B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 2, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team’s fifth-place finish at the Pan American Games becomes more impressive when one considers the circumstances under which the team was put together.
Because most U.S. Men’s players are already overseas, the team was assembled from players who were either still playing in college (and were able to miss three weeks of school and preseason activities); were on a break or had not yet started with a foreign club team, or who had not found a place with a foreign team.
U.S. Pan American Games Team Head Coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.), who missed at least three weeks with his UC Irvine men’s volleyball team, had only about a week of practice time with the team before it had to leave for Guadalajara.
And yet, the team was just one set from advancing to the semifinals. Several U.S. players were among the leaders in individual statistics.
U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) finished second among all scorers behind Mexico’s Gerardo Contreras. Patak finished with 118 points on 96 kills, 11 blocks and 11 aces, playing in 29 sets. Contreras had 133 points on 128 attacks and five blocks, playing in 27 sets.
Patak had the most aces of any player, but did not receive the “Best Server” award for the tournament because it is determined by blocks per set. Patak was the team’s “best spiker” and 10th overall with a kill percent of 44.04.
Outside hitter Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was the team’s second-leading scorer and sixth overall with a total of 90 points on 75 attacks, 12 blocks and three aces.
Middle blocker Nick Vogel (El Cajon, Calif.), the team’s third-leading scorer, led the U.S. in blocking and was third overall with 20 blocks and an average of 0.69 per set.
Setter Kyle Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.), who played in all 29 sets in which the U.S. competed without a break, finished third among all setters with 176 assists for an average of 6.07 per set. Caldwell was also the team’s second-leading blocker and 10th overall with 15 stuffs for an average of 0.52 per set.
Libero Kirk Francis (Torrance, Calif.) led the team in digging and was fourth overall with 58 digs for an average of 2.0 per set. Ciarelli was second on the team and ninth overall with 33 digs for an average of 1.14 per set.
Francis finished second among all receivers, with 104 receptions and two faults on 154 attempts for an efficiency percentage of 66.23. He was ranked fourth among all liberos.
WORLD CUP PREPERATIONS
The 20 members of the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team preliminary World Cup squad will be training at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Nov. 7-11 to prepare for the FIVB World Cup on Nov. 20-Dec. 4.
The public is invited to attend. U.S. Men's practices are free and open to the public.
The top three finishers at the World Cup will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) started only two sets, but was named the MVP of Andreoli Latina’s 25-27, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-12 comeback victory over Copra Elior Piacenza in Italy’s Serie A league on Oct. 30.
After substituting in the first and third sets, Troy started the fourth and fifth for Poland’s Jakub Jarosz and finished with 21 points on 20 kills (58.8 kill percent; 0.470 hitting efficiency) and one block.
"We are a team that has a great character,” Murphy said in a team press release translated from Italian.
“It is always difficult to play down two sets, but we have some very good players who want to win. To me the MVP is (Puerto Rico’s Jose) Rivera, who had three consecutive aces.”
U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), who plays for Copra Elior Piacenza, started all five sets and finished with seven points on four kills, one block and two aces. Setter Ryan Ammerman (Parker, Colo.), who also plays for Piacenza, played as a substitute, but did not score.
Andreoli Latina has a 3-3 record and sits in sixth place in the league. Piacenza has one victory so far this season.
U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led Casa Modena with 12 points on 11 attacks (55.0 kill percent; 0.550 hitting efficiency) and one block, but it was not enough as Modena fell to league-leading Itas Diatec Trentino, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 on Oct. 29. It was Modena’s first loss of the season and it sits in second place in the league with a 5-1 record.
U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and his Italian team Acqua Paradiso Monza Brianza, are in fifth place in the league with a 4-2 record after a 23-25, 25-21, 14-25, 25-17, 15-10 victory over Marmi Lanza Verona on Oct. 30. Rooney started all five sets and finished with 15 points on 11 kills, one block and two aces.
