U.S. Men Suffer Semifinal Setback at World League

July 14, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 14, 2007) - The U.S. Men's National Team came up against a Russian team with too many weapons on Saturday, and despite taking a set, the U.S. Men fell 1-3 (22-25, 25-17, 13-25, 21-25) in the semifinals of the FIVB World League on Saturday in Katowice, Poland.

The U.S. Men (1-2 in the World League final round, 11-4 overall) will play Poland on Sunday in the third-place game (8 a.m. PDT). Russia (2-1 in the World League final round, 12-3 overall) will play in the championship match against Brazil, which defeated Poland 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23) in Saturday's other semifinal.

Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) led the U.S. Men with 18 points on 16 kills and two blocks. Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) added 14 points on 13 kills and one ace. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) scored eight points, all on kills.

Russian opposite Semen Poltavsky led all scorers with 19 points on 16 kills, one block and two aces.

"I think that we were well prepared to play today, but obviously we didn't execute what we planned in any percentage," U.S. Team Captain Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) said. "It's hard to win against a team like Russia. They played a pretty consistent game and we didn't play as well in the court as we planned on the paper."

U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon started Gardner at opposite, Priddy and Salmon at outside hitter, Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) and David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) at middle blocker, Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.

Hoff entered the match to start the fourth set in place of Lee. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i) also entered as substitutes.

Russia had more spikes (57-49), blocks (7-4) and aces (5-2) than Team USA.

The first set was evenly matched as the United States led 8-7 at the first technical timeout and Russia led 16-15 at the second. Team USA's hitters struggled with the Russian blocking and the U.S. errors mounted in the 22-25 loss.

The U.S. Men got off to a faster start in the second set and led 8-6 at the first technical timeout and 16-10 at the second. Russian Head Coach Vladimir Alekno made a double switch at setter and opposite, but it didn't help as Team USA raced ahead for the victory.

Russia seemed to find the answer in the third set and used a series of successful, fast attacks through the middle to go from leading 8-7 at the first technical timeout to 16-9 in the second at the second.

The U.S. Men trailed 13-16 at the second technical timeout of the fourth set. With Russia leading 18-14, McCutcheon called a timeout and the U.S. Men rallied to make it 18-19. But Russia increased its attack again to put the match out of reach.

View the box from this match at www.fivb.org/vis_web/volley/wl2007/pdf/P2-103.pdf.

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

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

Final Round Schedule

Pool E
July 11: Poland def. France, 3-2 (38-36 19-25 21-25 25-21 15-11)
July 12: USA def. France, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 28-26)
July 13: Poland def. USA, 3-0 (25-22, 36-34, 25-23)
Pool F
July 11: Bulgaria def. Brazil, 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 15-12)
July 12: Russia def. Bulgaria, 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-21)
July 13: Brazil def. Russia, 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-20, 26-24)

July 14
SF1: Russia def. USA, 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 25-13, 25-21)
SF2: Brazil def. Poland, 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23)

July 15
Third-place: USA vs. Poland, 8 a.m. PDT
Championship: Russia vs. Brazil, 11 a.m. PDT

U.S. 12-Man Roster

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)
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)