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USA Volleyball

U.S. Men's Update: Final Round in Puerto Rico

Jan. 27, 2010, 6:36 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. (Jan. 27, 2010) – Players from the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will represent both sides in the finals of Puerto Rico’s professional league.

The Guaynabo Mets, featuring Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) and Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) will square off against Plataneros de Corozal, which includes Casey Patterson (Newbury Park, Calif.), Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Matt McKinney (Santa Ynez, Calif.) in the final series.

Guaynabo defeated Leones de Ponce in the semifinal round, 4-1, which eliminated U.S. players Ty Loomis (Warner Robins, Ga.), Tony Ching (Hawaii) and Delano Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.).

Corozal defeated Nuevos Gigantes de Carolina, 4-1.

Patterson led all scorers in the semifinals with 93 points in 18 sets, including 83 kills, eight blocks and two aces. He also led all hitters with 83 kills on 110 attempts (75 percent). His hitting percentage was 51 percent.

Thomas was second among all scorers with 86 points on 75 kills, seven blocks and four aces in 19 sets. He was second in attacks with 75 kills in 117 attempts (64 percent).

Hoff was second among all blockers in the semifinals with 25 blocks in 19 sets.

Ching led all players in passing in the semifinals with 85 passes in 19 sets played. Nielsen was second with 82 passes in 18 sets.

The final, best-of-seven series will begin on Jan. 29.

Ching was named the Most Valuable Player for the regular season, just beating Vance in a close vote.

Ching was the second-best scorer of the regular season with 417 points, 357 attacks (No. 2) and 34 blocks (No. 17) in 100 sets played.

Ching was the third best passer in the league with 309 receptions for an average of 3.09 per set. Ching finished eighth in digs with 177.

Ching and Vance were named to the 2009-10 Offensive Team. Ching and David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) were named to the All-Star Team. Smith, who played for San Sebastian, led all blockers in the regular season with 128 in 95 sets played.

FIVB Rankings

In the new FIVB World Rankings released on Jan. 15, the U.S. Men moved back up to No. 2 thanks to their second-place finish at the NORCECA Continental Championship.

Following their victories in the 2008 World League and Olympic Games, the U.S. Men were ranked No. 2 (behind Brazil), but their ranking fell to No. 3 behind Russia following their sixth-place finish in the 2009 World League.

However, the United States finished second at the NORCECA Continental Championship while Russia placed fourth at the European championship, helping Team USA improve. Brazil remains No. 1 with Russia at No. 3 while Serbia and Poland round out the top five.

Click here to view the rankings.

Russia

Four U.S. players – setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.), opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii), outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) – have been voted to start for the Stars of the World team at the Russian Super League all star match on Jan. 31.

Joining the four will be Dante (Brazil), Łukasz Kadziewicz (Poland) and libero Teodor Salparow (Bulgaria).

The Russian starters are Wadim Chamuckich, Maxim Mikhaylov, Sergey Tetyuhin, Aleksander Kosarev, Aleksey Kazakov, Dimitri Muserskij and Aleksey Verbov.

In Super League play last week, Priddy and Lee’s Lokomotiv Novosibirsk defeated Yaroslavich Yaroslavl, 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 23-25, 25-21) on Jan. 23. Priddy led Novosibirsk with 22 points on 17 kills, four blocks and one ace. Lee added five points on two kills and three blocks. Novosibirsk has moved into second place in the Super League.

Click here to view photos from the match.

Still first place in the league is Zenit Kazan, featuring Ball and Stanley. However, Kazan dropped a 2-3 (25-23, 19-25, 17-25, 25-23, 13-15) decision to Lokomotiv Belogorie on Jan. 24. Stanley led Kazan with 18 points on 14 kills, one block and three aces. Ball had two points on one kill and one block.

Fakel Novy Urengoi, featuring Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) is fifth in the league following a 1-3 (19-25, 24-26, 26-24, 28-30) loss to Dynamo Moscow on Jan. 23. Rooney scored seven points on five kills and two blocks. At setter, Hansen added three points on one kill and two blocks.

Turkey

Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) scored 15 points as Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediye defeated Ziraat Bankasi, 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 25-21) on Jan. 24. Millar scored on seven kills, four blocks and four aces. Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) played briefly as a substitute. Istanbul is in first place in the Turkish league.

Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) led all scorers with 22 points on 20 kills and two blocks as his Turkish team Fenerbahce defeated Arkas Spor, 3-1 (23-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-22) on Jan. 24. Fenerbahce is in second place in the league.

Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) scored 12 points on 12 kills as his Turkish team Halkbank defeated Maliye Milli Piyango, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21). Halkbank is in sixth place in the league.

Italy

Marmi Lanza Verona, featuring Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), defeated Aran Cucine Abruzzo Pineto, 25-18, 25-12, 25-18, on Jan. 24. Holt scored nine points on five kills, three blocks and one ace.

Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and his team Prisma Taranto fell to Itas Diadec Trentino, 18-25, 17-25, 19-25 on Jan. 24. At setter, Suxho scored one point on one kills.

Poland

Delecta Bydgoszcz, the Polish league team of U.S. Men’s libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.), fell to Resovia Rzeszów 1-3 (20-25, 23-25, 25-14, 20-25) on Jan. 23 in the semifinals of the Cup of Poland.

Brazil

Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) and his Brazilian league team Vivo/Minas fell to Montes Claros/Funadem, 1-3 (25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-27) on Jan. 23. Salmon scored six points in three sets of play.

France

Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) scored 17 points as his French team Poitiers beat Paris Volley, 3-1 (25-22, 26-24, 25-27, 25-21) on Jan. 23. Lotman scored on 13 kills, two blocks and two aces.

Middle European Zone

Hypo Tyrol Innsbruck, the Austrian club team of Russell Holmes, defeated Austria’s SK Posojilnica AICH/DOB, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 on Jan. 23. Holmes scored six points on five kills and one block. Hypo Tirol is in fourth place in the Middle European Zone.

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