U.S. Men Dominate Italy in World League Pool Play Finale

July 01, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 1, 2007) - The U.S. Men's National Team put an exclamation point on its FIVB World League Pool B victory with a 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-13) win over host Italy on Sunday in Avellino.

The United States wins the pool with a 10-2 record. The U.S. Men will travel to Poland for the final round on July 11-15 in Katowice. There, they will be in Pool E with host Poland and the FIVB wild card pick, which is still to be named.

On Sunday, U.S. Coach Hugh McCutcheon came up with a completely new starting lineup, and the players came through, neutralizing France's offense, which could only convert 34 percent of it attempted kills.

Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i) led the U.S. Men with 14 points on 10 kills, two blocks and two aces. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added 12 points on 11 kills and one ace.

Outside hitter Jim Polster (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), playing in his first World League match of 2007, was credited with 11 points on seven kills, three blocks and one ace. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) also tallied 11 points on seven kills, three blocks and one ace. Middle blocker Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) was just behind with nine points on six kills, two blocks and one ace.

Starting setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) even got into the act with three points on two kills and one block. He was also credited with 61 sets and two faults.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 11 "excellent" serve receptions with one fault in 16 attempts. Polster tallied 11 "excellents" and one fault in 17 attempts.

Regular starters Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) and Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) all substituted but did not score.

Matej Cernic scored 10 points for Italy, which has struggled with injuries to key players during World League. No other player scored in double figures.

"We always respected our opponents, even if they had problems," U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "We had some fear in the first set, but at the end of the day all became comfortable."

"At the end, we saw the difference between an experienced team and an inexperienced one," added Stanley.

The first set proved to be the most exciting for the crowd of 4,150 at the Pala del Mauro.

The United States held an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout and led 16-14 at the second. Stanley's kill made it 17-14, but then Italy came back with four straight points for an 18-17 lead. The teams battle back and forth, but Italy reached set point first at 24-23. Another Stanley kill tied the score, however a serving error by Priddy put Italy back at set point, 25-24.

Rooney's kill tied the score again, but Cernic responded with a kill to give Italy the 26-25 set point. Lee tied the score with a kill. Stanley followed with a block to give the United States the 27-26 set point. Rooney's ace ended the set and seemed to take all the fight out of Italy, which would never again hold a lead in the match.

Italy (3-7) still has two matches left to play, on July 6 and 8 when it will host Japan (2-8).

Click here to view the match statistics.

All World League matches played in the United States and the World League finals are scheduled to be shown on ESPNU.

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

Results, statistics and photos are available on the FIVB World League Web Site at www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2007.

The 2007 U.S. Men's media kit is available at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/us_men_mediakit07.pdf (please note that this is a large PDF file).

2007 FIVB World League

Standings (as of July 1, 2007)

Pool A
1 Brazil 12-0
2 Finland 7-5
3 Korea 3-9
4 Canada 2-10

Pool B
1 USA 10-2
2 France 7-5
3 Italy 3-7
4 Japan 2-8

Pool C
1 Russia 10-2
2 Cuba 7-5
3 Serbia 7-5
4 Egypt 0-12

Pool D
1 Poland 12-0
2 Bulgaria 8-4
3 China 4-8
4 Argentina 0-12

U.S. 12-Man Roster
(Teams can adjust 12-man rosters between weekends)

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Jim Polster (OH, 6-6, Laguna Niguel, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 Brandon Taliaferro (S, 6-5, San Clemente, Calif., UCLA)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 Phil Eatherton (MB, 6-9, Glencoe, Mo., Ball State)
7 David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Gabe Gardner (OH, 6-9, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)

Italy 12-Man Roster

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
2 Manuel Coscione (S, 6-2, Cuneo)
5 Giordano Mattera (S, 6-6, Civitavecchia)
7 Alessandro Paparoni (OH, 6-3, San Severino Marche)
9 Christian Savani (OH, 6-4, Castiglione delle Stiviere)
10 Luca Tencati (MB, 6-7, Cremona)
11 Mauro Gavotto (OPP, 6-7, Cuneo)
12 Matteo Martino (OH, 6-6, Novi Ligure)
13 Lorenzo Perazzolo (OH, 6-5, Mantova)
16 Cristian Casoli (L, 6-4, Varese)
17 Andrea Sala (MB, 6-7, Gallarate)
18 Matej Cernic (OH, 6-4, Gorizia)
19 Cosimo Marco Piscopo (MB, 6-9, Gagliano del Capo)

U.S. World League Schedule

Date: May 26-27
Opponent: France
Location: Portland, Ore. - The Chiles Center Arena
Match 1: France def. USA, 3-2 (13-25, 25-19, 25-17, 24-26, 15-13)
Match 2: USA def. France, 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20)

Date: June 1-2
Opponent: Japan
Location: Green Bay, Wis. - The Resch Center
Match 1: USA def. Japan, 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 27-25, 25-19)
Match 2: USA def. Japan, 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-18)

Date: June 8-9
Opponent: France
Location: Lyon, France - Palais des Gerland
Match 1: France def. USA, 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 38-36, 25-18)
Match 2: USA def. France, 3-1 (22-25, 29-27, 25-23, 25-21)

Date: June 15-16
Opponent: Italy
Location: Chicago, Ill. - The Convocation Center
Match 1: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 25-27, 29-27)
Match 2: USA def. Italy, 3-0 (25-19, 30-28, 25-23)

Date: June 23-24
Opponent: Japan
Location: Kumamoto - Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium
Match 1: USA def. Japan, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-15)
Match 2: USA def. Japan, 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-22)

Date: June 29
Opponent: Italy
Location: Naples - PalaBarbuto
Match 1: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 31-29)

Date: July 1
Opponent: Italy
Location: Avellino - Pala Del Mauro
Match 2: USA def. Italy, 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-13)

World League Final Round
Katowice, Poland
July 12: USA vs. FIVB Wild Card
July 13: USA vs. Poland
July 14: Semifinals
July 15: Finals