U.S. Men Making World League Stop in Spain

July 03, 2008, 1:36 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org   
ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 3, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will spend its July 4th weekend in Madrid for the first of four-straight of FIVB World League matches against Spain.

The two teams will play first on Friday (July 4) at 8:30 p.m. in Spain (11:30 a.m. PDT) and then again on Sunday (July 6) at 12:30 p.m. (3:30 a.m. PDT). They will play two more matches on July 11-12 in Bloomington, Ill. (for tickets, go to www.uscellularcoliseum.com)

After sweeping Finland on June 27-28 in Green Bay, Wis., Team USA is leading Pool C with a 5-1 record. But it cannot afford to lose a match as Bulgaria is right behind at 4-2.

“This has to be one of the toughest pools in World League,” U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “Spain is very fast offensively. They have experienced players. We expect it to be a different environment than what we’ve experienced here.”

Spain sits in third place in the poll with a 3-3 record. It has defeated Finland twice and Bulgaria once at home. The three loses are all to Bulgaria, once at home and twice in Bulgaria.

It has been a difficult season for the Spaniards, ranked sixth in the world, as they missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games despite having three chances.

Spain won the 2007 European Championship with a surprise victory over Russia in the final. It went on to defeat the U.S. Men at the 2007 World Cup, but stumbled later in the tournament and placed fifth behind the fourth-place United States.

It tried again to qualify for the Olympic Games at the European zonal qualifier, but finished second to Serbia. Finally, it went to the Olympic qualifying tournament in Germany, but the Germans won the slot.

Now Spain is close to being eliminated from qualifying for the World League final round.

"Frankly speaking, we don't have a lot of options to qualify for Final Round,” said Spanish captain Miguel Angel Falasca. “We would need to win all the matches we have left, and wait for USA and Bulgaria to lose some or most of their matches, and this is very difficult.”

Spain’s leading scorer in Word League has been Ibán Pérez, a 6-6 opposite who has 101 points on 84 kills, six blocks and 11 aces. Pérez is also the second-leading server among all World League players with an average of 0.44 aces per set.

Jose Luis Moltó, a 6-9 middle blocker, has been the team’s leading blocker in World League with an average of 0.68 blocks per set.

At the halfway point of World League, the United States does not have a lot of player at the top of the statistics, primarily because it has only played one five-set match and McCutcheon has been switching his lineups around in each match.

Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) is third among servers with 10 aces in 55 attempts and an average of 0.43 per set. Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) is fourth among receivers with 70 "excellents" in 104 attempts for a 64.42 success percentage. Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) is seventh among blockers with 14 blocks and 15 faults in 41 attempts for a 0.61 per set average.

The World League is a 16-team tournament with a prize purse in excess of $22 million. Teams must qualify for the final round, which will take place July 23-27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

WORLD LEAGUE TICKETS: Tickets for the FIVB World League matches in Bloomington, Ill., (July 11-12 vs. Spain) are still available. To purchase tickets, go to www.uscellularcoliseum.com.  

PRIDDY IN THE NEWS: Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) has received attention on the Web sites of the New York Times and USA Today this week.

Read about Reid in the New York Times.

Read about Reid in USA Today.

View the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/08WL_MNTMediaGuide.pdf.  

The U.S. World League site is www.usavolleyball.org/national/08WL.asp.   

The FIVB World League site is www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2008.  

2008 FIVB World League
U.S. Men's Roster
July 4 and 6 in Madrid, Spain

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 C 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, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon
Team Manager: Rob Browning
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen
Assistant Coach: John Speraw
Team Doctor: William Stetson
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

FIVB 2008 World League Standings as of July 3 (click on link to view team profile):

Pool A
Brazil 5-1
France 4-2
Serbia 2-4
Venezuela 1-5

Pool B
Russia 5-1
Italy 4-2
Cuba 3-3
Korea 0-6

Pool C
USA 5-1
Bulgaria 4-2
Spain 3-3
Finland 0-6

Pool D
China 4-2
Poland 3-3
Egypt 3-3
Japan 2-4

U.S. World League Schedule and Results

Date: June 13-14
Opponent: Finland
Location: Helsinki, Finland (LänsiAuto Arena)
June 13: USA def. Finland, 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20)
June 14: USA def. Finland, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-16)

Date: June 20-21
Opponent: Bulgaria
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 20: USA def. Bulgaria, 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-16)
June 21: Bulgaria def. USA, 3-2 (12-25, 25-16, 25-20, 12-25, 15-13)

Date: June 27-28
Opponent: Finland
Location: Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.
June 27: USA def. Finland, 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20)
June 28: USA def. Finland, 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18)

Date: July 4 and 6
Opponent: Spain
Location: Madrid, Spain

Date: July 11-12 (7 p.m. local both nights)
Opponent: Spain
Location: U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill.

Date: July 18-19
Opponent: Bulgaria
Location: Varna, Bulgaria

Date: July 23-27
Event: World League Final (must qualify)
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil