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.
U.S. STARTERS VS IRAN
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)
U.S. STATISTICS VS IRAN
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