U.S. Men Blank Japan, Finish Pool Play Undefeated

Aug. 18, 2008, 3:06 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans and Bill Kauffman
Managers, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

BEIJING (Aug. 18, 2008) – The U.S. Olympic Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team, ranked third in the FIVB world ranking, swept Japan 25-18, 25-12, 25-21 Monday at Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium to conclude pool play with a 5-0 record. The Americans next take the court on Aug. 20 in an Olympic Games quarterfinal match against Serbia at 10 p.m.

As the top team in Pool A, Team USA will take a seven-match win streak into its Aug. 20 Olympic Games quarterfinal match against Serbia. The U.S. is looking to reach the Olympic medal stand for the first time since 1992 when it earned the bronze medal in Barcelona after consecutive gold medals at Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988.

Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) paced the U.S. with 10 points with five kills on nine swings to go with four blocks. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) chipped in nine points via five kills on seven attacks, three blocks and an ace.

“Ryan is having a very good tournament,” U.S. Olympic Men's Indoor Volleyball Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “He is hitting the ball with a lot range, being able to attack a lot of zones. I am very happy with his offensive output. I also think he is doing a nice job defensively with his blocking. He has been serving for a lot of points.”

Clay Stanley (Honolulu) added six kills on 11 attacks, two blocks and an ace as part of a nine-point effort. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) tallied seven points including three blocks to match Reid Priddy’s (Richmond, Va.) seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. Priddy added a team-high five digs.

“I was quite happy with the way the team played tonight,” McCutcheon said. “The guys were focused and were able to execute in all phases of the game. I thought it was a much better effort and performance than our match against China. we go a little better tonight, and that is always one of our goals to try and improve every time we step on the court.”

Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) scored five points in limited action. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) tacked on three points all in the third set, while Lloy Ball (Woodburn, Ill.) added two blocks followed by Tom Hoff’s (Park Ridge, Ill.) single point.

Ball contributed 15 assists in the first two sets, while Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) turned in eight assists in the final set. Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) provided 17 excellent service receptions on 19 errorless attempts.

McCutcheon started Ball at setter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Priddy and Salmon at outside hitter and Stanley at opposite. Lambourne is the designated U.S. libero for the Olympic Games. Rooney, Hansen and Gardner all started the third set. Hoff was a sub in the second set.

Although Japan actually scored more kills than the U.S. (35-33), it committed double the number of errors (22-11). In addition, the Americans held a 16-5 block advantage. Team USA’s offense clicked at a 39.7 attack efficiency thanks to 37 excellent service receptions on 43 attempts without an error for an 86.1 success percent.

“I thought we came out and playing some good volleyball in the beginning,” said Hoff. “We got to get some players in, including myself, getting some playing time. I think that is always good for the team for later on in the tournament. For several matches in a row, we have played better as the match went on, which is a good sign.”

The U.S. put together a 5-1 run in the opening set to overcome a 7-6 deficit en route to a 25-18 victory behind six blocks. After yielding the first two points of the second set, Team USA score nine of the next 10 points to take a 9-3 advantage as it went on to win 25-12. The Americans scored six points via the block.

McCutcheon substituted freely in the third set with only two starters and the libero beginning the period. Japan overcame a 10-6 deficit to tie the set at 12-all. With the third set tied 17-all, the U.S. went on a 5-1 run to gain a commanding 22-18 advantage and managed a 25-21 victory.

Tatsuya Fukuzawa paced Japan with 10 points, all on kills. Kunihiro Shimzu totaled eight points in the loss.

Team USA defeated Serbia during the 2008 FIVB World League title match. Serbia, currently ranked fifth in the FIVB world ranking, is the last team to defeat the Americans, a three-set loss to start the World League Final Round.

According to Hoff, the undefeated 5-0 record should not be a problem for the Americans once the quarterfinals begin.

“It should give us a big boost of confidence that we are playing good volleyball,” Hoff said. “We have found ways to win several matches in a row. We like to control our own destiny. We put ourselves in a great position to win our pool. That is a good thing for our team to understand.”

Hoff said the advantage of having played Serbia recently and watching them play five additional matches in Beijing is an advantage to the team and staff.

"I think especially for our team and staff, having played Serbia recently and scouting them here at the Olympics is an advantage to our," Hoff said. "Serbia is a team that plays similar to us. They control the ball extremely well. They try to limit their amount of errors and keep the ball in play."

Through the end of the pool play, Stanley led all players in the Best Spiker category with a 45.31 attack efficiency to go with 89 points for fourth place. Lee topped the Best Blocker category with 1.16 blocks per set, while Millar ranked fourth in the category with 0.74 average. Lambourne ranks second in the Best Libero race with a 65.64 success percent.

In other matches played today, Bulgaria topped Venezuela 23-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-22, Brazil downed Germany 25-22, 25-21, 25-23, Poland gave Russia its first loss of pool play with a 17-25, 26-24, 24-26, 25-23, 15-12 victory, Serbia handled Egypt 25-16, 25-13, 25-17 and Italy edged host China 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 16-14.

