Sports

American men end USAV Cup with a volleyball sweep of Iran

 

The U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team finished its four-match USAV Cup series with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-19 victory over Iran on Saturday before a crowd of 3,610 at the Bren Center at UC Irvine.

The United States won three of the four matches as the teams will meet again during pool play for the FIVB World Championship, which begins Aug. 30 in Poland.

The U.S. and Iran will also share a pool during the 2015 FIVB World League, meaning the U.S. team will travel to Iran to play two matches.

"I hope they enjoyed the volleyball," U.S. coach John Speraw said. "I hope they learned to love the game because there is great volleyball in the United States and here in Southern California."

The U.S. led in kills (46-30), blocks (7-3) and aces (8-1).

Opposite Matt Anderson led all scorers on Saturday with 20 points on a match-high 20 kills. Outside hitter Taylor Sander added 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace. Middle blocker Max Holt totaled eight points on six kills and two aces.

"I think we grew a lot as a team," Holt said. "It was a quality opponent and we had a great time hosting them. A lot of them speak really good English. It's fun to play a team like that here because they have such great support."

Setter Micah Christenson scored seven points on a match-high five aces, one block and one kill.

"I thought it was a great week of volleyball," Christenson said. "Iran's a very good, well-coached team with a lot of very skilled players. They were a great opponent and we were really happy to have them."

Middle blocker David Smith, who played college volleyball at UC Irvine, scored five points on two attacks and three blocks in his former gym.

Outside hitter Brad Lawson, a Stanford grad, started the first two sets and scored two points on two attacks. Cardinal grad Erik Shoji was credited with nine receptions, 89 percent positive.

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