U.S. Men's Update: Playoff Time
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
This release was updated on April 8.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 7, 2011) – It’s another week of updates on U.S. Men’s National and A2 Team players competing around the world.
U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and his Italian Serie A league team Acqua Paradiso Monza Brianza finished the regular season in fourth place with a 25-14, 19-25, 26-24, 25-21 victory over Casa Modena on April 3. Rooney finished the match with 13 points on eight kills (0.30 hitting percentage), four blocks and one ace. He was credited with 20 receptions, 45 percent positive and 10 percent excellent.
Monza Brianza began the playoffs on April 6 against Modena, which finished fifth, and won the first match of the best-of-five quarterfinals, 25-17, 25-17, 19-25, 27-25. Rooney led all scorers with 20 points on 16 kills (0.57 hitting percentage) and a match-high four blocks. He was credited with 16 receptions, 0.69 percent positive and 0.31 percent excellent.
Their next playoff match is scheduled for April 10.
Marmi Lanza Verona, including U.S. middle blocker Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) also qualified for the playoffs after finishing the regular season in seventh place. Verona finished the regular season with a loss to U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia, 24-26, 25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 15-9.
Anderson was second among all scorers with 22 points on 20 kills (0.68 hitting percentage), one block and one ace. He was credited with 39 receptions, 64 percent positive and 41 percent excellent. Lotman started four out of five sets, substituting in the second, and led his team with 16 points on 15 kills (0.43 hitting percentage) and one ace. He was credited with 34 receptions, 56 percent positive and 34 percent excellent. Brunner started the first two sets and scored four points on two kills and two blocks.
Vibo Valentia finished ninth in the league and did not advance to the playoffs.
Verona lost its first quarterfinal playoff match against second-place against Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo, 25-19, 25-20, 25-18, on April 7. Lotman tied as the team’s leading scorer with nine points on seven kills (0.33 hitting percentage) and two aces. He was credited with 23 receptions, 54 percent positive and 33 percent excellent. Brunner scored six points on five kills (1.0 hitting percentage) and one block.
U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and his Italian team Copra Morpho Piacenza finished the regular season 10th in the league and did not advance to the playoffs. The team capped the regular season with a 19-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-27, 20-18 victory over M. Roma Volley on April 3. Holt scored eight points on four kills, two blocks and two aces.
Zenit Kazan, the Russian Super League team of U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), won its best-of-five quarterfinal playoff series with Yaroslavich Yaroslavl, but it wasn’t easy.
Kazan won the deciding match, 22-25, 28-26, 16-25, 25-17, 17-15 on April 8. Priddy scored 13 points on 11 kills (0.36 hitting percentage), one block and one ace. He was also credited with 23 receptions, 65 percent positive and 26 percent excellent. Ball scored one point on one kill and set the team to a 0.46 hitting percentage. U.S. middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) played as a substitute for Yaroslavl and scored two points on two blocks.
Kazan will play Dynamo Krasnodar in the semifinals, which begin April 14.
To view photos from the match, click here.
After winning the first playoff match at home, Kazan lost the next two playoff matches.
On March 31, visiting Yaroslavl defeated Kazan, 21-25, 22-25, 26-24, 28-26, 15-12. Ball started all five sets, scoring three points on three blocks and setting Kazan to a 0.38 hitting percentage. Priddy played as a substitute and scored one point on a kill. Hein played as a substitute for Yaroslavl and scored one point on a kill.
To view photos from the match, click here.
On April 4, host Yaroslavl took a second victory, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20. Priddy scored eight points on eight kills (0.40 hitting percentage) and was credited with 17 receptions, 53 percent positive and 29 percent excellent. Ball added one point on one block and set the team to a 0.36 hitting percentage.
On April 5, visiting Kazan tied the series with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-16 victory. Priddy scored 16 points on 10 kills (0.30 hitting percentage), three blocks and three aces. He was credited with 15 receptions, 60 percent positive and 27 percent excellent. Ball did not score, but set the team to a 0.50 hitting percentage.
U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Fakel Novy Urengoi are out of the playoffs after losing three straight matches to Dynamo Moscow.
After losing the first match 3-0 on March 30, Fakel lost the second match on March 31, 25-17, 18-25, 25-17, 25-20. Hansen played as a substitute. Moscow again prevailed in the third match, 25-27, 25-18, 25-27, 25-18, 15-8. Hansen again played as a substitute.
In the playout battle among the bottom four teams in the league, U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his team Kuzbass Kemerovo are 5-1, going 2-0 against Dynamo-Yantar Kaliningrad, and 2-0 over U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Ural Ufa. Kemerovo is 1-1 against Gazprom-Ugra Surgut, which also has a record of 5-1.
