U.S. Men Earn World League Split with France

June 09, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 9, 2007) - The U.S. Men's National Volleyball team set aside its Friday loss and came back from a one-set deficit on Saturday to defeat France 3-1 (22-25, 29-27, 25-23, 25-21) in an FIVB World League match before 3,207 fans at the Palais des Gerland in Lyon, France.

The victory puts the United States back in the Pool B lead with a 4-2 record. France is second at 3-3. Italy, which defeated Japan 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21) on Saturday, is third at 2-1 and Japan is fourth at 0-3. The U.S. Men will face Italy in their next two World League matches on June 15-16 in Chicago.

Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) led the U.S. Men with 18 points on 15 kills and three blocks. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) had 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace. Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) added 14 points on seven kills, six blocks and one ace and Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) scored 12 points on eight kills and four blocks.

Antonin Rouzier, substituting in the second set for France's team captain and Friday's points leader Frantz Granvorka, led the French effort with 20 points on 15 kills, three blocks and two aces. Romain Vadeleux added 13 points on six kills, four blocks and three aces. France's other points leader on Friday, Guillaume Samica, was held to 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks.

"Of course I am really happy we won tonight, especially after yesterday's game," U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "However this does not mean we are ready. We still lack consistency."

"We had to play against a really talented and motivated American team, and we found it hard to adapt to the changes they had made," said French Head Coach Philippe Blain. "There are a few positive things but mainly negative ones. That's the hard reality."

While McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) made no substitutions until the fourth set of Friday's battle, he made some key moves in the second set of Saturday's victory.

The U.S. starters in the first set were Salmon and Priddy at the outsides, Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i) at opposite, Phil Eatherton (Glencoe, Mo.) and Millar at the middles, Brandon Taliaferro at setter and Rich Lambourne at libero.

Billings started the second set at opposite for Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i), who had only two points on blocks in the first set.

Then, with Team USA down one set and losing the second set 7-3, McCutcheon replaced setter Brandon Taliaferro (San Clemente, Calif.) with Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) who went on to set the rest of the match.

The United States held France's lead to no more than four until the score was 11-8. That's when a Vadeleux kill followed by his ace made it 13-8 and McCutcheon called a timeout.

The icing worked and Vadeleux's next serve didn't get over the net. Vadeleux's hitting error followed by Hansen's block of Samica made the score 13-11.

France continued to lead until the score was 17-15. Billings scored on an attack and then a block to tie the score. Salmon's kill gave the United States an 18-17 lead and Eatherton's kill made it 19-17.

But the U.S. Men could not relax. France later tied the score at 23-23. Team USA got the set point at 24-23 on France's error, but could not convert. France came back and held set point three times at 25-24, 26-25 and 27-26, but could not get the final point. At 27-26, Eatherton had a kill to tie the score and another to take the lead. France called a timeout, but Priddy's kill ended the game.

The third set saw the U.S. Men take a 22-16 lead, only to see France score the next six points to make it 22-22. However the French lost their own cause with two straight errors to take Team USA to set point. Despite a U.S. service error to make it 24-23, Eatherton again ended the game with a kill.

The United States held a 17-9 lead in the final set before France began yet another comeback, eventually cutting the lead to two points at 22-20. But the effort stalled and Team USA got the victory.

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 5 p.m. MDT on June 9, 2007)

Pool A
1 Brazil 6-0
2 Finland 3-3
3 Korea 2-4
4 Canada 1-5

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

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

Pool D
1 Poland 5-0
2 Bulgaria 4-0
3 China 0-5
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)
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

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