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U.S. Men's Update: Greece is the Word

Dec. 21, 2010, 2:41 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 21, 2010) – The Greek league was back in action after a brief work stoppage caused by a dispute with the government over money the league felt it was owed.

Greece’s GC Lamia, which features of U.S. opposite Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) and middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.), took a 28-26, 26-24, 26-24 victory over PAOK, , the Hellenic League team of U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) on Dec. 19.

Price scored 14 points on 11 kills, two blocks and one ace. Hein added four points on three kills and one block. Winder started but did not score for PAOK.

PAOK suffered its first loss of the season on Dec. 12 when it fell to Panathinaikos Athens, 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 32-30, 25-20). Winder scored three points on a kill and two blocks. He also set PAOK to a 0.41 hitting percentage.

GC Lamia fell to Apollon Kalamarias, 3-1 (25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 25-22) on Dec. 12. Price led all scorers with 26 points on a match-high 22 kills (0.38 hitting percentage), two blocks and two aces. Hein started the first and last sets and scored four points on three kills and one block.

Iraklis Thessoloniki, the Hellenic League team of U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and outside hitter Ryan Jay Owens (Evanston, Ill.), has moved into second place in the league with a Dec. 19 victory over Panellinios Athens, 25-21, 25-21, 25-22.

Billings scored 10 points on nine kills and one block. Owens scored five points on four kills and one block. Neither athlete played the entire match as Thessoloniki’s coach used many of his backup players in the easy victory.

U.S. player Kris Berzins played for Athens and scored one point.

On Dec. 11, Thessoloniki defeated ESOP Epikouros, 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 25-19) on Dec. 11.

Billings led all scorers with 19 points on a match-high 15 kills (0.32 hitting percentage) and a match-high four blocks. Owens added 18 points on 13 kills (0.35 hitting percentage), two blocks and a match-high three aces.

Olympiacos, the Greek team of U.S. outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.), defeated Aris Thessaloniki, 25-22, 25-18, 25-12, on Dec. 19. Jablonsky scored nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace and had 50 percent “excellent” receptions.

Olympiacos fell to EA Patron on Dec. 11, 3-2 (26-24, 18-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-13). Jablonsky started the first four sets and scored seven points on five kills and two aces.

KOREA

Many thanks to U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) for writing to us and letting us know how to get updates for his Korean league team, Korean Air. And thanks also to his mom for encouraging him.

Patak led Korean Air to a 3-1 (19-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-20) victory over Samsung on Dec. 18. He scored 24 points on 22 kills and two blocks.

Korea Air is leading the league with a 5-0 record.

RUSSIA

Zenit Kazan, the Russian Super League team of U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), went 1-1 over its last two matches.

On Dec. 11, Kazan defeated Dinamo Moscow, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19. Priddy had nine points for Kazan on eight kills (0.50 hitting percentage) and one block. Ball scored three points on two kills and one ace and also set Kazan to a 0.56 hitting percentage.

To view photos from the match, click here.

But on Dec. 18, Kazan fell to Priddy’s former team, Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 26-24, 25-21). Ball did not play in the match due to injury and Priddy played only briefly as a substitute.

Next week, the team will play in the semifinals of the Cup of Russia.

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his team Kuzbass Kemerovo defeated Fakel Novy Urengoi and U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23). Lee scored nine points on eight kills (0.88 hitting percentage) and one block. Hansen scored one point with a block and also set Fakel to a hitting percentage of 0.50.

To view photos from the match, click here.

Lee and Kemerovo beat Lokomotiv Belogorie, 3-1 (39-37, 31-29, 21-25, 25-18) on Dec. 11. Lee scored eight points on eight kills (0.68 hitting percentage).

Hansen and Fakel fell to Iskra Odintsovo, 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-18) on Dec. 11. Hansen scored one point on an ace and set the team to a 0.38 hitting percentage.

Ural Ufa and U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) defeated Dynamo-Yantar Kaliningrad, 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 28-30, 15-12) on Dec. 11. Stanley led all scorers with 26 points on 24 kills (0.42 hitting percentage) and two aces.

But a week later, Stanley and Ufa fell to Lokomotiv Belogorie, 3-2 (26-28, 25-19, 20-25, 25-19, 17-15). Stanley led his team with 20 points on 15 kills (0.41 hitting percentage), four blocks and one ace.

ITALY

U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) led his Italian Serie A League team Acqua Paradiso Monza Brianza to its fifth win in a row on Dec. 19 with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-23 win over Andreoli Latina.

