COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 6, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team began its official warmup for the FIVB World Championship with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-20 win over Iran at the Ljubljana Volleyball Challenge on Thursday in Slovenia.

The U.S. Men will play Canada on Friday at 8 a.m. PT.

“It was good to play against somebody else that is not Team USA,” U.S. opposite Matt Anderson told the Slovenian Federation. “The things on the court are a little bit more uncontrollable. You need to deal with the uncertainty and it’s good that we played as good as we did.”

The U.S. Men led Iran in kills (53-32), blocks (7-5) and aces (9-2). Micah Christenson set the U.S. to a .540 hitting efficiency while Iran hit .283 behind setter Mohammad Taher Vadi.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell led all scorers with 12 points on a match-high three blocks, seven kills and two aces. Anderson added 10 points on a match-high three aces, six kills and one block.

Opposite Ben Patch, who started the third set for Anderson, finished with eight points all on kills.

Outside hitter: Aaron Russell and Taylor Sander
Middle blockers: Max Holt and Taylor Averill
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
Substitutes: Ben Patch (Opp), Jake Langlois (OH), Jeff Jendryk (MB), Dan McDonnell (MB)

Kills: Patch 8, Russell 7, Anderson 6, Sander 6, Averill 3, Jendryk 2, Holt 2, Langlois 2, Christenson 1
Blocks: Russell 3, Averill 2, Anderson 1, Holt 1
Aces: Anderson 3, Russell 2, Christenson 2, Averill 1, Sander 1
Digs: Shoji 8, Christenson 8, Russell 4, Holt 3, Langlois 3, Sander 2, Patch 2, Anderson 2, Averill 1