ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2008) - Four players from the U.S. Men's National Team played for an international all-star team against a Russian all-star team in the "Match of the Stars," which celebrated the 85th anniversary of Russian volleyball, on Feb. 5 at Druzhba arena in Moscow.
Setter Lloy Ball (Woodburn, Ind.), middle blocker Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.), outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) all played for the international all-star team, which fell 0-3 to the Russians. All four U.S. players are members of teams in the Russian Super League.
Other players of note on the international team were Brazil's Giba, Samuel Fuchs and Alan Barbosa Domingos, France's Loik de Kergret, Italy's Matei Cernic and Puerto Rico's Hector Soto. The team was coached by Italy's Daniele Bagnoli, who is the head coach of the Russian club team Dynamo Moscow.
Included on the Russian team were Vadim Khamuttskikh, Semen Poltavskiy, Yuriy Berezhko, Alexander Korneev and Alexey Kuleshov. The team was coached by Russian national team head coach Vladimir Alenko.
USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal and U.S. Men's Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon also attended the match, as did Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia has held "Match of the Stars" each year since 2005.
To view a report on the match that Russia Today has posted to YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gfVwnK44Js.
Priddy in the News: The Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a story about Reid Priddy as part of its series of Olympic previews. Read it at www.inrich.com/cva/ric/sports/olympics.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-02-10-0241.html.
Egypt Earns Olympic Berth: Egypt secured the African ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games following its two-hour, five-set (26-24, 25-20, 25-27, 22-25, 15-9) victory over Algeria on Saturday (Feb. 9) in Durban, South Africa.
It will be Egypt's third appearance in the Olympic Games. The team finished 10th in 1984 and 11th in 2000.
Eight teams have now qualified for the Olympics. The final three teams will be determined at World Olympic Qualification tournaments in May in Germany, Japan and Portugal. The Asian continental champion will also be determined at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo.
The teams scheduled to compete at the Asian qualification tournament on May 31-June 8 in Tokyo are Japan, Australia, Korea, Iran and Thailand.
The host country of each of the qualification tournaments will compete along with other countries chosen by lots. Among the countries that are eligible to compete at the Olympic qualification tournaments: Poland, Spain, Italy, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Argentina.
Countries Qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games
1. China (host country)
2. Brazil (1. World Cup)
3. Russia (2. World Cup)
4. Bulgaria (3. World Cup)
5. Egypt (African Continental Qualification Tournament)
6. (Asian Continental Qualification Tournament)
7. Serbia (European Continental Qualification Tournament)
8. U.S.A. (NORCECA Continental Qualification Tournament)
9. Venezuela (South American Continental Qualification Tournament)
10. (World Olympic Qualification Tournament - Germany) 11. (World Olympic Qualification Tournament - Japan)
12. (World Olympic Qualification Tournament - Portugal)