U.S. Men Pack in Victory During Trip to Green Bay

June 01, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (June 1, 2007) - The U.S. Men's Volleyball Team held off a charge from an improved Japanese team and defeated Japan 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 27-25, 25-19) in their FIVB World League match on Friday at the Resch Center before a crowd of approximately 1,885.

Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) paced the United States with 22 points (17 kills, four blocks, one ace), Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added 19 (16 kills, 2 aces, one block) and Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) scored 12 (nine kills, three blocks). Yusuke Ishijima had 23 points, all on kills, for Japan and Yu Koshikawa added 13 kills for 13 points.

With the victory, the United States improves to 2-1 to lead World League Pool B. Japan falls to 0-1. In the other Pool B match on Friday, host Italy defeated France 3-2.

After Team USA won the first set and Japan won the second, the third set proved crucial to the U.S. victory. The U.S. Men led the third set 8-5 at the first timeout. But Japan never gave up and kept the score close. However, it could not close the door.

With Japan at set point 24-23, Gardner had a kill to tie the score.

Japan's kill gave it set point again at 25-24, but it was followed up with a blocking error that tied the score again.

On the next serve from Sean Rooney, Japan was called for an attack error that gave the United States the edge. Priddy followed up with a kill for the victory.

"I just think we got really lucky to get that call and get another chance," Priddy said. "I think we took advantage of an opportunity."

U.S. Coach Hugh McCutcheon said the U.S. Team had good individual performances, but did not shine as a group.

"I thought the team played fair. It was not our best effort," he said. "I thought our guys fought hard to win the third set."

Japan was playing in its first World League match and Coach Tatsuya Ueta said it was too early to tell how good his team could be.

"It's too early to evaluate the team. However, it is crucial to find out who will step up for us," he said.

The U.S. Men never trailed in the first set and led 8-6 at the first timeout. Coming out of the timeout, David Lee served for three straight points to put the United States ahead 11-6. Japan never recovered.

Japan came back in Set 2, finding some timely hitting from Yusuke Ishijima, who had six kills in the set and Yu Koshikawa who had four. The U.S. Men held an 8-7 lead at the first timeout, but Japan scored the next two points on blocks and took a 9-8 lead. A block by Gardner and Lee tied the score and Priddy's ace gave Team USA a 10-9 lead.

But the U.S. Men's misplay, followed by a kill from Ishijima put Japan back in charge at 11-10. Japan never trailed again, although the U.S. Men kept the score close and tied it several times.

The U.S. Men raced to an 8-3 victory in the fourth set and never looked back.

The U.S. Men started outside hitter Sean Rooney, setter Brandon Taliaferro, middle blocker David Lee, outside hitter Reid Priddy, middle blocker Ryan Millar, opposite Gabe Gardner and libero Rich Lambourne.

Team Japan started middle blocker Hiroaki Kawaura, outside hitter Ryuji Naohiro, middle blocker Yoshihiko Matsumoto, outside hitter Yusuke Ishijima, outside hitter Yu Koshikawa, setter Kosuke Tomonaga and libero Osamu Tanabe.

The two teams will play again on Saturday at 7 p.m.
All U.S. matches and the World League finals are scheduled to be shown on ESPNU.
The U.S. World League home matches are 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 USA Volleyball FIVB World League web site is www.usavolleyball.org/national/wl07.asp.
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).
The FIVB media kit for Green Bay 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
June 1-2; Green Bay, Wis.

Standings (as of June 1, 2007)

Pool A
1 Brazil 3-0
2 Finland 1-2
3 Canada 1-1
4 Korea 0-2

Pool B
1 France 1-2
2 USA 1-1
3 Italy 1-0
4 Japan 0-0

Pool C
1 Cuba 2-0
2 Russia 2-0
3 Serbia 1-2
4 Egypt 0-3

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

U.S. Roster
(Twelve-man rosters can be updated between World League weekends)
No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, Colleg)
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 C Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
11 Brook Billings (OPP, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., USC)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Gabe Gardner (OPP, 6-9, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)

Japan Roster
(Pos., Ht., Hometown)
2 Hiroaki Kawaura (MB, 6-5, Tokyo)
3 Shinya Chiba (OH, 6-0, Osaka)
4 Shunichi Shimano (S, 5-11, Gifu)
6 Ryuji Naohiro (OH, 6-4, Hiroshima)
8 Yusuke Imada (OH, 6-5, Hyogo)
9 Takaaki Tomimatsu (MB, 6-3, Sendai)
10 Osamu Tanabe (L, 5-9, Hiroshima)
11 Yoshihiko Matsumoto (MB, 6-3, Nagano)
14 Ryu Morishige (OH, 6-2, Kagoshimo)
16 Yuske Ishijima (OH, 6-5, Saitama)
17 Yu Koshikawa (OH, 6-3, Ishikawa)
18 Kosuke Tomonaga (S, 6-0, Nagasaki)

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)

Date: June 8-9
Opponent: France
Location: Lyon, France - Palais des Gerland

Date: June 15-16
Opponent: Italy
Location: Chicago, Ill. - The Convocation Center

Date: June 23-24
Opponent: Japan
Location: Kumamoto - Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium

Date: June 29
Opponent: Italy
Location: Napoli - PalaBarbuto

Date: July 1
Opponent: Italy
Location: Avelino - Pal Del Mauro

World League Final
Date: July 11-15
Location: Katowice, Poland