B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 5, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will open play in the 2011 FIVB World Cup in a group with Brazil, Italy, Russia, China and Egypt the FIVB announced on Wednesday.
The FIVB World Cup is the first 2012 Olympic Games volleyball qualification tournament with the top three teams earning tickets to London. The men’s World Cup will be played Nov. 20-Dec. 4 in Japan.
The 12 men’s volleyball teams have been divided into two groups of six. Over the first two rounds, each team will take on everyone in its group, with Round 3 and Round 4 seeing it clash with teams in the opposite pool.
The U.S. Men qualified for the 2011 World Cup by finishing second to Cuba at the 2011 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship. The United States is ranked fourth in the world, up one spot from fifth at the beginning of the season.
Brazil qualified as the South American champion. Egypt was the African champion. Italy was the runner-up at the European championship while China was second in Asia.
The FIVB gave its World Cup wild card spots to Poland and Russia, which finished third and fourth, respectively, at the European championship.
The World Cup Group A will include Serbia (European champion), Cuba (NORCECA Champion), Iran (Asia champion), Argentina (South American runner-up), Poland (wild card) and Japan (host country).
The FIVB Men’s World Cup will be its 11th edition after having been established in 1965. The event became a qualifying event for the Olympic Games in 1991 ahead of the Barcelona Games. Since then the World Cup has been traditionally the first Olympic Games qualifying event for volleyball. Japan has proudly hosted the competition since 1977.
This will be the U.S. Men’s 11th straight appearance in the World Cup after it first appearance in 1973. The U.S. Men won the event in 1985 and finished third in 1991.The U.S. Men have finished fourth in the last four World Cup tournaments, just missing an Olympic qualification slot.
Under Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) the U.S. Men have a record of 20-10 this season. They are currently ranked fourth in the world in the list released by the FIVB on Oct. 2. The U.S. Men started the year ranked fifth.
The U.S. Men began the season at the 2011 FIVB World League where they finished second in their pool to Brazil and advanced to the Final Round where they lost in pool play to Russia and Brazil before beating Cuba to finish seventh overall.
The U.S. Men’s A2 Team finished second at the Pan American Cup to a military team from Brazil.
A team of veterans and newer players finished third at a 2012 Olympic Games test event in London. Serbia won the event and Brazil finished second.
The U.S. Men went undefeated at the 2011 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship before losing to Cuba in five sets in the final. The team was without its captain, Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), who suffered a serious injury when he was elbowed in the face during practice shortly before the tournament. Middle blocker David Lee was named the tournament’s best blocker.
FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2011 Qualified Teams
Team (Qualification Method, World Ranking as of Jan 15, 2011, Current World Ranking)
Brazil (South America Champion, 1, 1)
Serbia (Europe Champion, 3, 5)
Cuba (NORCECA Champion, 4, 6)
Egypt (Africa Champion, 13, 12)
Iran (Asia Champion, 19, 14)
USA (NORCECA Runner Up, 5, 4)
Italy (Europe Runner Up, 6, 3)
Argentina (South America Runner Up, 8, 9)
China (Asia Runner Up, 11, 10)
Japan (Hosts, 14, 18)
Russia (Wild Card, 2, 2)
Poland (Wild Card, 10, 8)
FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2011 Schedule
|1st Round||Nagoya (A)||Kagoshima (B)|
|2nd Round||Osaka (A)||Kumamoto (B)|
|3rd Round||Fukuoka (A)||Hamamatsu (B)|
|4th Round||Tokyo (A)||Tokyo (B)|