U.S. Men End World League Play on Down NoteANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 19, 2006) - The U.S. Men's National Team's 2006 FIVB World League experience ended in disappointment on Saturday as it fell in three sets (23-25, 15-25, 23-25) to Serbia & Montenegro before a crowd of almost 8,000 in Novi Sad, Serbia.
The U.S. Men complete pool play in third place with a 5-7 record. Serbia & Montenegro improved to 9-3 and will wait for Poland, 8-3, to finish its final match against Japan, 1-10, on Sunday to see which team will win Pool A and receive an automatic berth in the finals, which begin Wednesday in Russia. Whichever team finishes second could be a candidate for a wild-card berth.
Dave McKenzie (Littleton, Colo.), who started at opposite, led the U.S. team in scoring with 14 points on 14 kills. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks and Jim Polster (Laguna, Niguel, Calif.) scored 11 points on six kills, three blocks and two aces.
Team USA had its best chance for a win in the third set when it held a 12-7 lead. But Serbia & Montenegro adjusted and eventually their good play, combined with U.S. mistakes, brought Serbia & Montenegro back into the lead.
"Serbia & Montenegro served very well and interfered with our serve-receive," U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "Their serves were difficult to defend. Serbia & Montenegro is a good team with excellent blocking and passing.
"I must say that, according to the results and close points ratio in our pool, both Serbia & Montenegro and Poland should go to the World League finals."
Serbia & Montenegro's Ivan Miljkovic, who now leads all World League players in scoring following a 27-point performance on Friday, added 17 more points to his total. Goran Vujevic added 10 points for Serbia & Montenegro.
For more U.S. World League information, go to http://www.usavolleyball.org/National/06worldLeague.asp.
The FIVB World League web site is http://www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2006/.
2006 FIVB World League Standings as of Aug. 19, 2006
Serbia & Montenegro 9-3
USA at Serbia & Montenegro
Aug. 18-19, 2006 Beograd and Novi Sad, Serbia
(Twelve-man rosters can be updated between World League weekends)
2 Pieter Olree (OH, Reading, Pa.)
3 Jim Polster (OH, Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, Tustin, Calif.)
6 Phil Eatherton (MB, Glencoe, Mo.)
7 Donald Suxho (S, Korce, Albania)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, Richmond, Va.)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, Palmdale, Calif.)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, State Park Ridge, Ill.)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, Honolulu, Hawaii)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, Newport Beach, Calif.)
15 Gabe Gardner (OH, San Clemente, Calif.)
16 Dave McKienzie (OPP, Littleton, Colo.)
U.S. World League Schedule
Date: July 14-15
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah - The "E" Center
Match 1: Poland defeats USA 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23)
Match 2: Poland defeats USA 3-1 (26-24, 25-13, 20-25, 25-22)
Date: July 22-23
Location: Hiroshima Green Arena
Match 1: USA defeats Japan 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-17)
Match 2: USA defeats Japan 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-18)
Date: July 29-30
Location: Minneapolis, Minn. - Target Center
Match 1: USA defeats Japan 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18)
Match 2: USA defeats Japan 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15)
Date: Aug. 4-5
Opponent: Serbia & Montenegro
Location: Spokane, Wash. - Spokane Memorial Arena
Match 1: Serbia & Montenegro defeats USA (13-25, 36-34, 25-22, 25-17)
Match 2: USA defeats Serbia & Montenegro (27-25, 25-22, 25-27, 25-21)
Date: Aug. 12-13
Location: Katowice - Spodek
Match 1: Poland def. USA (17-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-23, 17-15)
Match 2: Poland def. USA (25-22, 25-19, 25-23)
Date: Aug. 18-19
Opponent: Serbia & Montenegro
Location: Beograd and Novi Sad
Match 1: Serbia & Montenegro def. USA (21-25, 24-26, 25-16, 25-16, 15-13)
Match 2: Serbia & Montenegro def. USA (25-23, 25-15, 25-23)
World League Final
Date: Aug. 23-27