy Gooch and U.S. outside hitter Greg Petty, who both play for Hurrikaani Loimaa (12-4), were both honored as players of the month for January by the Finnish league.