Chicago to Host U.S. World League Matches

April 26, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 26, 2007) - Top international men's volleyball is coming this summer to the U.S. Olympic Committee's 2016 Applicant City!

USA Volleyball has announced that Chicago, which the USOC recently named the U.S. Applicant City for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will host FIVB World League matches between the United States and Italy on Friday, June 15 at 7 p.m. CT and Saturday, June 16 at 5 p.m. CT.

The matches will be held at the Convocation Center on the campus of Chicago State University, one of the venues used in Chicago's proposal to become the host of the 2016 Summer Games.

"We are pleased to be bringing Chicago a preview of the kind of men's volleyball it will see if it is chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games," said USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal. "Chicago is a great sports city and we hope to see plenty of fans at the Convocation Center."

Ticket information will be available soon.

The U.S. Men's National Team has ties to Chicago as Team Captain Tom Hoff grew up in Park Ridge, Ill., about 15 miles north of Chicago, and outside hitter Sean Rooney grew up in Wheaton, Ill., a suburb 25 miles west of Chicago.

ESPNU, USA Volleyball's broadcast partner, will show all the matches played in the United States on a tape-delayed basis. It will also broadcast the World League Finals. Commentary will be provided by 1984 Olympic volleyball gold medalist Chris Marlowe and by two-time Olympian Kevin Barnett, who is from Naperville, Ill.

The Italian Men's National Volleyball Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, has won the FIVB World League title eight times since 1990. However it has not won a medal since 2003, when it finished third. It finished sixth in 2006.

The United States and Italy will be joined in Pool B by France and Japan.

Team USA will face France in its opening World League matches on May 26-27 in Portland, Ore. The following weekend it will play Japan on June 1-2 in Green Bay, Wis.

The U.S. Men will play six straight weekends of World League tournaments from May 25-June 30. The World League finals are set for July 11-15 in Katowice, Poland. Only the pool winner is guaranteed to advance to the finals.

The U.S. World League home matches are presented by GL7, the Official Sports Drink of USA Volleyball.

The USA Volleyball FIVB World League web site is at

The FIVB World League Web Site is at