U.S. Men Happy to be Back in USA
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
SAN JOSE, Calif. (June 25, 2009) - The U.S. Men’s National Team enters its third weekend of the 2009 FIVB World League volleyball happy to be home and welcoming back an important member of the team.
"It felt good to land (on Monday)," U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe said. "That was a long World League trip. The good news is we got a lot of the travel out of the way. But it was nice to get back.
"We're looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd."
Team USA, ranked No. 2 in the world, will face China on June 26-27 at the San Jose State University Event Center Arena in California. San Jose is about 366 miles (589km) north of the U.S. Men's training home in Anaheim, Calif.
There is a large Chinese community in Northern California so the Chinese team will most likely have a good share of fans.
Team USA, the 2008 World League and Olympic champion, sits in second place in Group A behind Netherlands, with whom it split a pair of matches on June 12-13 in Rotterdam.
The United States went on to take two straight matches in Italy.
"The really encouraging thing is that we played better every match," Knipe said of the European trip.
One player who was not with the team for the European road trip is opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i), the MVP of the 2008 Olympic Games. He is in San Jose and Knipe is excited to have him back with the team.
"I feel good about the guys on the roster; we could put them in at any time,” Knipe said. “Obviously having Clay back gives us one more weapon.”
China, ranked eighth in the world, opened its World League campaign by splitting two matches with Italy, but then lost two straight to the Netherlands.
The United States is 4-1 against China since 2004 and 40-12 since 1981.
The U.S. Men defeated China 3-0 (25-22, 25-12, 25-18) when the teams played in pool play at the 2008 Summer Games. China went on to finish in a four-way tie for fifth.
Knipe is looking for his team to continue its improvement – particularly on passing and blocking – no matter who the opponent is. He is also trying to get his younger players as much time on the court as possible without sacrificing its success.
“We want to be good now but we also want to build for the future,” Knipe said. “We want to get as many guys as possible opportunities to play without sacrificing our performance.”
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.
World League Tickets: Tickets for the World League matches in San Jose, Calif., (June 26-27 against China), Hoffman Estates, Ill., (July 10-11 against Italy) and Wichita, Kan., (July 17-18 against Netherlands) are on sale.
For San Jose tickets, click here.
For Hoffman Estates tickets, click here.
For Wichita tickets, click here.
U.S. Men’s Team for June 26-27
No Name (Pos, Age, Ht, Wt, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 22, 6-9, 190, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 26, 6-9, 220, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 25, 6-7, 250, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
4 David Lee (MB, 27, 6-8, 232, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 34, 6-3, 198, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
7 Donald Suxho (S, 33, 6-5, 216, Korce, Albania, USC)
8 Andrew Hein (MB, 24, 6-11, 220, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
10 David Smith (MB, 24, 6-7, 190, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
11 Brook Billings (Opp, 29, 6-5, 210, Santa Barbara, Calif., USC)
13 Clay Stanley (Opp, 31, 6-9, 230, Honolulu, Hawai’i, Hawai’i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 27, 6-5, 205, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
16 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 23, 6-5, 196, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 27, 6-6, 194, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
19 Alfee Reft (L, 26, 5-10, 176, Oxnard, Calif., Hawai’i)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rick McLaughlin (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Therapist/Trainer: John Hawks IV (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Christopher Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Team Doctor: Dr. William B. Stetson