U.S. Men Dominate 4th Set; Beat Puerto Rico
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
To view the U.S. Men's 2011 FIVB World League Media Guide, click here.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team dominated the fourth set to defeat host Puerto Rico, 25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 25-12 on Saturday in a 2011 FIVB World League Intercontinental Round match in San Juan.
The U.S. Men improved their 2011 World League record to 3-1 and are in second place in Pool A behind Brazil (3-0), which will play its second match against Poland (1-3) on Sunday. Puerto Rico falls to 0-4 and is in fourth place in the pool.
The U.S. Men will return to their home base at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., before heading to Belo Horizonte, Brazil for two matches on June 11-12 (both at 6 a.m. PT). Puerto Rico will host Poland on June 10-11.
The U.S. Men were leading 2 sets to 1 on Saturday when they took control of the fourth set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Later in the set, U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) served four straight aces to give his team an 18-9 lead. But Puerto Rico was truly deflated when outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) hit the ball and Puerto Rico blocked it back at him. The ball ricocheted off Anderson’s shoulder and fell on Puerto Rico’s side, giving the United States a 20-12 lead. Puerto Rico did not score again.
“It was a very tough match with Puerto Rico touching a lot of balls, making it very difficult for us,” U.S. Team Captain Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) said. “A lot of up and downs in our game, but we remained patient. I think that was the key for us.”
“In the fourth set, a lot of things happened,” Puerto Rico Team Captain Hector Soto said. “I don’t know if it was lack of gas or lack of concentration but it was a disaster. At the end we couldn’t get any points and it was a painful loss.”
Anderson led the U.S. Men with 23 points on a match-high 22 kills (56.1 kill percent) and one block. Stanley had 17 points on 11 kills (36.6 kill percent), one block and a match-high five aces. Priddy, at outside hitter, added 16 points on 12 kills (60.0 kill percent) and four blocks.
Soto led all scorers with 24 points on 20 kills, one block and three aces. Victor Rivera added 16 points on 14 kills, one block and one ace.
For a second night, Puerto Rico out-hit the U.S. Men 55-52. The U.S. Men’s hitting efficiency was 0.368 while their kill percent was 45.6. Puerto Rico’s hitting efficiency was 0.276 while its kill percent was 44.7.
But the U.S. out-blocked Puerto Rico 13-6 and had nine aces to Puerto Rico’s seven. The U.S. was credited with 39 digs and 29 faults. Puerto Rico had 40 digs and 38 faults. Puerto Rico was credited with 37 excellent receptions and 10 faults. The U.S. Men had 38 excellent receptions and eight faults.
Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored 10 points on three kills, a match-high five blocks and two aces. Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) totaled seven points on four kills, one block and two aces.
Setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.), making his first World League start, scored one point on a block. He was credited with 10 running sets and one fault on 93 attempts.
Libero Rich Lambourne led the U.S. in digs with 15 and seven faults. Stanley had 10 digs and four faults. Anderson led the team in excellent receptions with 19 and four faults. Priddy had 11 had two faults.
U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Thornton at setter and Lambourne at libero.
Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) all played as substitutes.
The U.S. Men got off to a strong start in the first set, taking an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). The score was tied at 5-5 when a Stanley kill and blocks by Anderson and Priddy put the U.S. ahead by three. The U.S. scored the first five points on two kills from Priddy, aces by Stanley and Lee and a Stanley kill. Puerto Rico scored two straight points coming out of the break. Later, with the U.S. leading 10-8, Soto got the serve on Victor Rivera’s kill and served for the next five points. With Puerto Rico leading 12-10, Knipe called timeout, but Soto answered with two straight aces coming out of the break. Lee finally ended the onslaught with a block and Puerto Rico leading 14-10. Priddy began the U.S. comeback right away with a kill, followed by an Anderson strike. Puerto Rico led 16-14 at the second TTO, but a Stanley kill coming out of the break followed by a Puerto Rico error tied the score at 16-16. Soto scored on a kill, but the U.S. answered with three straight kills by Anderson, Millar and Stanley, followed by a Puerto Rico error to grab a 20-17 lead. The U.S. still led by three at 23-20 when Escalante’s kill gave Soto the serve. Soto’s first serve was an ace, and then he followed it with a back-row kill to tie the score at 23-23. Priddy stopped the run with an emphatic kill that gave the U.S. set point. Lee sealed the seat win with a block of Soto.
