U.S. Men Face Japan in Green Bay World League Rematch

May 31, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (May 31, 2007) - Although they aren't exactly "home" contests, the U.S. Men's Volleyball Team knows how important it is to win its matches in the United States.

After splitting its first two matches with France on May 26-27 in Portland, Ore., the U.S. Men, who are based in Anaheim, Calif., will travel to the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis., for its second set of FIVB World League matches on June 1-2. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT.

Time will tell if the United States is playing a Japanese team that is very different from the team it faced in Minneapolis for the 2006 World League.

Team USA played the Japanese men four times in a row last year, winning all four matches and dropping only one set along the way. By the end of the two weekends, the U.S. Men led their pool. However, Poland and Serbia & Montenegro caught up with the U.S. Men and they ended up finishing third, while Japan, which won only one pool match, against Serbia & Montenegro, finished fourth.

But that doesn't mean that Team USA can expect an easy time of it when they face the 10th-ranked Japanese men on June 1-2 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis. Japan went on to finish eighth at the 2006 FIVB World Championships, which was held in Japan. The U.S. Men finished 10th, although the two teams never played each other.

"We can't afford to take anyone lightly," said U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon. "Japan has shown a lot of improvement since last year."

Overall, the U.S. Men's record against Japan is 131-59.

This will be Japan's first set of World League matches. Japan will play Italy on July 6 and 8, when none of the other World League teams will play.

The U.S. team only made one change from Portland, bringing Brook Billings to play opposite instead of Dave McKienzie.

After the first weekend of play, Gabe Gardner and Reid Priddy of the United States are leading all World League scorers. Each had 38 points. Priddy is also third on the list of servers with five aces and third on the list of receivers with an efficiency percentage of 64.41.

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.

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

The FIVB World League Web Site is 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).

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 May 31, 2007)

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

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

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

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

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

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