U.S. Men Sweep Dominican Republic to Open NORCECA Qualifier

Jan. 06, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 6, 2008) - The U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team defeated the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-19) on Sunday in its first pool-play match of the 2008 NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualification Championship in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The winner of the tournament qualifies for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The U.S. Men will face Barbados in a second pool-play match on Monday followed by host Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.), Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) each scored eight points for the U.S. Men. Victor Batista had 13 points for the Dominican Republicand Jose Caceres had 10. Team USA had 11 blocks as compared to two for the Dominicans.

"It is a good way to start," said Hoff, who had three blocks. "We made many mistakes in the second and third, but we are happy with the victory."

The U.S. Men won the first set relying on their solid attacks combined with persistent Dominican troubles with their serves. Stanley served for two consecutive aces following the first pause for a 10-5 lead. Two straight blocks by Hoff and Stanley broke a 4-4 tie in the second set sending the Americans to the victory with 8-4 and 16-11 leads at the technical time-outs. The Dominicans battled to stay close in the third set at 15-14 with the tandem of Batista and Caceres, but Gardner restored the order and the Americans were never more in risk.

"I am quite happy with the victory," said U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand). "The focus wasn't so good, but in my point of view this game served for us to get ready for the latter stages of the tournament."

There is more information and live scoring available on the NORCECA web site at www.NORCECA.org.

(No., Name, Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Lloy Ball (S, 6-8, Woodburn, Ind., Indiana-Purdue, Fort Wayne)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
4 David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State) 13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford) 15 Gabe Gardner (OPP, 6-9, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-7, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon
Team Manager: Robert Browning
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen
Assistant Coach: John Speraw
Doctor: Dr. Andrew Gregory
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison
Medical Support: Aaron Brock

Group A
United States 1-0
Dominican Republic 0-1
*Barbados 0-0
*Puerto Rico 0-0

Group B
Canada 1-0
Cuba 1-0
Trinidad & Tobago 0-1
Mexico 0-1
*Match still to be played

Tournament Schedule (all times PST) and Results Preliminary Round
Jan. 6
Canada def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-9, 25-14, 25-15
USA def. Dominican Republic, 25-13, 25-19, 25-19
Cuba def. Mexico, 25-19, 25-23, 25-20
2 p.m.: Puerto Rico vs. Barbados

Jan. 7
10 a.m.: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Mexico
Noon: USA vs. Barbados
2 p.m.: Cuba vs. Canada
4 p.m.: Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic

Jan. 8
10 a.m.: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Cuba
Noon: Barbados vs. Dominican Republic
2 p.m.: Mexico vs. Canada
4 p.m.: USA vs. Puerto Rico

Final Round
Jan. 9
2 p.m.: Quarterfinals (2A vs. 3B)
4 p.m.: Quarterfinals (3A vs. 2B)

Jan. 10
10 a.m.: Classification 5-8
Noon: Classification 5-8
2 p.m.: Semifinals
4 p.m.: Semifinals

Jan. 11
10 a.m.: Seventh-place match
Noon: Fifth-place match
2 p.m.: Third-place match
4 p.m.: Championship match