U.S. Men's National Team Update: FIVB Club World Championship
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2009) – Two international club teams with U.S. players are competing this week at the FIVB Men’s Club World Volleyball Championship in Doha, Qatar.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Zenit Kazan, featuring Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) defeated Puerto Rico’s Plataneros de Corozal, including Matt McKinney (Santa Ynez, Calif.), 25-20, 25-14, 25-17.
McKinney led all scorers with 16 points on 15 kills and one block. Stanley scored nine points on eight kills and one ace. Ball had two points on one kill and one ace and was credited with 36 running sets and no faults on 59 attempts.
“Of course, I am happy to win. We did well to restrict the powerful Puerto Rico team and were lucky to win against a tough side,” said Ball, who serves as Kazan’s team captain, in an FIVB release. "Our strength was in the serves and blocking and we did well to begin the championship on a winning note.”
On Wednesday, Kazan fell to Italy’s Itas Diatec Trentino, 2-3 (26-24, 23-25, 26-24, 19-25, 11-15). Ball started all five sets and scored four points on three kills and one ace. He was credited with 43 running sets and no faults on 103 attempts. Stanley started the first two sets and scored 11 points on nine kills and two aces.
Meanwhile, Corozal fell to Egypt’s Zamalek Cairo, 2-3 (25-23, 13-25, 25-23, 14-25, 19-21). McKinney scored 23 points for Corozal on 22 kills and one block.
Kazan advanced to the semifinals on Thursday with a victory over Zamalek Cairo, 25-18, 25-13, 25-11. Stanley led all scorers with 19 points on 13 kills, two blocks and four aces. Ball had three points on two kills and one block and was credited with 16 running sets and no errors on 40 attempts.
Kazan will play Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow in Friday’s semifinals.
Corozal lost its final match to Itas Diatec Trentino, 18-25, 13-25, 19-25 on Thursday and finishes the tournament with a 0-3 record. McKinney had eight points on five kills, two blocks and one ace.
The competition, which comprises eight teams playing in two pools, will be the first at the world level since Italy hosted the last edition in Treviso in 1992.
The tournament is testing a new FIVB rule called the “Golden Formula.” The new rule requires that the first attack for each team after the opponent's service should take place from the back row, in an attempt to produce longer rallies.
Besides Kazan and Corozal, Pool A includes European Champions League Champion, Trentino Betclic of Italy and the African champion Zamalek.
Pool B features the second best European team PGE Skra Belchatow of Poland, Asian Club Championship winner Paykan of Iran, South American champion Cimed of Brazil and the organizer Al Arabi Doha of Qatar.
Each pool plays in a round-robin format where the first- and second-place finishers of each pool qualify for the semifinal. The winner of Pool A plays the runner-up of Pool B, while the winner of Pool B meets the runner-up of Pool A as the winners meet to determine the world club champion. The final matches will be played on Nov. 8.
The Russian Super League teams participated in the Cup of Russia over the weekend. All three teams with U.S. players advanced.
Zenit Kazan, with Ball and Stanley, finished second Pool A. Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, with Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) won Pool C while Fakel Novy Urengoi, with Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) finished second.
Both Lee and Rooney are reportedly sidelined with ankle injuries.
Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led all scorers with 24 points on 22 kills one block and one ace as his Turkish league team, Halkbank Ankara, defeated Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye, the Turkish league team of Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.), 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 23-25, 25-21, 18-16) on Oct. 31.
Millar finished with 10 points on six kills and four blocks. Touzinsky had six points on six kills.
Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) led all scorers with 17 points as his Turkish club Fenerbahce defeated Maliye Milli Piyango, 25-17, 25-19, 25-17. Gardner scored on 14 kills, two blocks and one ace.
In a Turkish Cup match on Nov. 2, Fenerbahce defeated Arkasspor, 3-0. You can view a highlight video at http://tinyurl.com/yjpvxbt. Gardner is No. 8 in the blue and yellow striped jersey.
On Nov. 1 in Italy’s Serie A League, Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia defeated U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and Prisma Taranto, 25-21, 25-22, 28-26. Suxho started every set and scored one point on an ace.
Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored three points on three kills for Marmi Lanza Verona in its loss to Marmi Lanza Verona, 18-25, 16-25, 14-25 on Nov. 1. Holt started all three sets.
On Oct. 30, Leones de Ponce, including U.S. players Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Tony Ching (Hawaii) and Delano Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.) defeated Indios de Mayagüez, 3-2 (22-25, 15-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-10) in the Puerto Rico men’s league.
Thomas led all scorers with 21 points on 14 kills, one block and six aces. Ching added 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks and Jablonsky scored 11 points on 11 kills.
On Oct. 31, the Guaynabo Mets, featuring Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) defeated Caribes de San Sebastian, which features David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 20-25, 25-16).
Vance led all scorers with 21 points on 19 kills and two blocks. Smith led San Sebastian with 13 points on nine kills and three blocks.
On Nov. 2, Guaynabo defeated Indios de Mayagüez, 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 25-21). Vance scored 14 points on 11 kills, one block and two aces.
Also on Nov. 2, Ponce defeated San Sebastian, 25-21, 25-21, 25-19. Jablonsky led Ponce with 14 points on 10 kills, three blocks and one ace. Ching added 11 points with 10 kills and one block. Thomas scored seven points on seven kills. Smith scored four points for San Sebastian on two kills, one block and one ace.
On Nov. 3, Nuevos Gigantes de Carolina defeated Ponce, 3-2 (25-17, 25-20, 23-25, 18-25, 15-13). Ching led all scorers with 21 points on 21 kills. Thomas added 20 points on 17 kills, one block and two aces. Jablonsky totaled 14 points on 14 kills.
SL Benfica, the Portuguese club team of Alfee Reft (Oxnard, Calif.) and Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) leads the league with a perfect 6-0 record.