COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 8, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team finished the Ljubljana Volleyball Challenge with a 3-0 record after beating host Slovenia on Saturday, 25-22, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21.

The U.S. Men will travel to Bari, Italy to begin the FIVB World Championship against Serbia at 11:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday (Sept. 12). All men’s World Championship matches will be shown live on, which has reduced the subscription price 20 percent for the event.

The U.S. Men led Slovenia in kills (49-43) and blocks (11-5). The United States hit .385 behind setter Micah Christenson while Slovenia hit .308.

The teams were tied in aces (7-7), but the U.S. Men were hurt by 29 service errors while Slovenia had 19.

“We lost the third set because of some serving errors, but the rest I think we did good ,” U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander told the Slovenian Federation. “We’re working on our systems we need to. Overall it was a great tournament for us and it was fun playing against good teams.”

Sander and fellow outside hitter Aaron Russell led the U.S. Men in scoring with 17 points apiece. Sander scored on a match-high 14 kills, two aces and one block. Russell scored on a match-high four blocks, 12 kills and one ace.

Opposite Matt Anderson scored 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace. Middle blocker had eight points, including three blocks and middle blocker Taylor Averill scored seven points.


Outside hitters: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell

Middle blockers: Max Holt and Taylor Averill

Opposite: Matt Anderson

Setter: Micah Christenson

Libero: Erik Shoji

Substitutes: Jake Langlois (OH) and Kawika Shoji (S)


Kills: Sander 14, Anderson 13, Russell 12, Holt 4, Averill 4, Christenson 1, Langlois 1

Blocks: Russell 4, Holt 3, Averill 2, Anderson 1, Sander 1

Aces: Sander 2, Anderson 1, Holt 1, Langlois 1, Averill 1

Digs: Christenson 19, Sander 12, E Shoji 10, Anderson 4, Russell 3, Averill 2, Langlois 1, K Shoji 1, Holt 1

2018 Ljubljana Volleyball Challenge

U.S. Men’s Roster

1. Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)

2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)

3C. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)

4. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)

7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

10. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Phoenix, Ariz., UC Irvine)

11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)

12. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)

13. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)

15. Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)

18. Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)

19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)

20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)

21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)

22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw

Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton

Team Manager: Nate Ngo

Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo

Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

Team Psychologist: Andrea Becker

Team Doctors: Andrew Gregory and David Dyck

Scout Coach: Jon Parry

Consultant Coach: Mike Wall

Strength Coach: Tim Pelot

U.S. Men’s Schedule

All times Pacific

Sept. 6: USA def Iran, 25-18, 25-15, 25-20

Sept. 7: USA def. Canada, 25-20, 25-22, 12-25, 25-23

Sept. 8: USA def Slovenia, 25-22, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21.

U.S. Men’s World Championship Pool Play Schedule

Bari, Italy

All matches will be shown on

(All times PT)

Sept. 12 at 11:30 a.m.: Serbia

Sept. 13 at 8 a.m.: Australia

Sept. 15 at 11:30 a.m.: Russia

Sept. 16 at 8 a.m.: Cameroon

Sept. 18 at 8 a.m.: Tunisia