WATCH LIVE: Team USA Starts Grand Champions Cup Test With Host Japan

  0 Carly DeMarque | September 12th, 2017 | Asian Volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, U.S. Men's National Team, Video


Team USA will take on the hosts of the 2017 FIVB World Grand Championships, Japan, in their first test of the event. This will be the fourth time that Japan and the U.S. have met in the competition, with the Americans leading the tally with two wins to one.

As hosts, Japan has appeared in all six previous editions of the World Grand Champions Cup. In 2009, Japan finished in third place behind Cuba and the winners, Brazil, as their best finish in the round robin tournament. Japan has been in a World Grand Champions Cup slump as of late, losing their last seven matches at the event with six coming in straight sets. The last time that the Japanese squad won was in 2009 when they took down Iran in five.

The star for the Japanese squad will be Yuki Ishikawa who helped Japan to their ninth Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship, earning himself the MVP title. Also helping Japan was Haku Ri and Naonobu Fujii.

This is the fourth appearance for the Americans at the event and their second in a row. Their best finish ever came in 2005 when they were the runners-up behind Brazil. Only Egypt (9) and Japan (21) have lost more matches at the World Grand Champions Cup than the U.S. (8).

Team USA is returning a number of veteran players to the court as well as some new, young faces. Coming back for the U.S. after a summer off is Matthew Anderson, dubbed as one of the best opposite hitters in the world. Among some young faces that took part at the World League this summer are Taylor Sander, Jeff Jendryk, TJ DeFalco, Micah Christenson and Ben Patch. These players were among those that helped the Americans to the finals of the World League and a fifth place finish. Also making huge contributions for Team USA have been Kawika Shoji, Thomas Jaeschke, David Smith and Erik Shoji.

The match will start at 18:15 local time, which is 6:15 AM U.S. Easts Coast Time or 09:15 GMT.

Editor’s note: Video not made available in the United States. If you are not in the United States, but an error in YouTube’s geolocation service is still blocking your access, you can use a program like TunnelBear to redirect to the proper country.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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