U.S. Men Find Way to World League Win Over Finland

June 28, 2008, 12:16 a.m. (ET)


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

Green Bay, Wis. (June 27, 2008) - The U.S. National Team was tested but was up to the challenge from Finland as it defeated the Northern European team, 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20) on Friday in front of 2,100 fans in an FIVB World League match at the Resch Center.

The victory improved the United States' record to 4-1 in Pool C and puts it all alone in first place. In the other Pool C match played Friday, Spain defeated Bulgaria, giving both teams records of 3-2.

Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i) scored 19 points on 15 kills two blocks and two aces for the U.S. Men. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added 13 points on nine kills, three blocks and one ace and was nine-for-nine on kill attempts. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) scored 11 points on eight kills, one block and two aces.

"I thought we served well, passed well and played good defense," U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "Our blocking was a weakness. I'm happy we found ways to win. Finland played hard and strong and that's not a surprise."

Mikko Oivanen of Finland led all scorers with 21 points on 17 kills, three blocks and one ace. Urpo Sivula added 13 points on 11 kills, one block and one ace. Matti Hietanen scored 12 points on 12 kills.

The U.S. converted 51 percent of its attack attempts while Finland could only convert 45 percent. Team USA had eight aces as compared to three for Finland, however Finland out-blocked the United States 12-11.

The match came down to the fourth set. Finland held an 8-5 lead at the first technial timeout (TTO) and a 16-11 advantage at the second TTO. But the United States fought its way back as Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) served for seven straight points, taking his team from a 16-17 deficit to a 23-17 lead and Team USA won 25-20.

McCutcheon started Priddy and Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) at outside hitter, Lee and Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) at middle blocker, Hansen at setter, Stanley at opposite and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero. Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) substituted for Hoff in the second two sets.

Hansen scored seven points three kills, three blocks and one ace. Millar had six points on three kills, two blocks and one ace. Salmon added five points on four kills and one ace. Hoff scored four points on four kills.

Lambourne was credited with 12 "excellent" serve receptions on 18 attempts.

The first set saw Finland take an 8-6 lead at the first TTO thanks to offense from Hietanen and Oivanen. The lead held until the United States tied the score at 11-11 and took the 12-11 lead on a Finland violation. With the score tied 12-12, Stanley got the serve for the U.S. Men and Team USA scored two straight points to take a 14-12 lead that it did not give up. Stanley later brought the U.S. Men to match point with an ace, and appeared to have another ace to win the set, but it was called out. Finland got the serve, but Stanley ended the set with a kill.

The teams battled back and forth to open the second set with Finland leading 8-7 at the first TTO. The teams were tied at 12-12 when Finland scored two straight points on a U.S. hitting error and a kill by Hietanen. Team USA never recovered and Finland went on to win 25-21.

The U.S. offense got back on track in the third set and the United States held an 8-4 lead at the first TTO and 16-12 at the second. Both Priddy and Millar put together strings of serves, including two aces from Priddy, to carry the U.S. Men to the 25-17 lead.

WORLD LEAGUE TICKETS: Tickets for the FIVB World League matches in Green Bay, Wis. (June 27-28 vs. Finland) and Bloomington, Ill. (July 11-12 vs. Spain) are still available. To purchase tickets, go to the USA Volleyball World League site at http://www.usavolleyball.org/national/08WL.asp#Schedule.

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

View the Green Bay Event Media Guide at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/08WL_FiVBmediakit2.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: Arnie Ball
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen
Assistant Coach: John Speraw
Team Doctor: Michael Terry/William Briner
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock

FIVB 2008 World League Standings as of June 27 (click on link to view team profile):

Pool A
France 4-1
Brazil 3-1
Serbia 1-4
Venezuela 1-3

Pool B
Italy 4-1
Russia 4-1
Cuba 1-3
Korea 0-4

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

Pool D
Egypt 3-1
Poland 2-2
China 2-2
Japan 1-3

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 (7 p.m. local both nights)
Opponent: Finland
Location: Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.
June 27: USA def. Finland 3-1, (25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20)

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