COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 6, 2016) – Many professional European men’s volleyball teams have had a long break for the past few weeks, first for the holidays and now for the European Olympic Qualifier.

In Poland, Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, including outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and middle blocker Russell Holmes, played three friendly matches against Russia’s Zenit Kazan, where Matt Anderson plays outside hitter.

On Jan. 5, Rzeszow won, 22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23. Jaeschke, who has been recovering from an injury, started all four sets and scored 12 points on 12 kills. He was also credited with 14 receptions, 43 percent positive. Holmes did not play in the match. Anderson scored 13 points on nine kills, three blocks and one ace. He was credited with 28 receptions, 54 percent positive.

On Jan. 6, Kazan won 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 15-13.


Anderson and Kazan are 4-0 in Pool D of the Champions League. On Dec. 16, Kazan defeated Turkey’s Halkbank Ankara, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-14. Anderson played as a substitute and scored three points on three kills.

Jaeschke, Holmes and Rzeszow are also undefeated at 4-0 in Pool G. On Dec. 17, it beat Volley Asse-Lennik of Belgium, 21-25, 25-13, 26-24, 25-14. Holmes scored six points on five kills and one ace. Jaeschke played as substitute and scored two points on one kill and one block.

Turkey’s Arkas Izmir, which includes setter Kawika Shoji, is 3-1 in Pool A. On Dec. 16, Izmir fell to Russia’s Belogorie Belgorod, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23. Shoji scored two points on one kill and one block and set his team to a .397 hitting efficiency.

Middle blocker David Smith and the French club Tours are 3-1 in Pool C. On Dec. 16, Tours beat Italy’s Trentino Diatec, 18-25, 25-21, 27-25, 22-25, 15-10. Smith scored nine points on four kills, three blocks and two aces.

Opposite Murphy Troy and his Polish team Lotos Trefl Gdansk are 3-1 in Pool F. On Dec. 17, Gdansk defeated ACH Volley Ljubljana of Slovenia, 25-19, 25-17, 25-23. Troy led his team with 19 points on 17 kills and one block. American opposite Eric Mochalski, who plays for Ljubljana, led all scorers with 20 points on 17 kills and a match-high three blocks.

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, which includes outside hitter Paul Lotman and libero Erik Shoji, is 2-2 in Pool A. On Dec. 16, Berlin beat Bulgaria’s Marek Union-Ivkoni Dupnitsa, 25-14, 25-19, 27-25. Lotman scored seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. He was also credited with 21 receptions, 52 percent positive. Shoji was credited with 10 receptions, 60 percent positive.


Outside hitter Taylor Sander, who plays for Calzedonia Verona, caused a scare on Dec. 20 when his team was playing outside hitter Aaron Russell and Sir Safety Perugia. A hit by Perugia’s Serbian opposite Aleksandar Atanasijevic hit Sander in the head and he had to be taken from the court on a stretcher. Sander later posted photos to Instagram to reassure people that he was OK.  Perugia won the match 27-25, 25-14, 25-27, 23-25, 15-13.




Smith and Tours ended 2015 with a 25-22, 27-29, 26-24, 25-23 win over Lyon on Dec. 19. Smith scored 12 points on four kills, a match-high six blocks and two aces. Tours is in seventh place in the French league.

Libero Dustin Watten and Nancy fell to Paris 28-26, 25-18, 25-18 on Dec. 19. Watten was credited with 11 receptions, 27 percent positive. Nancy sits in 14th place in the league.

Outside hitter Scott Rhein and Chaumont fell to Toulouse, 25-19, 20-25, 26-24, 25-16 on Dec. 19. Rhein scored 10 points on 10 kills. He was also credited with 33 receptions, 61 percent positive. Chaumont is in third place in the league.