Manager, Media Relations and Publications
IRVINE, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2009) – A young and undersized team from Guatemala showed great heart, but in the end was no match for the Olympic gold medalist as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated the Central Americans on Saturday, 3-0 (25-8, 25-10, 25-6) at the 2010 World Championship Qualifier for NORCECA Pool F at the Bren Center on the campus of UC Irvine.
Guatemala will take on the Dominican Republic at 5 p.m. local time in the second match of pool play. The United States will play Panama on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. local time. In Monday’s finale, Panama will play Guatemala at 5 p.m. and the United States will square off against the Dominican Republic.
The United States’ Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led all scorers on Saturday with 21 points on a match-high 10 kills, one block and a match-high 10 aces. Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) added 11 points on nine kills and two blocks. Hein completed nine kills on nine attempts with no errors for a perfect hitting percentage. Patak completed 10 of 14 with one error for a hitting percentage of 0.64.
David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) scored eight points on three kills, a match-high four blocks and one ace. Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) scored eight points on seven kills and one ace.
Andy Leonardo and Juan Mendez each scored four points for Guatemala, which started two players under 20 and does not have a player taller than 6-4.
“In these kinds of matches, we really try to keep the focus on ourselves,” said U.S. Team Captain David Lee (Alpine, Calif.). “We’re here to play every single match as hard as we can.”
The United States completed 74 percent of its kill attempts (37 of 50) with two errors while Guatemala completed 28 percent (15 of 53) with eight errors. Team USA out-blocked Guatemala 7-0. The United States was credited with 85 percent excellent receptions.
“I thought we were good in the areas we have been working on,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “I thought we were serving well and were clean and crisp in transition.
“In a match like this the best compliment you can give your opponent is to keep playing hard.”
Among other U.S. scorers, Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) totaled seven points on four kills and three aces. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) added five points on four kills and one ace. Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) scored one point on one ace.
Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with two digs and nine excellent receptions with no errors.
Knipe started Rooney and Jablonsky at outside hitter, Lee and Smith at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Suxho at setter and Lambourne at libero. Hein started the second and third sets at middle blocker for Lee. Lotman started the third set for Rooney. Hansen started the third set for Suxho.
With the United States leading 6-4 in the first set, Patak took the serve after a Guatemala error and scored his first ace to reach the first technical timeout with an 8-4 lead. Patak came out of the break and scored on a second ace and kept serving until the U.S. lead was 14-4. Patak had six aces in the run, which Guatemala ended with a kill. However a Patak kill gave the U.S. the 15-5 lead and Sean Rooney’s ace gave Team USA a 16-5 lead at the second TTO. Guatemala scored three more times in the match, but the U.S. won the set 25-8.
The United States jumped out to an 8-2 lead at the first TTO. Smith took the serve coming out of the break and served for two more points on an ace and a Hein kill before a service error gave Guatemala its third point. Leonardo’s kill made it 13-4. The U.S. reached the second TTO with a 16-5 lead. Guatemala scored five more points, including a kill by Jorge Gonzalez, but the U.S. won the set 25-10.
Team USA was leading 3-1 in the third set when Patak took the serve and helped the United States score the next 17 points, including three kills from Patak and two from Hein along with four more Patak aces. Leonardo ended the deluge with a kill. The U.S. reached match point at 24-5 on a kill from Paul Lotman. Guatemala held off the loss with a kill by Julio Recinos, but a Patak kill ended the match.
Tickets for the event are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. Groups of 15 or more can get tickets for $8 each and an all-session pass is $25. Tickets are on sale now at the Bren Center box office at (949) 824-5000 or at TicketMaster.com.
The City of Anaheim is the Official Host City for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball teams. The Men’s Team relocated to Anaheim from Colorado Springs, CO in 2006, and the Women’s Team followed in 2009, with both teams citing the advantages of training in Southern California, unequivocally the volleyball capitol of the country. The Men’s Team won the gold medal, and the Women’s team the silver medal, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Anaheim serves as the training headquarters for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams, and in partnership with USA Volleyball, will further promote the City throughout the volleyball and Olympic sport communities. USA Volleyball is the National Governing Body for the sport of volleyball in the United States, and is recognized as such by the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Both the Men’s and Women’s Teams will train in Anaheim through the 2016 Olympic Games. For more information on the City of Anaheim, please visit www.anaheim.net. For more information on USA Volleyball, please visit www.usavolleyball.org.
2010 World Championship Qualifier for NORCECA Pool F
Aug. 15-17 in Irvine, Calif.
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
4 David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7 Donald Suxho (S, 6-5, Korce, Albania, USC)
8 Andrew Hein (MB, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
10 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
13 Clay Stanley (Opp, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai’i, Hawai’i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
16 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe
Team Manager: Rick McLaughlin
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato
Trainer/Therapist: John Hawks
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson
Team Doctor: Chris Koutures
Medical Support: Aaron Brock
Technical Consultant: Marv Dunphy
Match Schedule (All times PT) and Results
Dominican Republic def. Panama, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22
USA def. Guatemala, 25-8, 25-10, 25-6
5 p.m.: Guatemala vs. Dominican Republic
7:30 p.m.: USA vs. Panama
5 p.m.: Guatemala vs. Panama
7:30 p.m.: USA vs. Dominican Republic