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USA Volleyball

U.S. Men's Update - March 17

March 17, 2009, 5:52 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (March 17, 2009) – The Russian Super League completed the regular season on Sunday and all four teams with U.S. players have advanced to the playoffs.

Fakel Novy Urengoi, including U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), won the regular season Super League title with an 18-4 record.

The team finished the regular season with a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Lokomotiv Belogorie, which features U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.). Rooney had six points on six kills in the match and Hansen had five points on two kills and three blocks.

View photos from the match at www.fakelvolley.ru/photo3_20082009/13_ph.htm.

Fakel goes into the playoffs as the top seed and will begin a best-of-three series against eighth-seeded Gazprom-Uga Surgut on March 25.

Belogorie, which finished the regular season in fifth place with a 14-8 record, will play Zenit Kazan, featuring U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu), in the playoffs.

Kazan finished the regular season in fourth place with a 13-9 record. In its final regular-season match it defeated Yaroslavich Yaroslavl, 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-18). Stanley scored 11 points on six kills and five aces. Ball scored three points on three kills.

View photos of the match at www.zenit-kazan.com/rus/media/photo/?year=2009&rzd=80.

In the CEV Indesit Champions League, Kazan, the defending champion, defeated Italy’s Lube Banca Marche Macerata, 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11) on March 11, but it was not enough to reach the final four of the tournament.

View photos of the match at www.zenit-kazan.com/rus/media/photo/?year=2009&rzd=79&id=1281.

Ufa Ural, which includes U.S. opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.), finished the season in sixth place with a 13-9 record. Ufa finished the regular season with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-23) victory over Metalloinvest Stary Oskol. Gardner scored 10 points on 10 kills. Ufa will play third-seeded Dynamo Moscow in the playoffs.

Finally, Reid Priddy and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk will go into the playoffs as the seventh-ranked team with an 11-11 record. The team finished the season with a 3-0 victory over Gazprom-Uga Surgut. Priddy scored 15 points on 14 kills and one block in the match. Novosibirsk will play second-seeded Iskra Odintsovo in the first round of the playoffs.

View photos of the match at www.lokovolley.ru/photo/Foto28/.

You can watch Reid’s video of the match against Surgut at http://reidpriddy.com/traffic/.

Turkey

With one more match in the regular season, the Turkish team Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye, which features U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and middle blocker Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.), is in third place in the Turkish league with a 15-5 record.

On March 14, I.B. Belediye took a 3-2 (25-22, 25-11, 26-28, 23-25, 15-10) victory over Polis Akademisi. Touzinsky led his team in scoring with 20 points on 18 kills, one block and one ace. Millar had 19 points on 11 kills, seven blocks and one ace.

U.S. outside hitter Lance Walker scored 12 points on 12 kills for Polis.

You can read about the match on Millar’s web site at http://ryanmillar.terramarmarketing.com/_blog/Volley_Blog.

U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) led his Turkish team Fenerbahce with 20 points in its 3-2 (25-20, 25-22, 16-25, 20-25, 15-13) victory over Galatasaray on March 12. Billlings scored on 14 kills, five blocks and one ace.

Middle European Volleyball Association

Slovakia’s ACH Volley, which includes U.S. middle blockers Delano Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.) and Phil Eatherton (Glencoe, Mo.), finished the regular season in first place with a 16-0 record and won its first playoff match over Austria’s aon hotVolleys, 3-1 (17-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23).

However it fell to Austria’s Hypo Tirol Volleyball Team in the final, 0-3 (14-25, 19-25, 19-25). Thomas scored four points on four kills in the match. Eatherton played but did not score. Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.), who played for Hypo Tirol, scored six points on four kills, one block and one ace.

Italy

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his Italian Serie A1 team Trenkwalder Modena defeated Yoga Forli on March 15, 3-0 (25-17, 30-28, 25-23). Lee started all three sets and scored seven points on six kills and one block.

The final regular season match will be March 22. Modena will face Rpa-Luigibacchi.It Perugia. Modena is in 10th place in the league with a 10-15 record. The top eight teams will advance to the playoffs.

U.S. outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) and his Italian Serie A1 team Sisley Treviso will play a key match on Wednesday (March 18), which will determine if they advance to the playoffs.

Treviso is in eighth place in the league (11-14) after losing on March 15 to Itas Diatec Trentino, 1-3 (20-25, 20-25, 25-21, 18-25). Salmon played as a substitute in the fourth set but did not score.

On Wednesday, Treviso will play a make-up match against Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo, which will determine whether or not Treviso misses the playoffs for the first time in its history.

Greece

Without an injured Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) and two other players, Olympiacos suffered its first road loss on March 16, falling to Iraklis, 0-3 (21-25, 23-25, 23-25).

With one match left in the regular season, Olympiacos (17-4) sits in second place behind Panathinaikos (18-3), which fell to AO Finikas Sirou on March 16, 2-3 (16-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-27, 12-15). The United States’ Matt Denmark scored 10.33 points on seven kills and 3.33 blocks for AO Finikas Sirou, which is in seventh place with an 11-10 record.

PAOK, which includes U.S. players Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.), Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), is in eighth place in the league with a 10-11 record following a victory on March 16 over GS Lamia.

Patak led PAOK with 26.33 points on 23 kills, 0.33 blocks and three aces. Lotman scored 14.5 points on 12 kills, 1.5 blocks and one ace. Brunner scored 11.5 points on 10 kills and 1.5 blocks.

U.S. outside hitter Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.) scored 7.5 points on seven kills and 0.5 aces as his Greek team, MGS Apollon Kalamarias fell to AO Kifisias, 1-3 (25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 20-25). Kalamarias is in 10th place in the league (6-15).

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