Patak Attack not Enough as U.S. Men Fall in Five

Sept. 26, 2008, 1:38 a.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 25, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team got 30 points from Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.), but it was not enough as Argentina defeated Team USA, 25-17, 16-25, 25-16, 17-25, 15-13, on Thursday at the America’s Cup tournament in Cuiaba, Brazil.

With two losses, the United States will finish third in Pool A and will play either Venezuela or Mexico for fifth place at 6 p.m. PDT on Saturday. Brazil defeated Venezuela in Pool B competition on Thursday, 25-20, 25-19, 25-16. Argentina will play Cuba on Friday to determine the winner of Pool A.

Patak’s 30 points on Thursday came on a match-high 26 kills, three aces and one block. Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) scored 14 points on 12 kills, one block and one ace. Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added eight points on seven kills and one block.

Delano Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.), Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and Phil Eatherton (Glencoe, Mo.) each scored three points. Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) and Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.) each added two points.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 12 digs.

U.S. Head Coach Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.) started Anderson and Touzinsky at outside hitter, Thomas and Eatherton at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Winder at setter and Lambourne as the designated libero. Hein started the fourth and fifth sets at middle blocker for Thomas. Nielsen, Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) all played as substitutes.

The United States converted 54 out of 127 attack attempts into points while Argentina went 53 for 131. Each team had six aces. Argentina out-blocked the U.S. Men 11-5.

After the teams split the first four sets, the United States took a 7-4 lead in the fifth , including two kills and an ace from Patak, a kill and block by Touzinsky and a block by Hein. Argentina came back to tie it at 7-7, but the U.S. led 8-7 when the teams changed sides thanks to Argentina’s serving error.

The teams battled back and forth until the score was tied 13-13. Argentina took the lead with a kill and ended the match with a block.

The first set saw Argentina lead 8-3 at the first technical timeout and 16-9 at the second. The United States never cut the deficit to less than five points after that.

However the United States came storming back in the second set to lead 8-3 at the first technical timeout and 16-7 at the second. Team USA reached set point first at 24-16 and a Thomas kill won the set. The United States converted 61 percent of its hitting attempts into points in the set and had 73 percent “excellent” serve receptions.

It was Argentina’s turn again in the third set as it took an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout and extended it to 16-12 at the second. Coming out of the timeout, it scored three more straight points until a service error stopped it. But later, with Argentina leading 20-14, it scored four straight points to reach set point. The U.S. held off the loss with two kills by Nielson, but it was too little, too late.

Team USA led the fourth set 8-6 at the first technical timeout of the fourth set. Argentina scored three straight points to take a 9-8 lead and the two teams battled until the score was tied at 12-12. Three kills by Patak along with Argentine hitting errors put the United States up 15-12. Argentina scored once to make it 15-13. But Team USA followed up by scoring the next five straight points, including a kill and two aces by Patak to make it 20-13. The United States went on to win and force a fifth set. The U.S. Men had 85 percent “excellent” service receptions in the fourth set and converted 64 percent of their attacks into points.

View the box score.

2008 America’s Cup
Sept. 24-28 in Cuiaba, Brazil

U.S. Team
1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
3 - Nils Nielsen (OH, 6-4, Fallbrook, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
4 - Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5 - Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 - Phil Eatherton (MB, 6-9, Glencoe, Mo., Ball State)
7 - Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
9 - Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
11 - Brook Billings (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., Southern California)
12 - Andrew Hein (MB, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
16 - Brandon Taliaferro (S, 6-5, San Clemente, Calif., UCLA)
17 - Delano Thomas (MB, 6-7, Sacramento, Calif., Hawai’i)
18 - Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Ron Larsen
Team Leader: Mark Pavlik
Assistant Coach: Jamie Morrison
Assistant Coach: Peter Hanson
Medical Support: Aaron Brock
Technical Coordinator: David Hunt

Tournament Results and Schedule (All times PDT)

Group A
Cuba 1-0
Argentina 1-0
USA 0-2

Group B
Brazil 2-0
Venezuela 0-1
Mexico 0-1

Sept. 24
Cuba def. USA, 25-19, 25-27, 23-25, 25-21, 15-8
Brazil def. Mexico, 25-18, 25-16, 25-20

Sept. 25
Argentina def. USA, 25-17, 16-25, 25-16, 17-25, 15-13
Brazil def. Venezuela, 25-20, 25-19, 25-16

Sept. 26
2 p.m.: Cuba vs. Argentina
5 p.m.: Venezuela vs. Mexico

Sept. 27
Noon: Semifinal 1
3 p.m.: Semifinal 2
6 p.m.: 5/6 determination

Sept. 28
5:30 a.m.: Bronze Medal
8:30 a.m.: Gold Medal