U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and is Italian team Sisley Belluno are in seventh place in the league after a win on 25-20, 2-18, 25-22 win on Oct. 30 over Fidia Padova. Suxho started all three sets and scored six points on three attacks and three blocks.
U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and his Zenit Kazan team lead the Eastern Conference of the Russian Superleague.
Most recently, Kazan defeated Gazprom Surgut, 15-25, 14-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-11) on Nov. 1. Priddy scored one point in the match.
Ufa Ural, which includes U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) and setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.), is in sixth place in the division. On Nov. 1, Ural fell to Lokomotiv Ekaterinburg, 28-26, 25-19, 21-25, 25-17. Stanley started the first two sets and scored nine points on seven attacks, one block and one ace. Ball started all four sets and scored two points on one kill and one block.
Dinamo Moscow, which includes U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) is in sixth place in the Western Conference. On Nov. 1, Moscow lost to the Minsk Volleyball Club, 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 21-25, 15-11. Lee started all five sets and scored six points on two kills and four blocks.
Jastrzębski Węgiel, which includes U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.), is in fifth place in Poland’s PlusLiga.
On Oct. 29, Jastrzębski Węgiel fell to Fart Kielce, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19. Holmes started all four sets and scored three points on two kills and one block. Thornton started the first three sets at setter and did not score.
U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) is playing for Arkas Spor in Turkey’s men’s league. The team made it to the final of the Turkish Cup to open the season, but fell in the final to Fenerbahce Grundig.
After that loss and one more, Arkas Spor has won its last three matches. On Oct. 29, it swept Belediye Plevne, 25-18, 25-10, 25-21. Hanson started all three sets and scored one point on a block. He set the team to a 55.1 kill percent and a hitting efficiency of 0.474.
Tours, the French league team of U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) is leading the league with a record of 6-1. On Nov. 1, Tours defeated Paris, 25-23, 18-25, 25-12, 25-17. Smith scored 14 points on eight kills, a team-high three blocks and a team-high three aces.
Tourcoing, the French team of U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) has struggled with injuries this season, but sits in sixth place with a 4-3 record.
Earlier in October, the team’s injury situation was so bad that Winder was called on to play middle blocker.
On Nov. 1, Tourcoing fell to Toulouse, 25-22, 22-25, 28-26, 25-22. Jablonsky scored 11 points on 10 kills and one ace. Winder scored five points, including an ace, and set the team to a 43.5 kill percent.
AS Cannes, which includes U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.), is in ninth place in the league. On Nov. 1, Cannes fell to Montpellier, 25-22, 23-25, 25-27, 25-20, 15-11.
U.S. opposite Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.) led all scorers for his French team Ajaccio in its 25-20, 25-17, 20-25, 14-25, 15-7 win over Narbonne on Nov. 1. Price finished with 23 points on 17 kills, four blocks and two aces. Ajaccio sits in 13th place in the league.
U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and his Puerto Rican team Cariduros de Fajardo is leading the league with a 12-1 record.
On Oct. 28, Fajardo defeated the Guaynabo Mets, 26-24, 25-19, 25-17. Touzinsky scored nine points on eight attacks and one block. For Guaynabo, U.S. player Damien Scott (Santa Ana, Calif.) led the way with 11 points on 10 kills and one block.
Scott was again the high scorer for Guaynabo as it suffered a 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18 loss to Plataneros de Corozal on Nov. 1.
Scott had 18 points on 16 kills and two aces. U.S. player Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) led Corozal with 16 points on 16 attacks. Tri Bourne (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 12 points on 11 kills and one block.
U.S. setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and his German league team the Berlin Recycling Volleys are in second place in the league.
On Nov. 1, Berlin defeated CV Mitteldeutschlan, 25-17, 25-14, 25-16. Shoji started all three sets and set the team to a kill percent of 54.8 and a hitting efficiency of 0.452.
To view video of Shoji in action, click here.