Stanley and Ufa are 2-4.
Iraklis, including U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and outside hitter Ryan Owens (Evanston, Ill.), won the Hellenic league regular season title, finishing the regular season with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 victory over Ethnikos Alexandroupolis on April 2. Billings started the first two sets and scored 10 points on seven kills (0.38 hitting percentage), one block and two aces.
Outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Olympiakos placed second in the league, finishing the season with a 14-25, 21-25, 32-30, 25-17, 15-12 victory over rival Panathinaikos on April 2. Jablonsky finished with 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace. Jablonsky was named one of the league’s most valuable players for the week.
U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and PAOK finished fourth in the league despite losing their final regular season match to AO Kifisias, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 on April 2. Winder did not play in the match.
U.S. opposite Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) and GS Lamia finished the regular season in sixth place. Lamia won its final match over Aris Thessaloniki, 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 25-18 on April 2. Price started three of the four sets and substituted in the other, scoring 14 points on 11 kills (0.43 hitting percentage) and three blocks.
To view photos from the final round of regular season matches, click here.
The top four teams advanced to the playoffs, where Irakilis is playing PAOK and Olympiakos is facing Panathinaikos.
Iraklis won its first playoff match against PAOK on April 6, 15-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20, 15-10. Billings led all scorers with 21 points on 19 kills (0.42 hitting percentage) and two blocks. Owens entered the match as a substitute in the second set and started the rest, scoring 13 points on 12 kills (0.48 hitting percentage) and one ace. Winder scored five points on four kills and one block for PAOK. He also set the team to a 0.39 hitting percentage.
Olympiakos won its first playoff match over Panathinaikos, 25-27, 21-25, 25-15, 25-19, 15-12 on April 6. Jablonsky started the first two sets and scored four points on four kills. He was also credited with 14 receptions, 57 percent positive and 29 percent excellent.
To view photos from the playoff matches, click here.
After winning the first match, U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and his Brazilian Superleague team Vivo/Minas lost their second playoff semifinal match to Sesi-SP, 20-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-18. Holmes scored three points in the match, including one block.
The teams will play the third and deciding contest on April 8.
Unicaja Almeria, the Spanish league team of U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), has won its playoff quarterfinal series against CV 7 Islas Vecindario.
On April 2, Almeria won 25-16, 25-12, 25-21. Smith scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks. On April 8, Almeria won 25-20, 25-17, 25-20. Smith scored 11 points on six kills (1.0 hitting percentage), four blocks and one ace.
U.S. middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) and his Polish league team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów have reached the semifinal round of the Plusliga playoffs and are 1-2 against ZAK SA Kędzierzyn-Koźle in a best-of-five series.
Most recently, on April 8, Resovia Rzeszów fell to Kędzierzyn-Koźle, 25-21, 25-21, 25-22. Millar scored six points on six kills.
Fart Kielce, including U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.), finished it series against Indykpol AZS UWM Olsztyn at 1-3 and will now play a best-of-seven series against Pamapol Wielton Wieluń starting April 13.
U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and his German league team SCC Berlin finished the regular season in third place in Germany’s pro league, after finishing the season with a 25-23, 25-20, 25-18 victory over Netzhoppers KW-Bestensee on April 2.
Touzinsky scored six points on six kills. He was credited with 16 receptions, 62 percent positive and 38 percent excellent.
SCC Berlin will begin its playoff quarterfinal series against RWE Volleys Bottrop on April 9.
To read the Google translation of an interview with Touzinsky, click here.
U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led his Korean league team Korean Air are 0-3 in their best-of-seven championship series against Samsung.
On April 3, KAL fell to Samsung, 22-25, 29-27, 25-14, 25-18. Patak scored 26 points on 22 kills, three blocks and one ace. Canada’s Gavin Schmitt led Samsung with 46 points.
On April 4, Samsung defeated KAL, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-12. Patak scored 31 points on 27 kills, two blocks and two aces. Schmitt led Samsung with 50 points.
On April 7, KAL lost to Samsung, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21. Patak scored 30 points on 27 kills, two blocks and one ace. Schmitt again led all scorers with 43 points.
The next match will be played April 9.
U.S. setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) and outside hitter Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) and their French B league team Chaumont fell to Avignon, 21-25, 28-30, 25-17, 25-19, 15-13 on April 1.
Vance finished with 17 points on 16 kills and one ace. Thornton scored one point and also set the team to a 0.52 kill percentage.