U.S. Men to Dive into New Pool at World Championship

Sept. 29, 2010, 1:02 a.m. (ET)

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

For the U.S. Men's 2010 World Championships Media Guide, click here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 28, 2010) – With one goal attained, the U.S. Men’s National Team traveled Tuesday to Ancona, Italy, for the second round of the FIVB World Championship.

Though it wasn’t easy, the U.S. Men won their opening pool with a perfect 3-0 record and are now in Pool L in Ancona, where they will face Czech Republic (2-1), the second-place team from Pool E, at 8 a.m. PT on Thursday (Sept. 30). They will face Cameroon (1-2), the third-place team from Pool C, at noon PT on Friday (Oct. 1).

The team from Czech Republic is ranked 36th in the world by the FIVB, but it cannot be taken lightly after defeating No. 7 Bulgaria in first round pool play, 3-1 (25-23, 27-25, 28-30, 27-25). It also defeated No. 10 China, 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22). Its only loss was to France, which needed five sets to defeat it, 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-10).

The U.S. Men have a 20-4 record against Czech Republic since 1981. They last played at the 2008 Four Nations Tournament in Germany, where the United States won, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 26-24, 26-24). The teams also played each other in the 2006 World Championships, where the U.S. won 3-1 (25-16, 15-25, 25-20, 25-23).

The Czech national team has an impressive overall record under the old Czechoslovakia flag and later as the Czech Republic.

Czechoslovakia staged the first FIVB World Championship back in 1949 in Prague and won the silver medal. Since then, it has taken part in all but one World Championship (1994 being the exception), taking the title twice, in France 1956 and at Czechoslovakia in 1966.

The team is coached by Jan Svoboda, who was hired in 2009. Its leading scorer is outside hitter Peter Platenik (6 feet, 5 inches), who is eighth among all World Championship players with 65 points on 52 kills, three blocks and one ace. Also watch for opposite Jan Stokr (6-9), who has 52 points on 47 kills, two blocks and three aces.

Also, Czech Republic libero Martin Krystof is fourth among all liberos with 81 “excellents” and only 11 faults on 111 attempts for an average of 6.23 per set.

Cameroon, ranked 21st in the world, advanced out of Pool C by defeating Australia in its final pool play match, 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19). It also lost to Russia, 25-11 25-20 25-22, and to Puerto Rico, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19.

The United States has a 1-0 record against Cameroon, having played the African country once in 1990.

Cameroon won the African Nations Cup in 1989 and qualified for its first FIVB World Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since then, it has been involved in the FIVB World Cup in 1991 as well as picking up its second gold medal at the All-Africa games in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1999 and being named African champions in 2001 in Nigeria.

In 2009 the team qualified for its second FIVB World Championship after winning their qualification tournament in Yaoundé.

Peter Nonnenbroich of Germany was appointed national coach of Cameroon in June of 2010, and since then has led the team in 25 preparation games.

Cameroon is led by opposite Nathan Wounebaina (6-6), who has 43 points on 37 kills, one block and five aces.

Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) is leading the U.S. in scoring so far in the World Championship with 55 points on 40 kills, six blocks and nine aces. His nine aces and 13 faults on 58 attempts put him third among all servers.

Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) is the United States’ second-leading scorer with 42 points on 39 kills and three blocks. Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) is sixth among all liberos with 71 “excellents” and 14 faults on 119 attempts for an average of 5.92 per set.

Pool L is not the only group playing in Ancona. It is sharing the city with the toughest pool of the second round, Pool N, which includes Brazil, Bulgaria and Poland.

An FIVB press release has labeled this “The group of death” with European champions Poland (No. 6 in the world), who finished top of Pool F, two-time defending world champion Brazil (No. 1), which broke a run of 15 successive victories when it lost to Cuba to finish second in Pool B, and Bulgaria (No. 7), which finished third in Pool E.

To reach the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship page, click here.

2010 FIVB World Championship
Sept. 25-Oct. 10 in Italy

U.S. Roster
(Each team can bring up to 14 players. Prior to each match, 12 players are chosen to play)

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)
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 Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
16 Carson Clark (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
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: Greg Vernovage (Susquehanna, Pa.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Trainer: Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.)
Technical Coordinator:
Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Team Doctors: Andrew Gregory (Nashville, Tenn.) and Keith Feder (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Medical Support:
Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

Pool L Schedule and Results (All times PT)
Sept. 30: USA vs. Czech Republic, 8 a.m.
Oct. 1: USA vs. Cameroon, noon
Oct. 2: Czech Republic vs. Cameroon, 8 a.m.

Pool D First Round Results
Sept. 25: Argentina def. Venezuela, 25-23, 25-17, 25-18
Sept: 25: USA def. Mexico, 22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-11
Sept. 26: Argentina def. Mexico, 25-12, 25-19, 17-25, 25-15
Sept. 26: USA def. Venezuela, 25-19, 25-23, 25-19
Sept. 27: Mexico def. Venezuela, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20
Sept. 27: USA def. Argentina, 22-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-20

Pool D Final Standings
Rank Team (Matches Won-Lost) Points; Point Ratio
1. USA (3-0) 6; 1.102
2. Argentina (2-1) 5; 1.136
3. Mexico (1-2) 4; 0.950
4. Venezuela (0-3) 3; 0.804