U.S. Men Pull Off World League Win Over Poland

July 24, 2008, 4:59 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 24, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team held off match-point and pulled out a five-set victory (25-18, 23-25, 27-25, 18-25, 16-14) over Poland in the FIVB World League Final Round on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro.

The U.S. Men will take Friday off while Poland faces Serbia in the final pool play match (9:15 a.m. PDT). If Serbia defeats Poland, Team USA will advance to the World League semifinals as the second-place team in Pool F. If Poland wins, then each team will have a record of 1-1 and it will come down to the tie-breaker, which is the points ratio. The third-place team will not advance.

Russia defeated Japan 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-18) in the other World League Final Round Pool. Japan will face Brazil in the first match on Friday.

Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) each scored 21 points for the United States. Stanley had 19 kills, one block and one ace. Priddy finished with 16 kills, one block and a match-high four aces, including the match-winner.

Poland’s Mariusz Wlazly led all scorers with 31 points on a match-high 27 kills, two blocks and two aces.

The tie-breaking fifth set proved to be a barn-burner. The U.S. Men held two-point leads of 3-1, 5-3 and 12-10, but Poland came back each time to tie the score. Trailing 12-13, Poland scored twice on a kill and an ace by Marcin Wika to take its first lead of the set and match point, 14-13. U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) called timeout and Team USA tied the score on Stanley’s kill. A Poland hitting error put the United States ahead and the ace by Priddy sealed Poland’s fate.

Among other U.S. scorers, Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) had 14 points on eight kills, five blocks and one ace. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) added 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks. Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) scored five points on five blocks. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) totaled four points on two kills and two blocks. Setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) finished with two points on two kills.

U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 20 “excellent” receptions with no faults on 37 attempts for 54 percent. He also had 17 digs and eight faults on 27 attempts.

Ball was credited with 38 running sets and two faults on 100 attempts.

The United States out-blocked Poland 16-13 and had six aces as compared to four for Poland. The United States was credited with 50 “excellent” serve receptions on 87 attempts for 53 percent. Poland had 46 “excellent” receptions on 96 attempts for a rate of 42 percent.

Poland beat the United States in kills, 65-57.

McCutcheon started Priddy and Salmon at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Ball at setter and Lambourne at libero.

Hoff substituted for Lee in the second set and played the rest of the match. Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) all substituted for the United States.

The U.S. Men jumped out to a 4- 1 lead in the first set, causing Polish Head Coach Raul Lozano to call timeout. However Team USA led 8-3 at the first technical timeout (TTO). The United States held its biggest advantage of the set at 15-6 on Priddy’s kill before rolling to the 25-18 victory.

Poland kept the score close in the second set and held an 8-7 lead at the first TTO and extended the lead to 14-10. McCutcheon brought in Hoff and Team USA went on a 6-0 run behind the serving of Priddy, who had two aces. Hoff also had two blocks in the run and the U.S. Men held a 16-14 lead at the second TTO. With the score tied 23-23 and Priddy getting the serve, Poland called timeout, then took the lead on Priddy’s serving error. A U.S. team error gave Poland the 25-23 set win.

The third set was again close as Stanley and Wlazly each attacked with tenacity. With the score tied 21-21, the U.S. Men scored three straight points on a Priddy kill and two Millar blocks to reach set point at 24-21. But Poland came back with three straight points, including a Wlazly kill and a block by Daniel Plinski. With the score tied 25-25, the United States scored on Priddy’s kill and a Hoff block to win the set.

The fourth set was tied at 15-15 when Poland went on a 5-0 run, including two blocks by Wlazly and two by Marcin Mozdzonek, to take a commanding 20-15 lead. A kill by Ball stopped the run, but Poland scored twice more to end U.S. hopes of a comeback.
The FIVB’s Andrea Zorzi interviews U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon at http://followmebyazorzi2008.splinder.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 Final Round
U.S. Men's Roster

1 Lloy Ball (S, 6-8, Fort Wayne, Ind., IPFW)
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
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen
Assistant Coach: John Speraw
Team Doctor: Michael Wynn
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

Schedule and Results (all times PDT)

Pool E
July 23: Brazil def. Russia, 25-23, 25-18, 25-15
July 24: Russia def. Japan, 25-14, 26-24, 25-18
July 25: Brazil vs. Japan, 6 a.m.

Pool F
July 23: Serbia def. USA, 25-23, 25-29, 25-17
July 24: USA def. Poland, 25-18, 23-25, 27-25, 18-25, 16-14
July 25: Poland vs. Serbia, 9:15 a.m.

Semifinals – July 26
6 a.m.: Pool F winner vs. Pool E second place
9:15 a.m.: Pool E winner vs. Pool F second place

Finals – July 27
5:30 a.m.: Bronze medal match
8:30 a.m.: Gold medal match