Finland Helps U.S. Men Win Trip to Rio

July 13, 2008, 2:16 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
BJ.Evans@usav.org

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (July 12, 2008) – With help from Finland, the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team ensured it will win its pool and advance to the FIVB World League final round with a 24-26, 25-22, 25-13, 25-18 victory over Spain on Saturday before a crowd of 4,957 at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

The victory improved the United States’ record in Pool C to 9-1. Finland defeated second-place Bulgaria (30-28, 18-25, 25-23, 27-29, 17-15) on Saturday to drop Bulgaria’s record to 5-4. Even if the U.S. Men were to lose both pool play matches in Bulgaria next weekend, they will advance to the World League final round on July 23-27 in Rio de Janeiro.

The United States’ Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) led all scorers with 21 points on a match-high 15 kills, five blocks and one ace. Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) added 16 points on 11 kills, three aces and two blocks. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) scored 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks.

Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) totaled 11 points on seven kills, three aces and one block. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored eight points on eight kills. Lloy Ball (Woodburn, Ind.) totaled six points on two kills, three blocks and one ace. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) scored three points on two kills and one ace while Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) scored three points on two kills and one block.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with four digs and four faults in 11 attempts. He was credited with seven “excellent” receptions in 13 attempts while Priddy was credited with 21 “excellent” receptions in 31 attempts.

Iban Perez led Spain with 14 points on 13 kills and one block.

Perhaps because they knew the results of the match between Finland and Bulgaria before the match started, Team USA got off to a slow start on Saturday.

“It would have to have some affect unless we were robotic,” Hoff said.  “Everyone’s got that thought in the back of their heads. I thought it was great to have that pressure and be able to go out and deal with it.”

U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) gave Spain credit.

“It was an important match today,” McCutcheon said. “Having known the result ahead of time between Finland and Bulgaria, our team started tight. But that’s not to take anything away from Spain. They came at us with new tactics and made changes. Spain came out with a well-executed game plan and put us under stress.”

The United States had nine aces, several of which were on jump float serves, which Spain struggle with. Team USA also out-blocked Spain 14-3.
McCucheaon started Rooney and Priddy at outside hitter, Millar and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Ball at setter and Lambourne at libero.

Hoff, Salmon and Kevin Hansen (Newpot Beach, Calif.) all played as substitutes.

The score stayed close early in the first set as both teams came out firing. Spain led 8-7 at the first technical timeout (TTO), then increased the lead to 9-7 on a U.S. hitting error. The U.S. Men tied the score at 11-11, but Spain came back with three straight points behind the serving of Francisco Jose Rodriguez to take a 14-11 lead. McCutcheon replaced starter Sean Rooney with Riley Salmon to improve the back-row passing and Team USA eventually tied the score again at 17-17 and the two teams battled back and forth. Spain reached set point first at 24-23, but a kill by Priddy tied the score. The U.S. followed that with a hitting error that gave Spain set point again. Another Team USA hitting error gave Spain the 26-24 set win.

Set two was again tight as each team struggled with hitting and service errors. Neither team was able to string a significant number of points together. The U.S. managed an 8-7 lead at the first TTO and extended that to 16-14 at the second. With the score tied 18-18, a Rodriguez kill followed by a U.S. hitting error put Spain up by two. But Stanley got the serve on a Spain hitting error and responded with an ace. Team USA followed with a kill, a block and another Stanley ace to take a 23-20 lead. The United States reached set point first at 24-21. Spain responded with a Javier Subiela kill, but Spain served long to give the U.S. the 25-22 win.

The third set was a completely different story as the U.S. Men took an 8-3 at the first TTO, including two kills by Stanley. Coming out of the timeout, Ryan Millar of the United States got the serve and opened with an ace. He served for three more points, including a kill by Priddy and another by Stanley, to give Team USA a 12-3 lead. A kill by Manuel Sevillano stopped the run but the damage was done and the United States went on to a 25-13 set victory.

The U.S. took an 8-7 lead into the first TTO of the fourth set, but got a run of points behind the serving of Stanley and held a 16-12 advantage at the second TTO. Spain never recovered.

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

View the Bloomington Event Media Guide at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/08WL_mediakit3.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

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: Bob Gambardella
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen
Assistant Coach: John Speraw
Team Doctor: Jonathan Reeser
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

FIVB 2008 World League Standings as of July 12 (click on link to view team profile):

Pool A
Brazil 7-2
France 6-3
Serbia 4-5
Venezuela 1-8

Pool B
Russia 9-1
Italy 6-4
Cuba 4-5
Korea 0-9

Pool C
USA 9-1
Bulgaria 5-4
Spain 3-7
Finland 2-7

Pool D
Poland 7-3
China 5-5
Egypt 4-6
Japan 4-6

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)
July 6: USA def. Spain, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-23)

Date: July 11-12 (7 p.m. local both nights)
Opponent: Spain
Location: U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill.
July 11: USA def. Spain, 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 27-25)
July 12: USA def. Spain, 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 25-13, 25-18)

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

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

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