U.S. Men Looking to Improve World League Record

June 09, 2010, 7:03 p.m. (ET)

Erin Campbell
Intern, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6864
E-Mail: erin.campbell@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 9, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team hopes to improve on its 0-2 record after two disappointing losses to Russia in the opening round of the 2010 FIVB World League on June 4-5 in Ekaterinburg.

On Monday, the U.S. Men traveled to Finland to play the host team on Friday (11:30 a.m. ET) and Saturday (11:30 a.m. EST).

The last time the two teams faced off was in the 2008 World League. In the four matches between the two squads, the U.S. only allowed Finland to take one set in each of three contests while sweeping them in one.

“We simply want to get better week-by-week during this World League,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe said. “We are looking forward to playing better volleyball in Finland but we know that they are a better team than the one the U.S. played in the 2008 World League.”

Outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) led the U.S. Men in the first weekend, finishing with 26 points on 23 kills and three blocks. He is tied for 24th among all World League scorers. Outside hitter and opposite Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) was close behind with 25 points (23 points, two blocks) good enough to tie for 27th place overall.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) is among the leaders in blocks with five in seven sets, putting him 13th among all World League blockers.

Finland will play at home in Tampere after a two-match series in Cairo, Egypt on June 5-6 where it split the weekend 1-1 with the host country. Pacing the Finns was outside hitter Mikko Oivanen whose 35 points (33 kills, two blocks) placed him in eighth place among the league’s best scorers. Opposite hitter Antii Siltala also placed in the top 20 when he finished with 32 points (27 kills, three blocks two aces), good enough for 11th place.

“We will have eight very tough matches against the USA and Russia during the next four weekends. Anything that is coming to us in those matches is fine, knowing that we will meet two of the world’s top-level teams,” Finland’s head coach Maura Berruto said. “We will right in every set and then we will see how many points we get. We will play not thinking too much.”

The U.S. Men have an overall record of 13-2 against Finland since 1978.

For the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide, click here.

To view a match photo gallery, click here.

To read Rob Browning’s World League blog, click here.

The USA Volleyball page for World League information is http://usavolleyball.org/events/2878.

To visit the FIVB World League page with photos, statistics and live scoring, click here

2010 FIVB World League
June 4-5 in Ekaterinburg, Russia

U.S. Roster

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
4 David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7 Donald Suxho (S, 6-5, Korce, Albania, USC)
8 C Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
19 Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawai'i)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Trainer: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Team Doctor: William Schobert (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

Pool C Standings (As of June 5)
Russia 2-0
Egypt 1-0
Finland 0-1
USA 0-2

2010 U.S. World League Schedule and Results

Date: June 4-5
Location: Ekaterinburg, Russia
June 4:
Russia def. United States, 25-15, 26-24, 25-14
June 5:
Russia def. United States, 25-14, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21

Date: June 11-12
Opponent: Finland
Location: Tampere, Finland

Date: June 18-19 (7 p.m. both days)
Opponent: Egypt
Location: Cabarrus Arena in Concord, N.C. - www.visitcabarrus.com

Date: June 25-26 (7 p.m. both days)
Opponent: Finland
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Date: July 2-3
Opponent: Egypt
Location: Cairo, Egypt

Date: July 9 at 7 p.m.; July 10 at 6 p.m.
Opponent: Russia
Location: Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan. - www.wichitasports.com/

Final Round (must qualify)
Date: July 21-25
Location: Cordoba, Argentina

Other Pool C Results
June 5: Egypt def. Finland, 23-25, 26-24, 25-16, 20-25, 15-13
June 6: Finland def. Egypt, 25-22. 23-25, 25-20, 25-19