U.S. Men Lose Third-Set Battle and Match to France

June 08, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 8, 2007) -- A heartbreaking 38-36 third-set loss seemed to take the wind out of the sails of the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team and France defeated the United States 3-1 (25-22 19-25 38-36 25-18) in an FIVB World League on Friday before 3,422 fans at the Palais des Gerland in Lyon, France.
The loss drops the U.S. Men's World League record to 3-2 while France improves to 3-2 and the two teams are tied for the Pool B lead.

Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) led the U.S. effort with 18 points on 14 kills and four blocks. Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i), playing his first match with the team in 2007 after returning from his Russian club team, finished with 15 points on 10 kills, three blocks and two aces. Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) scored 14 points on nine kills and five blocks and Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) added 10 points on nine kills and one block.

Frantz Granvorka led France with 22 points on 16 kills, five blocks and one ace. Guillaume Samica added 14 points on 12 kills, one block and one ace.

"I think our two teams played very well tonight," U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "Once again it was a real fight, but we do love to play against each other."

The two teams will face each other again on Saturday (June 9) at 2 p.m. Eastern, 11 a.m. Pacific.

The U.S. Men started Brandon Taliaferro (San Clemente, Calif.) at setter, Priddy and Salmon at outside hitter, Millar and Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.

France started outside hitters Samica and Granvorka, setter Pierre Pujol, middle blockers Oliver Kieffer and Romain Vadeleux, opposite Loic Geiler and libero Jean-Francoix Exiga.

After the two teams had split the first two sets, the U.S. Men found themselves on their heels in third set, trailing 8-4 at the first technical timeout and later trailing by six points at 15-9. But France's Granvorka followed with two straight attack errors to bring the United States back to within two. Millar and Priddy each had a kill to make the score 15-13.

With the U.S. Men trailing 20-17, Stanley took charge, scoring the next two points on kills. France's Granvorka responded with a kill, but Priddy attacked from the back row to cut France's lead to 21-20, and Stanley's ace made it 21-21. Millar had a block to give the U.S. Men a 22-21 edge and another Stanley ace made it 23-21.

A few minutes later, Team USA held its first set point at 24-22, but Salmon's service error followed by Granvorka's ace tied the score at 24-24.

The United States held set point four more times and the French held it seven times before the score was tied at 36-36. Hoff's service error gave France a 37-36 edge and Granvorka finally ended the match with a kill.

"I have to admit we are a bit disappointed tonight, especially after that third set," Hoff said. "We had real good opportunities to make a difference, but we did not take advantage of them. The third set was a real ordeal, we felt we could do something, but we have to say that we were not good enough by the end."

The United States battled in the fourth set until the score was tied 7-7. France scored the next two points and never tied or trailed again.

The U.S. Men also had to battle back in the first set after trailing 8-4 at the first technical timeout. By the second technical timeout, Team USA led 16-15 and eventually it extended its lead to 22-19. But that's where the U.S. scoring stopped and France scored the next six points, including four from Granvorka, to take the set 25-22.

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).

2007 FIVB World League
June 8-9 in Lyon, France
Standings (as of 6 p.m. MDT on June 8, 2007)
Pool A
1 Brazil 5-0
2 Finland 2-3
3 Korea 2-3
4 Canada 1-4

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

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

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 (MB, 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
Match 1: France def. USA 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 38-36, 25-18)

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