The teams battled back and forth in the second set. With the score tied at 4-4, Puerto Rico’s service error followed by a U.S. block put the U.S. Men ahead by two and they remained ahead by two at the first TTO. The U.S. scoring included a block and quick kill by Lee and a kill by Stanley along with several Puerto Rico errors. Puerto Rico immediately tied it with a Soto kill and Victor Rivera ace. Soto gave his team the lead with another strike. The teams battled back and forth until Puerto Rico led 14-13. Priddy tied the score with a kill. Stanley followed with a kill and a U.S. block put the U.S. Men up 16-14 at the second TTO. The U.S. had extended the lead to three at 22-19, when Soto came out of a Puerto Rico timeout with a kill. A tip by Muniz pulled Puerto Rico to within one point and Knipe called timeout. Anderson’s kill kept the U.S. up by two, but a U.S. net violation followed by Victor Rivera’s kill tied the score at 23-23 and Knipe called timeout again. Coming out of the break Puerto Rico reached set point on another U.S. net violation. However a Priddy kill tied the score and a Lee block gave the U.S. set point and a Millar ace gave the U.S. the victory.
The U.S. Men jumped to a 5-2 lead in the third set, causing Puerto Rico to call an early timeout. The U.S. scoring included kills from Anderson, Stanley and Priddy. Victor Rivera came out of the timeout with a kill, but the U.S. lead was still three at 6-3 when Muniz scored with a kill followed by two straight Puerto Rico blocks tied the score at 6-6. However a Puerto Rico serving error and Priddy block put the U.S. ahead 8-6 at the first TTO. Puerto Rico immediately tied the score with a Victor Rivera kill and Muniz ace. A U.S. hitting error followed by a Soto kill put Puerto Rico up by two and caused Knipe to call timeout. Priddy responded with a kill, but Puerto Rico maintained a two point lead at 13-11. Puerto Rico’s serving error followed by a hitting error tied the score at 13-13. The teams battled back and forth, with Puerto Rico holding a 16-15 lead at the second TTO on a Victor Rivera kill. With the score tied at 17-17, a U.S. serving error and Soto kill put Puerto Rico ahead by two. A lead it would not relinquish. With Puerto Rico leading 21-18, Knipe called timeout but the teams traded points until Puerto Rico reached set point at 24-21. Anderson held the loss off with a block, but Puerto Rico won the set with a kill.
Puerto Rico couldn’t carry the momentum into the fourth set and the U.S. took a 5-1 lead, including kills by Stanley and Anderson and an ace by Lee. Puerto Rico called timeout and Jose Rivera came back with a kill. The teams traded points until the U.S. led 8-4 at the first TTO, scoring on two Anderson kills and a block. The U.S. led 9-6 when kills by Priddy and Lee increased the lead to 11-6. Victor Rivera scored with a kill, but an Anderson kill and Millar block gave the U.S. Men a 13-7 lead and Puerto Rico called a second timeout. Puerto Rico scored on two straight kills by Victor and Jose Rivera, but a serving error gave the serve to Stanley, who gave the U.S. Men total control with four straight aces. Puerto Rico replaced Victor Rivera with Juan Figueroa and Stanley served out of bounds with the U.S. leading 18-10. With the U.S. leading 19-11, Anderson hit the ball off Puerto Rico’s block; it hit Anderson’s shoulder and landed on Puerto Rico’s side for a kill, causing all the air to go out of the Caribbean team. Millar made the score 20-12 with his second ace of the match. A Priddy block was followed by two Puerto Rico hitting errors to give the U.S. match point. Stanley ended the match with a kill off the block.
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TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE
Tickets to see the U.S. Men play Poland at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates are available at the Sears Centre Arena Box Office (5333 Prairie Stone Parkway), online at SearsCentre.com or by calling (888) SEARSTIX (732-7784).
Tickets to see the U.S. Men take on world No. 1 Brazil in Tulsa at the Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa are available online at TulsaHurricane.com. Tickets are available at the box office (800 South Tucker Drive) by calling (918) 631-4688 or in person (office hours 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday-Friday).
Tickets to see the U.S. Men play Puerto Rico on July 1-2 (7 p.m. PT both nights) at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach can be purchased by visiting the Long Beach State athletics web site, by calling the ticket office at (562) 985-4949 or by visiting the box office (open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. starting June 6; the address is 1250 Bellflower Blvd.).
For more information, visit the USA Volleyball World League web site.
2011 FIVB World League
12-Player Roster for June 4 in San Juan, Puerto Rico
(12-player rosters for each night are announced shortly before the matches)
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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 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, 6-7, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
15 Gabe Gardner (Opp, 6-8, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader: Rob Browning(Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Medical Doctor: Keith Feder (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Trainer: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Pool A Standings
Team record (points)
1. Brazil 3-0 (9)
3. USA 3-1 (9)
2. Poland 1-2 (3)
4. Puerto Rico 0-4 (0)
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
Date: June 17-18 (7 p.m. both nights)
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. - BUY TICKETS
Date: June 24-25 (7 p.m. both nights)
Location: Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa (Okla.) - BUY TICKETS
Date: July 1-2 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. - BUY TICKETS
Date: July 6-10
Opponent: Teams must qualify
Location: Gdansk-Sopot, Poland