B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
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Long Beach, Calif. (July 2, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team wasted no time in punching its ticket to Poland and the FIVB World League Final Round with a 25-13, 25-22, 25-19 sweep of Puerto Rico on Saturday at the Walter Pyramid.
The U.S. finishes the Intercontinental (pool play) Round with an 8-4 record, good enough for second place in Pool A behind Brazil (10-2), which the U.S. defeated twice.
The other teams that have advanced to the final round are Brazil, Russia, Argentina and Italy as pool winners, Cuba and Bulgaria as the two other second-place teams and Poland as the host country. The U.S. Men will leave for Gdansk, Poland on Sunday. The Final Round takes place on July 6-10.
Puerto Rico finishes World League with a 0-12 record.
U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) led all scorers on Saturday with 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace. Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu Hawaii) added 12 points on six kills, four blocks and two aces.
Stanley helped the U.S. get off to a fast start in the first set with two straight aces in a serving run that carried the team to a 6-1 lead.
“Clay has the ability to affect any set when he goes back to serve,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Hunting Beach, Calif.) said. “We didn’t get a huge run of points, but we sided out when we needed to.
“We’re happy to be moving on,” he added. “Our goal at the beginning of World League was to get better every match and qualify for the Final Round and we’ve done that.”
Puerto Rico, playing without leading scorer and team captain Hector Soto, was led by Carlos Ortiz with 12 points on eight kills and four blocks.
The U.S. out-attacked Puerto Rico 35-30 and Puerto Rico was hurt by eight hitting errors as compared to four for the United States. The U.S. Men out-blocked Puerto Rico 16-8 and had four aces while Puerto Rico had none.
Among other U.S. scorers, middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) finished with nine points on four kills, four blocks and one ace. Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) added nine points on five kills and four blocks.
Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) had six points on six kills. Setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) contributed four points on one kill and three blocks.
The U.S. had the edge in digs, 34-30, led by Anderson and Stanley who had nine each. Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) added five as did Priddy.
Thornton was credited with 15 assists and no faults.
The U.S. got off to a fast start in the first set, taking a 4-1 lead on blocks from Millar and Thornton and a Stanley kill off a long set from Anderson on the left side. Puerto Rico called timeout and Stanley responded with an ace down the right line and followed with a second across the court. Stanley scored one more time on a cross-court attack as the U.S. led 8-3 at the first technical timeout (TTO). Coming out of the break, the U.S. scored on two straight Anderson attacks and Puerto Rico called timeout trailing 10-3. The United States increased its lead to 11-3 on Lee’s block before Puerto Rico settled down and started answering the U.S. scoring, but never put together more than one point in a row. The U.S. lead was 15-8 at the second TTO. The U.S. came out of the break with two straight Priddy kills from the left side to increase the U.S. lead to 18-8. Puerto Rico’s only run of points came at 21-10 when it scored on two straight U.S. errors to make it 21-12. Priddy ended the run with a roll shot. Ortiz came back with a kill for Puerto Rico, but it would be the last point that PR scored as The U.S. scored the final three points on Puerto Rico’s serving error, and a block and kill from Millar. The U.S. had 13 kills and no hitting errors in the set. It also had two aces, both from Stanley who led all scorers with six points.
The U.S. momentum did not carry into the second set as Puerto Rico jumped out to a 5-0 lead, scoring on a kill and block by Rivera and a kill and block by Ortiz. The U.S. called timeout, but Ortiz put up another block for Puerto Rico to increase its lead to 6-0. Priddy put the U.S. on the board with a back-row attack. Puerto Rico’s Ortiz answered with a kill. The U.S. scored two more points on Millar’s quick kill and Thornton’s block. But a Figueroa strike gave Puerto Rico the 8-4 lead at the first TTO. Another Ortiz kill made it 9-4. The U.S. scored twice on Puerto Rico’s serving error and Lee’s block to pull to within three at 9-6, but a U.S. hitting error kept the Puerto Rico lead at four. Puerto Rico still led by four at 14-10 when the U.S. scored on kills by Lee and Stanley. Puerto Rico called timeout, but Priddy came back with another kill to tie the score at 14-14. The teams were still tied at 16-16 when a Stanley strike and Priddy ace put the U.S. ahead by two at 18-16, a lead it never relinquished. With the U.S. leading 20-17, Puerto Rico pulled to within one on a kill by Steven Morales and a U.S. hitting error, but Priddy held them off with a back-row strike. The U.S. reached set point at 24-22 on Anderson’s block and won the set on a double block by Priddy and Lee. Priddy had eight points in the set for the U.S. Ortiz had seven for PR.
The teams opened the third set even at 3-3 when the U.S. scored three straight points on a Puerto Rico error, a tip from Thornton and block by Lee. Puerto Rico called timeout and scored on Fernando Morales’ tip. A U.S. hitting error and block by Morales tied the score at 6-6 and Rivera gave PR the lead with a kill off the U.S. triple block. The U.S. came back with kills from Lee and Stanley to take the 8-7 lead at the first TTO. The U.S. increased its lead to 9-7 on Puerto Rico’s hitting error and later took a three-point lead at 12-9 on two straight kills on the left side by Anderson. But Puerto Rico did not give up and scored twice on kills from Ortiz and Figueroa. It later tied the score at 13-13 on a U.S. serving error and Ortiz block. With the score still tied at 15-15, the U.S. took the lead when Puerto Rico served in the net. After the second TTO, the U.S. scored again on Stanley’s kill and a block by Stanley and Lee to lead 18-15. Puerto Rico could not put together another run of points and the U.S. surged to the set and match victory. Long Beach State University alumnus Scott Touzinsky served for the final U.S. point, which came when Puerto Rico hit out of bounds.
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2011 FIVB World League
12-Player Roster for July 2 in Long Beach, Calif.
(12-player rosters for each match are announced shortly prior)
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10 Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Pool A Standings
Team record (points)
1. Brazil 10-2 (30)
2. USA 8-4 (23)
3. Poland 6-6 (18)
4. Puerto Rico 0-12 (1)
U.S. Schedule and Results
Date: May 27-28
Location: Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland
May 27: Poland def. USA, 25-20, 25-22, 25-19
May 28: USA def. Poland, 25-22, 25-19, 37-35
Date: June 3-4
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 3: USA def. Puerto Rico, 24-26, 29-27, 25-17, 25-17
June 4: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 25-12
Date: June 11-12
Location: Mineirinho in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
June 11: Brazil def. USA, 19-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21
June 12: USA def. Brazil, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 26-24
Date: June 17-18
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 17: Poland def. USA, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20
June 18: USA def. Poland, 25-21, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22
Date: June 24-25 (7 p.m. both nights)
Location: Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa (Okla.)
June 24: Brazil def. USA, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19
June 25: USA def. Brazil, 25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23
Date: July 1-2 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.
July 1: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-27, 25-22, 25-12, 25-27, 15-8
July 2: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-13, 25-22, 25-19
Date: July 6-10
Opponent: Teams must qualify
Location: Gdansk-Sopot, Poland