Italy finished second in Pool A with a 4-1 record, followed by Bulgaria at 3-2 and China at 2-3. Venezuela (1-4) and Japan (0-5) placed fifth and sixth in the pool and did not advance to the quarterfinals.

In Pool B, Brazil, Russia and Poland all finished with a 4-1 record. However, Brazil gained the points scored ratio tiebreaker with a 1.145 mark compared to Russia’s 1.110 and Poland’s 1.074. Serbia finished fourth with a 2-3 record to qualify for the quarterfinal round. Germany (1-4) and Egypt (0-5) did not qualify for the quarterfinals from Pool B.

As the top seed of Pool B, Brazil will play Olympic Games host China, the fourth seed from Pool A, in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Russia starts the quarterfinal round with a 10 a.m. match against Bulgaria, followed by a noon matchup between Italy and Poland.

For more information on the U.S. Olympic Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team while in Beijing, visit click here.

No. Name (Pos., Height, Age., Hometown, College)

1 - Lloy Ball (S, 6-8, 36, Woodburn, Ind., IPFW)
2 - Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, 25, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
4 - David Lee (MB, 6-8, 26, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
5 - Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, 33, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
8 - Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, 30, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 - Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, 30, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 - Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, 32, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
12 - (captain) Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, 35, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 - Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, 30, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 - Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, 26, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 - Gabe Gardner (OPP, 6-9, 32, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
18 - Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, 26, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Staff
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon
Team Leader: Rob Browning
Interim Head Coach: Ron Larsen
Second Assistant Coach: John Speraw
Consultant Coach: Marv Dunphy
Technical Consultant: Jamie Morrison
Scout: Carl McGown
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

Pool A Standings
USA 5-0
Italy 4-1
Bulgaria 3-2
China 2-3
Venezuela 1-4
Japan 0-5

Pool B Standings
Russia 4-1
Brazil 4-1
Poland 4-1
Serbia 2-3
Germany 1-4
Egypt 0-5

Sunday, Aug. 10 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Russia def. Serbia, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-14
Pool A: Italy def. Japan, 25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17

Sunday, Aug. 10 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: USA def. Venezuela, 25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 21-25, 15-10
Pool B: Brazil def. Egypt, 25-19, 25-15, 25-18
Pool A: Bulgaria def. China, 25-20, 25-21, 26-28, 25-19
Pool B: Poland def. Germany, 25-17, 33-31, 25-20

Tuesday, Aug. 12 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Russia def. Germany, 25-27, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 16-14
Pool B: Poland def. Egypt, 25-21, 25-18, 25-10

Tuesday, Aug. 12 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: USA def. Italy, 24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21
Pool B: Brazil def. Serbia, 25-27, 25-20, 25-17, 25-21
Pool A: China def. Venezuela 25-21, 21-25, 16-25, 25-21, 16-14
Pool A: Bulgaria def. Japan, 29-27, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19

Thursday, Aug. 14 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool A: Italy def. Venezuela, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21
Pool B: Germany def. Egypt, 29-27, 25-21, 25-21

Thursday, Aug. 14 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool B: Russia def. Brazil, 22-25, 26-24, 31-29, 25-19
Pool B: Poland def. Serbia, 31-29, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21
Pool A: China def. Japan, 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 16-25, 15-10
Pool A: USA def. Bulgaria, 27-29, 25-21, 25-14, 26-24

Saturday, Aug. 16 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool A: USA def. China, 25-22, 25-12, 25-18
Pool B: Russia def. Egypt, 25-19, 25-14, 25-18

Saturday, Aug. 16 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool B: Serbia def. Germany, 25-21, 27-25, 24-26, 25-23
Pool A: Italy def. Bulgaria, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16
Pool B: Brazil def. Poland, 30-28, 25-19, 25-19
Pool A: Venezuela def. Japan, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23

Monday, Aug. 18 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool A: Bulgaria def. Venezuela, 23-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-22
Pool B: Brazil def. Germany, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23

Monday, Aug. 18 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool B: Poland def. Russia, 17-25, 26-24, 24-26, 25-23, 15-12
Pool B: Serbia def. Egypt, 25-16, 25-13, 25-17
Pool A: Italy def. China, 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 16-14
Pool A: USA def. Japan, 25-18, 25-12, 25-21

Wednesday, Aug. 20 – Quarterfinals at Capital Indoor Stadium
Bulgaria vs. Russia, 10 a.m.
Italy vs. Poland, Noon
Brazil vs. China, 8 p.m.
USA vs. Serbia, 10 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 22 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Men's semifinal 01, 12:30 p.m.
Men's semifinal 02 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 24 Capital Indoor Stadium
Men's bronze-medal match, 10 a.m.
Men's gold-medal match, Noon
Men's Award ceremony, 1:50 p.m.

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