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Apr 07 U.S. Men's Update - April 7

April 07, 2009, 6:57 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 7, 2009) – New U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) will take part in the 2009 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Spring Conference on May 7-9 in Provo, Utah.

Also taking part will be former national team and BYU coach Carl McGown and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.).

The AVCA also announced the extension of its early-bird registration deadline for the event to Friday, April 10. Attendees now have an extra week from the original early registration date, Friday, April 3.

The AVCA Spring Conference: 21st Century Coaching Skills is being held in conjunction with the 2009 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. 

More information about the conference is available at www.avca.org/provoconference09.

Turkey

The Turkish team Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye, which features U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and Millar at middle blocker, advanced to the semifinals of the Turkish league playoffs after going 2-1 against Galatasaray in the first round.

Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye opened the semifinals on Sunday with a 3-2 (27-25, 25-21, 18-25, 28-30, 15-11) victory over Ziraat Bankasi. Touzinsky scored 18 points on 18 kills. Millar had 16 points on 11 kills, four blocks and one ace.

The teams will play again Wednesday (April 8) and Thursday (April 9). The series is best-of-five.

If Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye advances to the final, it could face U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and his team Fenerbahce, which has won the first two matches of the other semifinal against Arkas Spor. Arkas Spor finished the regular season first in the league while Fenerbahce was fifth.

Fenerbahce won its first semifinal match on Saturday, 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 31-33, 19-25, 15-9). Billings led all scorers with 31 points on 28 kills and three blocks.

On Tuesday, Fenerbahce won again, 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 21-25, 25-20). Billings again led al scorers with 26 points on 24 kills and two aces.

Russia

The Russian Super League is in the playoff quarterfinals.

Zenit Kazan, featuring U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu) is tied 1-1 with Lokomotiv Belogorie, which features U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.). They will play the deciding match on Thursday, April 9.

Zenit won the first match 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 14-25, 25-22, 24-22), getting 13 points from Stanley on 12 kills and one block. Ball had five points on four kills and one block.

But Belogorie swept the second match 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-22). Stanley scored five points on five kills while Ball had two points on one kill and one block. No one from Kazan scored in double digits.

View photos from the first match at www.zenit-kazan.com/rus/media/photo/?year=2009&rzd=81.

View photos of Kazan traveling at www.zenit-kazan.com/rus/media/photo/?year=2009&rzd=82.

View photos from the second match at www.zenit-kazan.com/rus/media/photo/?year=2009&rzd=84.

Fakel Novy Urengoi, including U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), is 1-1 with Gazprom-Ugra and will play the deciding match on Thursday (April 9). Fakel won the first match, 3-1 (21-25, 31-29, 25-20, 25-19), but lost the second, 1-3 (29-27, 19-25, 23-25, 21-25).

View photos from the first match at www.fakelvolley.ru/photo3_20082009/12_ph.htm.

View photos from the second match at www.fakelvolley.ru/photo3_20082009/11_ph.htm.

U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and his team Lokomotiv Novosibirsk lost their first two matches to Iskra Odintsovo and will play U.S. opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and his team Ural Ufa for fifth place. Ural Ufa lost two matches to Dynamo Moscow.

Greece

The final of the men’s Greek Cup between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos was played on April 4 in Athens in a match that was closed to the general public due to fan violence that had occurred during previous matches between the two teams.

Olympiacos, featuring U.S. middle hitter Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) came out with a 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 23-25, 25-20, 17-15) victory. Hoff scored one point in the match.

In the first match of the Greek league playoffs on Sunday, Olympiacos defeated GS Lamia, 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-17) on March 29. Hoff did not play. The teams are schedule to play again on Wednesday (April 8).

PAOK, which includes U.S. players Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.), Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), lost its first playoff match to league-winner Panathinaikos, 0-3 (23-25, 18-25, 18-25).

Patak led PAOK with 12 points on 11 kills and one ace. Bruner scored 9.5 points on nine kills and 0.5 blocks. Lotman had four points on four kills.

The teams are scheduled to play again on Wednesday (April 8).
AO Finikas Sirou, featuring U.S. middle blocker Matt Denmark (Edmond, Okla.) is 1-1 in its playoff series with EA Patron Lux.

EA Patron took the first match 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21), but AO Finikas won the second 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20). Denmark had 10 points on eight kills and two blocks in the first match and 11.5 points on seven kills and 4.5 blocks in the second.

The deciding match will be played on April 10.

Italy

Sisley Treviso, featuring U.S. outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) has lost its first two playoff matches to Lube Banca Marche Macerata, which won the regular season league title.

Treviso lost the first match 0-3 (21-25, 21-25, 23-25) and the second 2-3 (23-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-23, 13-15). Salmon saw limited playing time and did not score.

The two teams are scheduled to play again on April 8.

Radio Blog

Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and two-time Olympian Kevin Barnett have set up an online radio blog called The Net Live.

You can hear the second show, featuring interviews with Karch Kiraly and USA Volleyball Board of Directors Chairman David Schreff by clicking here.

World League Tickets

Tickets are now on sale to see the U.S. Men’s National Team play Netherlands in FIVB World League matches on July 17-18 (7 p.m. both nights) at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan.

Adult tickets are $25 for a reserved seat and $15 for general admission for one night. For both nights, it is $40 for a reserved seat and $25 for general admission. Discounts on general admission tickets for military service members and senior citizens are available.

The U.S. Men won their first World League title in 2008 and also won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Netherlands is returning to World League after a five-year absence. The last time it played in 2003, it finished 10th. It won World League in 1996, the same year it won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

To purchase tickets, click here.

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