U.S. men win World Cup, Olympic berth; Top 25 scores

Hawaii's Kawika Shoji, Micah Christenson and Erik Shoji hold the FIVB World Cup the U.S won Wednesday in Tokyo
Hawaii’s Kawika Shoji, Micah Christenson and Erik Shoji with the FIVB World Cup trophy the U.S won Wednesday in Tokyo

photo courtesy of FIVB

Congrats to Christenson and the Brothers Shoji.
Christensen named Best Setter, Erik Shoji Best Libero

U.S defeats Argentina 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 25-20
It is the first FIVB World Cup in 30 years.

Christenson with a kill, 3 blocks, 2 aces, 2 digs, 26 assists,
E. Shoji 8 digs.
K. Shoji served twice in Set 4



  1. Big Island VB fan September 23, 2015 9:16 am

    Hearty congratulations to the USA team and especially to players from Hawaii, Micah Christensen and the Eric Shoji making best setter and best libero respectively. Also kudos to Kawika Shoji for a serving run that helped USA come from behind in a critical set against Russia the previous day. I stayed up till 2 AM this morning to watch the nail-biting match live and it was well worth it, a four-game thriller.

    By the way, the replay can be watched on YouTube:


  2. Cubicle1126 September 23, 2015 9:18 am

    congrats to the men’s nat’l team on qualifying for the olympics … and a shout out to the local boys on the team, christensen and the shojis.

    i would have thought, before the world cups, that the women would’ve been in a better position to qualify for the OG than the men. i think the men’s game is deeper (in terms of depth of quality/competitive teams) than the women’s side right now, and therefore, tougher to qualify. but it looks like the men investing in playing time to develop their young talent in the last couple years (with christensen and sander) and even this past summer (with players like russell and jaeschke, altho the latter didn’t make this WC roster) is paying dividends.

  3. Cindy Luis September 23, 2015 9:40 am

    thanks for the links.
    The women finished third last week so will have to try again at next month’s NORCECA Championship that would give them a spot in the Olympic Qualifier in January. U.S. went 9-2. Had Serbia lost to Argentina or China lost to Japan, then the U.S. would have been in. Both Serbia and China won and took the two Olympic berths.

  4. turfwar September 23, 2015 9:42 am

    With a possibility that both sons could make the Olympic squad it’s highly unlikely that Dave coaches in the Olympic year. He may or may not take a full retirement but he won’t miss the Olympics. This would be a pinnacle of everything he has worked for.

  5. haleiwacrossfitter September 23, 2015 10:51 am

    The Olympics finish before the start of the 2016 season. He can make it work, he will just miss the pre season camp, which Jeff and Robyn can run for that short period. He will be back next year.

  6. 'ohanaInBellingham September 23, 2015 11:14 am

    Mahalo for the link, BIVF!

  7. Cindy Luis September 23, 2015 11:23 am

    4-5. Olympic gold medal match is the weekend before Hawaii’s first match of the season. We’ve discussed this before that Shoji could have the team train under Hall and Ah Mow-Santos while he is in Rio, perhaps even skype-ing the workouts.

  8. turfwar September 23, 2015 11:28 am

    I hope you’re right Haleiwa. That would be a best case deal. I would also think that if anything he would be invigorated and pumped to coach following the Olympics but we”ll see. Who knows if it’s even Jeff that would take the lead on preparing the team.

  9. darkfire September 23, 2015 1:11 pm

    A huge shaka to our local boys Christensen and Shoji brothers! So kewl that US can finally go to the Olympics after 30 years and Dave gets to see his sons represent!

  10. Cindy Luis September 23, 2015 4:21 pm

    9. The U.S. has been to the Olympics during the past 30 years, won gold in 88, bronze in 1992, gold in 96, fourth in 04, gold in 08
    it was the first World Cup in 30 years.
    The roster that played in the Cup might not be the Olympic roster. That won’t be named until June.

    1) Penn State def. 16) Wisconsin 25-21, 25-16, 25-20
    15) Kansas def. Kansas State 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21
    17) Florida State def. Miami-FL 25-20, 25-21, 19-25, 20-25, 15-11
    21) Minnesota def. 12) Ohio State 25-22, 25-12, 23-25, 19-25, 15-11

  11. mei mei September 23, 2015 4:50 pm

    thanks for the scores Cindy…

    any updates w/ the USC/UCLA game? thank you!

