U.S. Men's Update: U.S. Players Face Off in Greek Finals
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 13, 2011) – It’s another week of updates on U.S. Men’s National and A2 Team players competing around the world.
Iraklis, including U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and outside hitter Ryan Owens (Evanston, Ill.), will face outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Olympiakos in the finals of the Hellenic league playoffs.
Iraklis qualified for the finals by winning two straight semifinal matches against U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and PAOK.
After taking a 3-2 victory in the first playoff match on April 6, Iraklis swept the second match, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16 on April 9.
Owens led all scorers with 14 points on eight kills (0.43 hitting percentage), two blocks and a match-high four aces. He was credited with eight receptions, 83 percent positive and 50 percent excellent. Billings added 11 points on seven kills, two blocks and two aces. Winder started the first two sets and did not score. He helped set the team to a 0.35 hitting percentage.
Olympiakos advanced with two straight semifinal victories over Panathinaikos. Olympiakos won the first match, 3-2 on April 6. It won the second match 18-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19, 16-14 on April 9. After substituting in the first two sets, Jablonsky started the final three sets and scored 10 points on 10 kills (0.67 hitting percentage). He was credited with 14 receptions, 57 percent positive and 14 percent excellent.
The best-of-five championship series will begin April 27.
U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and his Italian Serie A league team Acqua Paradiso Monza Brianza are 2-1 in the best-of-five playoff quarterfinals against Casa Modena.
After winning the first match 3-1 on April 7, Monza Brianza lost the second match, 25-18, 29-27, 25-15. Rooney scored seven points on six kills and one ace. He was credited with 20 receptions, 40 percent positive and 10 percent excellent.
Monza Brianza won the third match on April 14, 25-16, 17-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-12. Rooney scored 20 points on 19 kills (0.56 hitting percentage) and one block. He was credited with 32 receptions, 56 percent positive and 25 percent excellent.
The teams will play again on April 17.
U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and his Brazilian Superleague team Vivo/Minas lost the third and deciding match in their semifinal playoff series against Sesi-SP.
Vivo/Minas fell 25-20, 26-24, 25-23 on April 8. Holmes played as a substitute and started the third set, scoring two points.
U.S. middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) and his Polish league team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów will play for third place in the league after losing the semifinal playoff series 3-1 to ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle.
Resovia Rzeszów lost the final match 25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 25-23. Millar scored nine points on four kills and five blocks.
In their first third-place match on April 13, Millar and Resovia Rzeszów defeated Tytan AZS Częstochowa, 16-25, 25-16, 15-25, 25-23, 15-11. Millar scored seven points on five kills, one block and one ace.
Fart Kielce, including U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) began a best-of-seven series against Pamapol Wielton Wieluń to determine the league’s ninth-place finisher on April 13.
Kielce fell 25-23, 25-16, 25-27, 12-25, 15-11. Lambourne was credited with with 42 receptions, 52 percent positive and 38 percent excellent. The series will continue on April 16.
U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and his German league team SCC Berlin have won the first two matches of their playoff quarterfinals series against RWE Volleys Bottrop.
On April 9, Berlin defeated Bottrop, 25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 25-14. Touzinsky started the first two sets and scored three points on three kills.
On April 12, Berlin topped Bottrop, 25-15, 21-15, 26-24, 20-25, 15-11. Touzinsky played all five sets, scoring 16 points on 16 kills (0.46 hitting percentage). He was credited with 27 receptions, 52 percent positive and 33 percent excellent.
The teams will play again on April 17.
U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and his Korean league team Korean Air lost their best-of-seven championship series against Samsung in four matches.
KAL lost the fourth match on April 9, 25-22, 17-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-12.
Patak led KAL with 39 points on 36 kills and three aces. However, Canada’s Gavin Schmitt, who plays for Samsung, led all scorers with 53 points.
U.S. setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) and outside hitter Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) and their French B league team Chaumont defeated CNVB, 33-31, 25-22, 25-18. Vance started the first set and scored four points on four kills. Thornton scored one point on an ace and set the team to a 0.60 kill percentage.