Rooney led all scorers with 16 points on 13 kills (0.43 hitting percentage), two blocks and one ace. He also had 19 receptions, 74 percent of which were considered positive and 47 percent excellent. Monza Brianza is now in fourth place in the league.

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia beat BCC-NEP Castellana Grotte, 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23) on Dec. 19. Anderson scored 17 points on 15 kills (0.44 hitting percentage), one block and one ace. Anderson also had 16 receptions, 69 percent of which were deemed positive and 31 percent excellent.

Marmi Lanza Verona, the Italian team of U.S. middle blocker Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), defeated Yoga Forli 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 17-25, 25-18) on Dec. 19.

Lotman scored 16 points on 15 kills (0.50 hitting percentage) and one block. Brunner added 11 points on nine kills (0.67 hitting percentage) and two blocks.

U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and his team Copra Morpho Piacenza fell to Itas Diatec Trentino on Dec. 19. Holt substituted in the first two sets and started the third, scoring five points on five kills.

EUROPEAN CUP UPDATE

Zenit Kazan avenged an earlier defeat and beat Bulgaria’s CSKA Sofia, 25-8, 25-19, 25-23 on Dec. 15 in the CEV Champions League. Priddy did not play in the match, but Ball started all three sets and scored five points on two kills, two blocks and one ace. He also set the team to a 0.54 hitting percentage.

To view photos from the match, click here.

Also in the Champions League, Jablonsky and his Greek team Olympiacos fell to Slovenia’s ACH Volley Bled, 3-2 (25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 23-25, 15-11) on Dec. 14. Jablonsky started all five sets and scored 11 points on eight kills (0.57 hitting percentage), one block and two aces.

In the CEV Cup, Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) and his Polish team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów has advanced to the quarterfinals with two victories over Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and his German Team SCC Berlin. The second victory came Dec. 15 and saw Resovia Rzeszów win 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20). To view photos from the match, click here.

Resovia Rzeszów will face Germany’s evivo Duren in the next round.

Also in the CEV Cup, Spain’s Unicaja Almeria, which includes U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), also advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating AB Groningen/Lycurgus of Netherlands twice. U.S. outside hitter Tommy Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.) plays for AB Groningen/Lycurgus.

In the second match on Dec. 14, Almeria won, 3-2 (25-21, 16-25, 26-24, 27-29, 15-13). Almeria will play Poland’s Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle in the next round.

Volley Amriswil, the Swiss team of which includes U.S. players Max Lipsitz (middle blocker; Williamsville, N.Y.) and Daniel Mathews (setter; Shorewood, Wis.), was eliminated from the CEV Cup by Italy’s Casa Modena.

GC Lamia with Price and Hein was eliminated from the GM Challenge Capital Cup by Italy’s Lube Banca Marche Macerata. Isku Tampere, the Finnish team of U.S. setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), was eliminated from the Capital Cup by Estonia’s Selver Tallinn.

Fakel Novy Urengoi and Hansen advanced automatically when Hungary’s Kalo-Méh Kecskemet withdrew from the competition.

BRAZIL

On Dec. 11, U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and his Brazilian league team Londrina/Sercomtel defeated Volta Redonda, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20. Tarr started all three sets and scored 10 points on nine kills and one block.

On Dec. 19, U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Vivo/Minas fell to Sada Cruzeiro, 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-15, 25-14). Holmes started all four sets and scored four points.

GERMANY

On Dec. 19, SCC Berlin and Touzinsky defeated Moerser SC, 25-19, 25-22, 25-16. Touzinsky started all three sets and scored five points on four kills and one block. Berlin is leading the league.

SPAIN

Unicaja Almeria and David Smith continue to lead the Spanish league after defeating CAI Voleibol Teruel on Dec. 18, 3-2 (25-22, 30-28, 18-25, 21-25, 15-13). Smith started all five sets and scored 11 points on seven kills (0.54 hitting percentage) and four blocks.

FRANCE

U.S. setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) and his French B league team Chaumont fell to Narbonne on Dec. 17, in a 3-2 (17-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-11) battle. Thornton started every set, scoring two points and setting the team to a 0.58 kill percentage.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

If you have read this far then you are clearly a huge fan of U.S. Men’s volleyball. Thank you!

We want to be sure to wish our fans, our players and their families happy holidays and a prosperous new year. Thanks for all you do to support USA Volleyball and spread the word about this amazing sport.

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