  12. Cindy Luis September 23, 2015 4:57 pm

    for those not wanting to watch the whole match, this is being called The Best Point of the World Cup on E. Shoji’s dig-kill

  13. Cindy Luis September 23, 2015 4:59 pm

    11. gametracker for the UCLA-SC match at:

  14. warriorfan September 23, 2015 5:49 pm

    UCLA looks awful, man I wish the wahine had a do over with them, sucks that the wahine had their worst match of the year against them.

  15. volley September 23, 2015 7:05 pm

    14. thats because of the following reasons:

    sealy had some special privilege in scouting na wahine

    wahine were chillin from the american match in the beginning and winning the rallies did not appear to be a priority for them

    ucla essentially had 2 liberos on the court. didnt shoji recognize that earlier and should of put claire marie anderson for ball handling in?

  16. volley September 23, 2015 7:08 pm

    12. that aint no dig kill. that was a counter kill by a libero! elite shoji had to do that since the block touched it too.

  17. volley September 23, 2015 7:10 pm

    ^ in essence shoji inflicted the attackers attack back on the attack. what a counter.

  18. Big Island VB fan September 23, 2015 7:43 pm

    12. Cindy, thanks for the link on the best point in the World Men’s Cup highlight. That was the moment I wanted to share with a friend of mine before I saw your posting. I totally agree, it was the most spectacular! What an honor for Eric Shoji!

    Hope some of you had a chance to watch the entire match.

  19. Cindy Luis September 23, 2015 9:28 pm

    15. Sealy did not have special scouting privileges. Mentioned that the last time you posted it. He sat where all the coaches do during the tournament to scout, at the tables on either baseline.
    It’s just that TV made a big deal about him.

    updated scores
    1) Penn State def. 16) Wisconsin 25-21, 25-16, 25-20
    2) Texas def. TCU 25-19, 25-21, 29-27
    3) USC def. 13) UCLA 25-22, 25-12, 25-19
    4) Nebraska def. Iowa 25-23, 25-20, 25-23
    12) Ohio State lost to 21) Minnesota 22-25, 12-25, 25-23, 25-19, 11-15
    15) Kansas def. Kansas State 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21
    17) Florida State def. Miami-FL 25-20, 25-21, 19-25, 20-25, 15-11

  20. Ron September 23, 2015 10:02 pm

    Thanks to B.I.V.B.F. and Cindy for the links. You could not find better people representing the USA than theHawaii contingent. Great kids!

  21. haleiwacrossfitter September 23, 2015 10:17 pm

    I will always think that Sealy, and now Wong, will always have some edge on us that others don’t, just because they have worked with Dave and knows how he thinks and prepares and makes adjustments, etc.

    I can’t believe we lost to this UCLA team…ick.

  22. darkfire September 24, 2015 6:43 am

    Thanks for the correction Cindy. I meant to say the World Cup and had a little brain fart. Go Bows!

  23. Cindy Luis September 24, 2015 9:04 am

    21. true, they know how Shoji thinks. But as Sealy said he is so far removed from UH’s players now, although he might have been looking at Manu-Olevao while she was still in high school and he on the Wahine staff … That particular match UCLA gambled that their DSs could dig Taylor and when they did early it threw some doubt into UH. If it hadn’t worked, I think you might have seen a different outcome. Perfect storm with a number of players having an off night, including UH’s passers.

  24. Cindy Luis September 24, 2015 9:06 am

    21. USC is undefeated for a reason. have to give credit to them too for making UCLA look bad.

  25. Vbfan4life September 24, 2015 10:30 am

    FYI the fivb link was not the entire match but full first set and most of second. If anyone has full match link please lemme know

  26. Vbfan4life September 24, 2015 10:33 am

    also does anyone know the chances of having 4 Hawaii players on the team for Rio. Haven’t seen/heard much of Clay Stanley

  27. KaimukiWahine September 24, 2015 11:15 am

    Does anyone know a site that covers the entire World Cup USA vs Argentina match? For some reason YouTube only carries 1:06 of the match. So, so bummed. Couldn’t get the time difference right to watch it live. What there was of it it was great to watch, but so wanted to watch the 4th set!

  28. Cindy Luis September 24, 2015 11:39 am

    Try FIVB.org There are links for all the matches under World Cup menu

    26. don’t know about Clay. Last we spoke he said he thought he had one more Olympics in him. but Speraw definitely has gone with the youth movement.
    they won’t announce the final roster until next year so still time for players to prove their worth.

  29. Cindy Luis September 24, 2015 11:41 am

    27. there are supposed to be replays scheduled on Universal Sports Channel. Not sure if that is something carried in Hawaii. I’m sure someone will know.

