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Mar 07 U.S. Men Can't Stop Italian Attack

July 10, 2009, 11:06 p.m. (ET)

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

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (July 10, 2009) – Italy used strong offense from Cristian Savani and Michal Lasko as it defeated the United States, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 26-24) on Friday in an FIVB World League match before 4,310 at the Sears Centre.

Both teams now have records of 6-3; however Team USA maintains its lead in Pool A with a point lead of 18-17. The two teams will play again at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Sears Centre.

Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) paced Team USA with 16 points on 15 kills and one ace while Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added 15 on 14 kills and one block. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored 14 points on 10 kills and a match-high four blocks.

Lasko led all scorers with 18 points on a match-high 16 kills, one block and one ace. Savani added 16 on 15 kills and one ace. Italy had four players in double figures.

“Italy passed better and the definitely served better,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “When you control passing and serving you are probably going to win the game.”

Italy was credited with 99 percent positive receptions and 79 percent excellent. The United States was credited with 97 percent positive receptions and 63 percent excellent.

Italy converted 54 percent of its attack attempts (56/104) while Team USA converted 50 percent (51/103). Italy also had more aces (2-1) and more blocks (12-9).

“I’m disappointed with the result, obviously,” Lee said. “This was a chance for us to secure the lead in Pool A… I thought we had a lot of mistakes, especially toward the end.”

Among other U.S. scorers, Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) scored five points on four kills and one block. Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) scored four points on four kills. Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) scored three points on three kills. Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) scored two points on two blocks and Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) each scored one point – Hein on a kill and Smith on a block.

Hansen, who played the majority of the match at setter, was credited with 27 running sets (assists) and no faults. Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) replaced Hansen in the fourth set and had three runnings sets and not faults.

U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 18 excellent receptions and no faults in 25 attempts. Rooney was also credited with 18 excellent receptions in 31 attempts with no faults. Lambourne also had four digs and seven faults in 11 attempts.

Knipe started Rooney and Touzinsky at outside hitter, Lee and Hein at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Hansen at setter and Lambourne at libero.

Patak, Suxho, Jablonsky and Smith all played as substitutes.

Italy came out strong in the first set and led 8-4 at the first technical timeout (TTO), scoring three straight points behind the serving of Savani, who answered a U.S. timeout with an ace. The United States came back and tied the score at 11-11. The score was still tied at 17-17 when Touzinsky took the serve for Team USA and sparked a 4-0 run. Italy couldn’t come back and the U.S. took the set 25-20.

Italy again led 8-4 at the first TTO of the second set, but this time it did not let the United States back in the set. With Italy leading 16-11 at the second TTO, the U.S. scored three straight points to cut Italy’s lead to 16-14 but a kill by Lasko stopped the surge. With Italy leading 21-19, setter Valerio Vermiglio, who had replaced starting setter Dragan Travica in the first set, took the serve and helped Italy to reach set point at 24-19, including a kill from Emanuele Birarelli. Team USA scored a final point on a Lee kill, but Italy won the set on a quick kill by Birarelli.

Trailing 3-4 in the third set, Italy scored the next four points behind Vermiglio’s serve, including two blocks, and went on to lead at the first TTO, 8-5. Italy continued to lead 16-14 at the second TTO, but the United States scored the next two points, including an ace by Stanley, to tie the score at 16-16. The score remained close until it was tied 19-19. A U.S. hitting error followed by two kills from Savani put Italy up 23-19 and Team USA never recovered.

The Italian offensive attack continued in the fourth set. With Italy leading 21-16, the large Sears Centre crowd cheered Team USA on a six-point run behind the serving of Suxho, who had replaced Hansen. Team USA led 22-21. But the final battle resulted in a 26-24 set victory for Italy.

World League Tickets: Tickets for the matches in Hoffman Estates, Ill., (July 11 against Italy) and Wichita, Kan., (July 17-18 against Netherlands) are on sale.

For Hoffman Estates tickets, click here.

For Wichita tickets, click here.

For more information on World League, please visit USA Volleyball’s World League web site at http://usavolleyball.org/event/event/573.

To visit the FIVB World League web site, click here.

2009 U.S. World League Roster for July 10-11

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)
13 Clay Stanley (Opp, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai’i, Hawai’i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
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: William Briner
Medical Support: Aaron Brock

Pool A Standings (as of July 10)
1 USA 6-3 (18 points)
2 ITA 6-3 (17 points)
3 NED 3-5 (11 points)
4 CHN 2-6 (5 points)

2009 FIVB World League Schedule and Results

Date: June 13-14
Opponent: Netherlands
Location: Rotterdam
June 13: Netherlands def. USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 26-24)
June 14: USA def. Netherlands, 3-2 (25-16, 30-32, 25-17, 20-25, 15-6)

Date: June 19 and 21
Opponent: Italy
Location: Florence and Catania
June 19: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-21, 30-28, 21-25, 25-21)
June 20: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-20)

Date: June 26-27
Opponent: China
Location: San Jose State University Event Center Arena in San Jose, Calif.
June 26: USA def. China, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-21)
June 27: USA def. China, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22)

Date: July 4-5
Opponent: China
Location: Nanjing
July 4: China def. USA, 3-2 (25-19, 27-29, 18-25, 26-24, 15-12)
July 5: USA def. China, 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 25-12)

Date: July 10-11
Opponent: Italy
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
July 10: Italy def. USA, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 26-24)

Date: July 17-18 (7 p.m. both days)
Opponent: Netherlands
Location: Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan.

Date: July 22-26
Event: Final Round (teams must qualify)
Opponents: TBD
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

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