Matt Anderson, the two-time reigning USA Volleyball Player of the Year, is taking a break from the sport, citing depression, homesickness while playing for a Russian club team and stress.
The outside hitter Anderson, 27 and the youngest member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, released a statement after terminating his contract with his team, Zenit Kazan:
“First of all, I would like to stress that this decision has nothing to do with a conflict with any of my teammates or our coach, or even with the management of Zenit. Everything here in Kazan has been always organized at the highest level. I decided to stop my career, and this is entirely my decision because I feel tired of volleyball. Ever since I started playing professionally, I almost had no chance to see my family. Because of this I do not feel comfortable and have been dealing with stress. This critical condition and home sickness have reached their peak before the start of this season. I thought I could stand and overcome depression, but in the end I was wrong. I will miss the remainder of the season, but I am not finished with volleyball yet. I just want to have a break. I think that this break will help me get back the passion and love for the game. I am grateful to our fans for all the support they provided. I hope they will understand me and my decision.”
The U.S., the 2008 Olympic champion, finished fifth at the London Olympics and seventh at the World Championships in September.