U.S. Men in France for First World League Road Trip

June 07, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 7, 2007) - The U.S. Men's National Team garnered the Pool B lead and some stellar individual performances during its first two weekends of 2007 FIVB World League competition. Now it's time to see if they can take their successful show on the road.

The team is in Lyon to play two matches on Friday and Saturday (June 8-9) against France at the Palais des Gerland. Both matches start at 11 a.m. Pacific, 2 p.m. Eastern, and can be followed on the FIVB web site at http://www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2007/. Click on "Live Scorebox." Matches played in other countries will not be broadcast on television in the United States.

U.S. Men's Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon expects to see an improved French squad from the one his team faced on May 26-27 in Portland, Ore.

"I expect them to be better," McCutcheon said. "I would expect them to be improved. I know that we're playing better after two weekends."

U.S. Team Captain Riley Salmon expects an intense match.

"There is no love lost between our two teams," he said. "It's going to be a good match, hopefully."

The United States and France split their matches, with France winning the first one 3-2 (13-25, 25-19, 25-17, 24-26, 15-13), and Team USA taking the second 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20).

Since that weekend, the U.S. Men won their next two matches against Japan on June 1-2 in Green Bay, Wis. (3-1 and 3-1), while visiting France split its matches with Italy. Italy won the first match 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 15-25, 17-15) while France took the second 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 28-26).

McCutcheon, who has said he is using the World League matches to evaluate his players and rotations, while also making sure the team has the tools it needs to win, has made two major changes to his 12-man roster since Green Bay. Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.), the 2006 team captain who missed the first two weekend of 2007 World League competition following the birth of his third daughter in mid-May, returns at middle blocker replacing David Lee (Alpine, Calif.).

Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i), who missed the first two weekends due to a late return from his Russian club team, returns at opposite, replacing Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.).

France has made one change to its roster from the first weekend. Team captain Stephane Antiga, who can play outside hitter or opposite, had to undergo a "medical check-up" since returning from Portland, the FIVB reported. He has been replaced by Xavier Kapfer.

Outside hitter Guillaume Samica leads the French team in scoring with 59 points, including 52 spikes, six blocks and one ace. Middle blocker Oliver Kieffer is second with 48 points on 32 spikes, 14 blocks and two aces.

U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) currently lead all World League scorers with 75 and 74 points respectively. Priddy has 61 kills, seven blocks and seven aces. Gardner has 59 spikes, 11 blocks and four aces.

Priddy's seven aces and 11 faults in 68 attempts also make him No. 5 in serving. He is No. 3 among receivers with a 70.3 efficiency percentage.

Setter Brandon Taliaferro (San Clemente, Calif.) is No. 5 among the World League setters with a 6.18 average by set.

U.S. World League Notes

THREE TO GET READY: Tom Hoff's third daughter, born in mid-May, is named Ava. Tom and wife Sandy also have Tatum, born in 2003 and Ella, born in 2005.

RUSSIAN WINTER: Dynamo Kazan, the Russian club team that U.S. players Lloy Ball and Clay Stanley both play for, won the 2007 Russian Superleague title. It is the first league title for Kazan in club history.

WEDDING BELLS: Two U.S. Men's Team players were married earlier this year. Reid Priddy married Lindsay Pierce in March in California. Phil Eatherton married wife Kasia in May in Poland.

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 http://www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2007.

The USA Volleyball FIVB World League web site is http://www.usavolleyball.org/national/wl07.asp.

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

2007 FIVB World League
June 8-9 in Lyon, France

Standings (as of June 7, 2007)

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

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

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

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

U.S. Roster
(Twelve-man rosters can be updated between World League weekends)
No. Name (Pos., 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)
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)
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)

France Roster
No. Name (Pos., Height, Hometown)
1 Xavier Kapfer (OH/OPP, 6-3, Nice)
2 Bojidar Slavev (OH, 6-8, Toulouse, Toulouse
4 Antonin Rouzier (OH, 6-7, Bois-Colombes)
5 Romain Vadeleux (OH, 6-6, Paris)
9 Frantz Granvorka (OH, 6-5, Roquevaire)
10 Vincent Montmeat (MB, 6-5, Tourcoing)
11 Loïc Le Marrec (S, 6-3, Antibes)
13 Pierre Pujol (S, 6-3, Poitiers)
14 Loic Geiler (OH, 6-6, Montpellier)
15 Guillaume Samica (OH, 6-6, Poiitiers)
17 Oliver Kieffer (MB, 6-6, Mignaloux)
18 Jean-François Exiga (L, 5-9, Cannes la Bocca)

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

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