  30. Bleachercoach September 24, 2015 4:37 pm

    Watching Arizona vs Arizona St. 1st set..Wow That Gardiner gal from ASU is a Beast! Gosh I remember her the other year here playing when they beat Hawaii….She is built solid especially her leg power….Kalei Mau from Kaiser via St Francis is an awesome hitter for Arizona….gosh I wish we had her…another great one got away….Snuka is doing a good job setting. …Back to Kalei Mau…what Nikki Taylor is for Hawaii is what Kalei is for Arizona….Could you imagine Taylor, Mau, and Carly Kan etc….staying home….Hawaii got so much talent….We really spread the ALOHA very well among the U.S.

  31. Bleachercoach September 24, 2015 4:41 pm

    Macy Gardiner (ASU)is not tall but she is so built so solid from top to bottom and she moves all around that court…she is big time….She was playing like that 2 years ago already..

  32. Bleachercoach September 24, 2015 4:41 pm

    Kalei Mau!!! WOW!!!

  33. Bleachercoach September 24, 2015 4:51 pm

    Kalei Mau is so so impressive!!! She plays like an All American…Even the commentators saying It’s the Kalei Mau show!!! 16 kills already and not even half way thru the 2nd set…..

  34. Bleachercoach September 24, 2015 5:04 pm

    I like how Coach Rubio.rest Kalei Mau after 18 kills midway through 2nd set and brings in another fresh OH hitter….The back up did well too…I thought that was great….Don’t want to see Kalei’s arm fall off (lol)…plus she will be rested for 3rd set andesign on…..

  35. warriorfan September 24, 2015 5:14 pm

    Kalei Mau’s improved a lot but still hitting about .200. She has improved way more than TMO since high school though, especially her backrow play.

  36. tongo September 24, 2015 6:03 pm

    Washington #6 nationally vs .Washington State Univ. is at 2-2, going to 5th set. Potential for wahines to move up!

  37. tongo September 24, 2015 6:26 pm

    No such luck. Huskies blow the Cougars out in the 5th.

  38. warriorfan September 24, 2015 6:51 pm

    Was hoping UW lost, they look very beatable though.

  39. warriorfan September 24, 2015 7:16 pm

    I noticed USF gave BYU a tough test, this should have been the year USF was on the schedule lol, they will have a good rpi.

  40. LanaiBoy September 24, 2015 7:39 pm

    This is a year when five Hawaii-born players may receive national recognition in women’s volleyball (from honorable mention to 1st team All-American). Of course, Nikki Taylor of Hawaii will be the most prominent one. There is Carly Kan of Missouri (already twice Honorable Mention AA), Kalei Mau and Penina Snuka of Arizona, and Adora Anae of Utah. Loxley Keala of Iowa has received some recognition too this year(tourney MVP). Pretty good for a small state.

  41. hollycow September 24, 2015 7:55 pm

    Cindy, what’s the status of Natasha’s checkup this week. Decision to redshirt or play undecided and to be monitored as the BW season progresses. 59% of the matches still to play with 16 more matches left until the playoffs.

  42. roofer68 September 24, 2015 8:16 pm

    Cindy, I really enjoyed your article on Clare. It’s so true, she brings her books more than a foot thick in her backpack with her during the matches. I kidded her about it once, a very polite, well spoken, bright girl.

  43. roofer68 September 24, 2015 8:20 pm

    My apologies Jason and Cindy, that’s what I get for anything written about the WVB is by Cindy. Senior moment.

  44. Big Island VB fan September 24, 2015 8:46 pm

    27. KaimukiWahine, I did a YouTube search and found a two-hour coverage, but the narration is not in English, probably Spanish on the Argentinian side. The quality of the video is good, but the scores are not as clear and not stated which set it is. However, I saw Shoji’s great dig near the two hour-mark, so I know that the fourth set is shown as well. If you know Spanish, fine, but if you don’t, you’ll have to put up with an incomprehensible narration. Of course, it’s not as fun as watching the English narration, but then I don’t know why they cut short showing only the first and second sets. Really sorry to hear that. I can understand that you couldn’t stay up till 2 in the morning to watch the match when you had school or a job to attend next morning. Hope this second class video can compensate for what you missed.

  45. Cindy Luis September 24, 2015 8:46 pm

    41. no update on Burns. She was supposed to have it rechecked this week. Assuming they’ll redshirt her but that is a decision between coach and player.
    43. Chris McLachlin made the same mistake today. I thanked him for his kind words on Jason’s behalf.

    Top 25 scores from Thursday up on new thread.

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