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U.S. Men's National Team Update - Dec. 18, 2008

Dec. 18, 2008, 4:21 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team’s Olympic gold-medal victory was listed as No. 8 on Time Magazine’s Top 10 list of Olympic moments.

The article, entitled “Tragedy and Triumph,” reads in part: “(Coach Hugh) McCutcheon spent a week tending to his family, his team's quest for a medal suddenly an afterthought. He contemplated flying home, but his wife, ex-Olympic volleyball player Elisabeth, wouldn't let him miss the opportunity he had spent so many years working towards. So McCutcheon returned to lead the U.S. to an improbable gold, its first since 1984 (sic).”

Obviously the team's last gold medal was won in 1988, not 1984.

Swimmer Michael Phelps claimed the No. 1 spot on the list.

View the entire list at www.time.com/time/specials/2008/top10/article/0,30583,1855948_1863097_1863120,00.html.

Russia

Fakel Novy Urengoi, the team of U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), continues to win in the Russian Super League, defeating visiting Ural Ufa and U.S. opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-19) on Dec. 13.

Gardner scored five points on five kills for Ural Ufa while Hansen had four points on four kills. Rooney did not play due to injury. Fakel Novy Urengoi converted 64 percent of its kill attempts while Ural Ufa converted just 42 percent.

Fakel Novy Urengoi is in third place in the Russian Super League with a 10-2 record. Ufa Ural is in fifth at 7-5.

Neither team will play again until Jan. 17.

U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu) had one of the best performances of the week in the Russian Super League as he scored 21 points in visiting Zenit Kazan’s 3-1 (25-15, 25-27, 25-17, 30-28) victory over Ugra-Samotlor Nizhnevartovsk. Stanley scored on 14 kills, three blocks and four aces.

U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) chipped in two points on two kills. Kazan is in fourth place in the Super League with an 8-4 record.

View a photo gallery of the match at www.zenit-kazan.com/eng/photo/?rzd=66.

Stanley is fourth in scoring among players in the Russian Super League with 223 points. He is far and away the leading the aces category with 43. The next closest players have 22. He also has 157 kills and 23 blocks.

On Dec. 18, Kazan defeated Italy’s Copra Nord Meccanica Piacenza 3-2 (16:25, 26-24, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13) in the CEV Indesit Champions League. After a winter break, Kazan will return to action on Jan. 13 with a Champions League match against Paris Volley.

Kazan will return to Russian Super League play on Jan. 18 against Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk.

Host Novosibirsk defeated Montenegro’s Buducnost Podgorica, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-17) on Dec. 18 in the CEV Cup.

Visiting Novosibirsk lost its last Super League match, 2-3 (25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 25-23, 12-15) on Dec. 13 to Yaroslavich Yaroslavl. Priddy had 20 points on 15 kills, three blocks and two aces.

Priddy is 14th among all players in Russia in scoring with 160 points on 121 kills, 22 blocks and 17 aces. Gardner is in 16th with 157 points on 135 kills, 14 blocks and eight aces.

Turkey

Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) helped their team Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye defeat Polis Akademisi, 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-18) on Dec. 13 in Ankara.

Touzinsky scored 11 points on eight kills, two blocks and one ace. Millar scored 10 points on six kills, three blocks and one ace. Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye is in second place in the league with an 8-2 record. The team will play again on Dec. 20 before it takes a winter break.

U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) scored 33 points, but it was not enough as his Turkish team Fenerbahçe fell to Galatasaray, 2-3 (25-11, 25-17, 16-25, 21-25, 10-15 on Dec. 13 in Istanbul. Billings' points came on 26 kills, six blocks and one ace.

Italy

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored seven points on three kills, two blocks and two aces as his Italian team, Trenkwalder Modena, fell to visiting Yoga Forlì, 1-3 (22-25, 16-25, 25-21, 20-25)  on Dec. 14. Both teams now have 4-8 records in Italy’s Serie A League.

Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) scored 13 points on 12 kills and one block as his Italian team Wayel Balogna fell to host Codyeco S. Croce, 2-3 (25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 28-30, 12-15) in Italy’s Serie A2 league.

Greece

U.S. middle blocker Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) was credited with scoring 8.5 points on six kills and 2.5 blocks as Olympiacos defeated Iraklis Liu Jo 3-1 (27-25, 25-15, 18-25, 25-20) on Dec. 13 in the Hellenic league. Olympiacos is in second place in the league with an 8-2 record.

In CEV Cup action, Olympiacos took its second victory over Austria’s Hypo Tirol Innsbruck, 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) on Dec. 16. Hoff scored one point. The CEV Cup will resume in January.

Olympiacos will play its final match of the first half of the season on Dec. 20 against PAOK, which features U.S. players Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and Theodore Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.).

PAOK fell to GS Lamia 0-3 (23-25, 22-25, 21-25) on Dec. 20. Lotman was credited with 8.5 points on eight kills and 0.5 blocks. Brunner tallied 8.83 points on seven kills and 1.83 blocks. PAOK is in ninth place in the league with a 3-7 record.

U.S. outside hitter Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.) scored 19.83 points on 15 kills, 1.83 blocks and three aces as his Greek team, MGS Apollon Kalamarias fell to AO Kifisias, 2-3 (25-22, 21-25, 34-32, 24-26, 9-15). MGS Apollon Kalamarias is in 10th place in the league with a 2-8 record.

Matt Denmark (Edmund, Okla.) and his team AO Finikas Sirou fell to Panathinaikos, 2-3 (25-22, 25-21, 16-25, 22-25, 8-15). Denmark was credited with five points on three kills, one block and one ace. AO Finikas Sirou is in eighth place in the league with a 4-6 record.

Middle European Volleyball

U.S. middle blocker Delano Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.) scored 13 points as his Slovenian team ACH Volley defeated Slovakia’s Chemes Humenne, 3-1 (25-10, 25-18, 32-34, 25-23) on Dec. 14. ACH Volley leads the MEVA with a 9-0 record.

On Dec. 16, Thomas scored 13 points on nine kills and three blocks as visiting ACH Volley beat France’s Beauvais Oise, 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 29-27, 25-23) in the CEV Indesit Challenge Champions League.

On Dec. 17, U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and his team, Austria’s aon hotVolley, fell 2-3 (29-31, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 9-15) to Italy’s Trentino Volley in the CEV Indesit Challenge Champions League.

Both ACH Volley and aon hotVolley will be back in action on Dec. 20 before a winter break.

France

U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and his French team Tourcoing defeated host Sete, 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-22) on Dec. 13. Winder played in all four sets but did not score. Tourcoing is in fourth place in the French league with an 8-3 record.

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