Anderson’s way to pro

by MARIAH THOMPSON Staff Writer

Volleyball player Matt Anderson had many ups and downs to get to where he is now, and he continues to push himself as he plays on the professional club team Zanit Kazan.

Anderson first played as a soccer goalie until his friend told him to try out for volleyball.

Anderson said, “From the first day I liked it. It was a sport that engaged everything and we’re always constantly part of the action.”

He led his volleyball team at West Seneca West High School in New York to a regular season record of 17-0.

Anderson also played club volleyball for Eden Volleyball Club. A volleyball club is a more competitive team that participates in more tournaments and games.

With all of his talents, colleges started calling him during his junior year.

After high school, he chose to attend Pennsylvania State University and majored in Kinesiology. Anderson’s career was one for the record books at Penn State.

He finished with 1,212 kills – an attack that is put on the floor on the opponent’s court or is not able to be retrieved, resulting in a point. Anderson also finished with 82 aces, which was the 8th all-time at Penn State. An ace is when you serve the ball and your opponent does not touch it, or only one person touches it without being able to return it.

Wearing number 14 as a junior, Anderson led his team to victory in the NCAA championship in 2008 against Pepperdine. In four sets, he was able to provide 29 kills for his team and was named Most Outstanding Player in the championship.

Freshman Emma Trask said, “My dad and I watched that championship game and that was what sparked my interest in volleyball. All I remember is Matt getting continuous points from all those hard attacks.”

After his junior year, Anderson decided to leave Penn State to follow his dream of being a professional volleyball player.

He joined the Korean Volleyball team in 2008 where he helped them land first in the regular season, but lost the match 3-1 in the championship series.

While on the team, Anderson won the Triple Crown Award, which is when a player gets more than three blocks, three back attacks, and three aces. Back attacks are when a back row player jumps behind the 10 foot line to attempt to hit the ball on the floor of the opponent’s side.

From 2010 to 2011, Anderson played in an Italian league for Tonno Callipo Volley. Then in 2011-2012, he played for another Italian league, Modenna Volley.

In the summer of 2012, Anderson competed in the London Summer Olympics for team USA.

“I didn’t want to be the ‘young guy.’ I started turning it into a healthy rage to come into the gym with the attitude, ‘Yeah, I might be young but there’s a reason I’m here. I’m not just here because I’m lucky. I deserve to be here,’” Anderson said as he talked about first being on team USA.

They lost in the quarter finals against Italy, but managed to get three digs and seven attacks.

An anonymous student said, “I remember watching Matt and team USA playing and wondering how they were able to play as well as they do. Volleyball is actually really hard, but Matt made it look easy.”

Anderson presently plays for a Russian volleyball club as an outside hitter, and continues to be part of the United States National volleyball team.


Which of Anderson’s accomplishment do you believe is the most impressive?

  1. Winning Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA championship game (0%, 0 Votes)

  2. Winning the Triple Crown Award (0%, 0 Votes)

  3. Being a part of US’s national team and competing with them in the London Olympics (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 0


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