U.S. Men Hold off Spain's Comeback for World League Win

July 04, 2008, 7 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 4, 2008) – A match that looked to be an easy victory for the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team turned out to have some surprise fireworks before the United States could finally claim a 25-23, 25-22, 29-31, 20-25, 18-16 victory over Spain in World League action in Madrid.

The two-hour, 13 minute, Independence Day win improves the U.S. Men’s World League record to 6-1 in Pool C and maintains its pool lead. Second-place Bulgaria kept the heat on Team USA by defeating Finland (28-26, 30-28, 25-19) in the other Pool C match on Friday. Spain, which sits in third place, falls to 3-4.

The United States and Spain will play a second match on Sunday at 3:30 a.m. PDT.

Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) led Team USA with 23 points on a match-high 21 kills and two blocks. Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) added 15 points on 11 kills and a match-high four blocks.

Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) each scored 13 points. Priddy had 12 kills and one block. Lee totaled 10 kills and three blocks.

“We played very well during the first two sets, but let up a little afterward,” said Riley Salmon (League City, Texas), who is serving as the team’s captain in Spain and scored 10 points on 10 kills. “We are a very experienced team and were able to win the tie-breaker by forcing Spain to make mistakes with our serves.”

The fifth-set tie-breaker was a see-saw battle that saw each team get two chances at match point before the United States finally put the hammer down.

“This victory was very important for us mentally, for our confidence, as we prepare for the Olympic Games,” said U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand).

Other U.S. scorers were Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) with six points on five kills and one ace; Lloy Ball (Woodburn, Ind.) with five points on two kills, two blocks and one ace and Phil Eatherton (Glencoe, Mo.) with one point on one kill.

Starting setter Ball was credited with 69 running sets and two faults in 110 attempts. Priddy had 31 “excellent” service receptions on 39 attempts with no faults while libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) added 19 “excellent” receptions on 30 attempts with no faults.

The U.S. team out-blocked Spain 12-9 and converted 52 percent of its kill attempts as opposed to 46 percent for Spain.

McCutcheon started Priddy and Salmon at outside hitter, Millar and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Ball at setter and Lambourne at libero. Rooney started for Salmon in the fourth set, but Salmon returned for the fifth. Eatherton, Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) all played as substitutes.

After the United States had taken victories in the first two sets, Spain made its move in the third. Outside hitter Juan Carlos Barcala, who had been brought in as a second-set substitute, caught fire in the third set with seven kills and added six more in the fourth set. He ended up as Spain’s leading scorer with 17 points on 16 kills and one block.

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.    

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)
6 Phil Eatherton (MB, 6-9, Glencoe, Mo., Ball State)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 C Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
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 4 (click on link to view team profile):

Pool A
Brazil 6-1
France 5-2
Serbia 2-5
Venezuela 1-6

Pool B
Russia 6-1
Italy 5-2
Cuba 3-4
Korea 0-7

Pool C
USA 6-1
Bulgaria 5-2
Spain 3-4
Finland 0-7

Pool D
Poland 4-3
China 4-3
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
July 4: USA def. Spain, 3-2 (25-23, 25-22, 29-31, 20-25, 18-16)

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