Russell and Hosack Win Opening Match with Team USA in FIVB Men's U21 World Championship
Aug 22, 2013
IZMIR, Turkey -
Penn State men's volleyball junior Aaron Russell, assistant coach Jay Hosack and the rest of the USA Men's Junior National Team rallied to defeat Rwanda, 3-1 (25-11, 25-18, 27-29, 25-14) in the opening match of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship yesterday. Russell was one of six starters for the U.S., registering three points in the victory.
"Rwanda played really well today. This championship is not easy. All teams are in good performance here otherwise they wouldn't be here. Although we had some mistakes we played well. Rwanda got the 3rd set but we managed to win the match. I believe we will get better as the tournament goes on," USA Captain Matthew West said.
Next up, the United States will take on Serbia, August 23rd at the Ataturk Sports Hall in the second match of play in "Pool C."
Follow updates from assistant coach Jay Hosack below for an exclusive look at what he and Russell have been up to since they arrived in Turkey.
August 15th, 2013:
It's day four in training with the USA junior men's national team here in Colorado Springs. If you have never been here, the Olympic training center is quite a place to be. Highly conditioned, highly trained athletes in many sports convene here to train for their next tournament, match or contest. Nearly everything is taken care of for you, including having each meal detailed down to the last calorie count. The USA Olympic committee has done a great job in taking care of their athletes. The team has had a small number of training days leading up to the FIVB World Championship. Like most sports, if you don't play it at least a little bit every day, your skills diminish slightly each day. So, every contact counts up here.
The first couple of practices were not pretty, but the team has found their groove, and they are making nice strides toward being where they want to be when the competition starts. Aaron Russell has solidified his spot as a top outside hitter for us. His training over the years, along with his dedication to becoming better every time he steps on the court is paying off. He is representing Penn State well, and Nittany Lions everywhere would be proud to see him help lead this team. We only have two more training sessions before we board a plane for Turkey. A twelve hour flight is in store for us on Friday. Hopefully the boys and staff have their iPads, iPods or kindles stored with all kinds of things to keep them occupied during the trip. More to come when we land. Till then, WE ARE!
August 19th, 2013:
Another Penn Stater, the father of PSU volleyball, former head coach Tom Tait, joins the USA junior national team in Turkey as the head of delegation for the group. Coach Tait has been on many overseas trips for USA over the years, and we are lucky that he can join us this year with his experience. Practice resumes today after the team and staff took a break and toured the town for a bit.