B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2008) - The U.S. Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team was nominated for Sports Illustrated’s Sportsmen of the Year Award, which ended up going to swimmer Michael Phelps.
Sports Illustrated’s Olympic beat writer Brian Cazeneuve wrote, “(Head Coach Hugh) McCutcheon's players, medal contenders but certain underdogs for gold, rallied around their coach and their extended family.”
To read the entire nomination story, click here.
It was a rough week for outside hitter Reid Priddy’s Russian professional club team Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, which has lost its last three matches, all at home.
Lokomotiv hosted the “final four” of the Russian Cup tournament, but lost to Iskra Odintsovo 0-3 (22-25, 22-25, 22-25) in the semifinal and fell to Zenit Kazan – the team of U.S. teammates Clay Stanley and Lloy Ball – 2-3 (23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 13-15) in the third-place match.
However, Priddy (Richmond, Va.) came out pretty well as he was named the Most Valuable Player of the Russian Cup finals and won a car. No word yet on what kind of car it is or how he might get it back from Russia. (View a photo at http://reidpriddy.com/traffic/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/dsc_0126.jpg)
Priddy led his team with 15 points (10 kills, two blocks, three aces) against Iskra. He scored 21 points against Kazan on 16 kills, two blocks and three aces.
Kazan fell to the third-place match after losing to eventual Cup winner Dynamo Moscow in the semifinals, 1-3. Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i), an opposite, led all scorers with 26 points on 24 kills, one ace and one block. Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) at setter scored one point on a block.
Stanley did not start in the third-place match and scored only three points. Ball scored one point on one kill.
In Wednesday’s Russian league championship matches, Lokomotiv hosted setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Fakel Novy Urengoi, but lost 2-3 (25-19, 34-32, 17-25, 26-28, 13-15) in a match timed at 2 hours and 13 minutes. Priddy scored 13 points on 13 kills in the match while Hansen had two points on two blocks.
Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) also plays for Fakel Novy Urengoi, but has been sidelined with an injury.
Read a Google translation of a Russian interview with Kevin Hansen at http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fakelvolley.ru%2Fru%2Fpress%2Fpr_031220083.htm&sl=ru&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8.
Meanwhile, Kazan easily defeated Gazprom-Yugra on Wednesday. Stanley led all scorers with 18 points on 13 kills, two blocks and three aces. Ball had four points on four kills and also helped Kazan convert 60 percent of its attack attempts into points.
Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and Ural Ufa defeated host Lokomotiv Belgorod, 3-2 (25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-27, 15-11) on Wednesday.
The Russian teams will play again on Dec. 6, and for the first time in quite a while, none of the teams with U.S. players will be competing against each other.
It has been difficult to find information on Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and his South Korean team Hyundai Skywalkers (Google searches tend to bring up a lot of Star Wars references).
However, The Korea Times reported on Nov. 23 that Anderson scored 13 points as his team defeated the defending champion Samsung Bluefangs, 3-1 at Cheonan, South Chungchung Province.
“Though the Skywalkers new import Matthew Anderson, who hurt his shoulder during the practice, registered 13 points he gave an impressive performance by blocking the Bluefangs import Andelko Cuk,” the story says.
View the story and a photo of Anderson in action at www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2008/11/157_34914.html.
Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.), outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and their Turkish team Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye defeated Maliye Milli Piyango, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-23) on Nov. 29 to secure third place in the league.
Touzinsky scored 11 points on eight kills and three blocks. Millar had seven points on four kills two blocks and one ace.
Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.), a 2004 Olympian, led all scorers in a Turkish league match between Fenerbahce and Arkas Spor. Billings, an opposite for Fenerbahce, scored 37 points in his team’s 2-3 (31-29, 22-25, 25-22, 26-28, 9-15) loss. The match took 2 hours and 18 minutes.
The Turkish league teams are scheduled to play again on Dec. 6.
Setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and his team Tourcoing improved to 6-3 in France’s Pro A league thanks to a 3-2 (26-28, 20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 21-19) victory over Poitiers on Nov. 29.
Winder started the first two sets for Tourcoing and did not score.
Tourcoing is in sixth place in the league while Poitiers is in third.
Middle blocker Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) on three kills and 1.83 blocks as his Greek team, Olympiacos, fell to EA Patron Lux, 0-3 on Dec. 1. Both teams now have records of 6-2. EA Patron Lux sits in third place in the league and Olympiacos is in fourth.
Outside hitter Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.) was credited with eight kills, 0.5 blocks and one ace in MGS Apollon Kalamarias’ 3-1 victory over Ethnikos Alexandroupolis on Nov. 29. MGS Apollon Kalamarias improved to 2-7 with the victory. Nielsen ranks 21st in the Greek league in kills.
In another Greek league match featuring American players, Matt Denmark (Edmund, Okla.) and his team AO Finikas Sirou defeated Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), Theodore Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and their team PAOK, 3-0 (25-20, 25, 21, 25-19) on Nov. 30.
Denmark scored eight points on four kills, three blocks and one ace. Lotman scored nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace. Brunner scored six points on three kills, two blocks and one ace.
AO Finikas Sirou improved to 4-4 with the victory and sits in sixth place in the league. PAOK fell to 3-5 and rests in ninth.
Denmark is second in the league in blocks while Brunner is sixth.
Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his Italian Serie A1 League team Trenkwalder Modena lost to host Stamplast Martina Franca, 1-3 (25-22, 17-25, 23-25, 22-25) on Nov. 30. Lee played only briefly in the match. Modena’s record fell to 3-7.
Outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and his Serie A2 team Wayel Balogna were off last weekend and are in fourth place in the league. It is scheduled to play again on Dec. 7.
Middle European Volleyball
ACH Volley of Slovenia is 8-0 and leads the Middle European Volleyball Association standings. Middle blocker Delano Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.) has not been playing in recent matches due to knee problems.
Austria’s aon hotVolleys, featuring U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) are 4-4 and are in fourth place in the league. On Dec. 1, the hotVolleys fell to Austria’s Hypo Tirol Volleyball Team, 0-3 (13-25, 27-29, 26-28). Patak led the hotVolleys in scoring with 11 points on 10 kills and one ace.