U.S. Men Qualify for World Cup with Semifinal Victory
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 2, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team qualified for the 2011 FIVB World Cup on Friday with a 25-14, 25-16, 26-24 victory over host Puerto Rico at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship in Mayaguez.
The United States (4-0) will play a rematch against Cuba (4-1) for the gold medal at 5 p.m. PT on Saturday. Cuba won its semifinal against Canada on Friday, 23-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-17, 15-9. The U.S. defeated Cuba in its final pool play match on Wednesday, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17. The match between the United States and Puerto Rico began an hour late due to two five-set matches that preceded it.
No matter who wins on Saturday, both Cuba and the U.S. have qualified for the World Cup in November and December in Japan, which is the first chance for teams to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The U.S. got through the first two sets on Friday with relative ease before Puerto Rico challenged it in the third set. With the score tied 24-24, the U.S. got the final two points on outside hitter Matt Anderson’s 13th kill and middle blocker Max Holt’s seventh block of the match.
“I think we came prepared and our mind set to win and qualify for the World Cup," U.S. Team Captain Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) said. "Puerto Rico made us work for it.”
Holt led a U.S. block party as it stopped Puerto Rico attacks 21 times. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added six blocks and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) had three. Puerto Rico had just two blocks.
The U.S. led Puerto Rico in kills, 35-33. It had a hitting efficiency of 0.354 and a kill percent of 44.3. Puerto Rico’s hitting efficiency was 0.076 and its kill percent was 35.9.
The United States also led the Caribbean nation in aces 6-1. Puerto Rico scored on 18 U.S. errors while giving up 14 points on faults.
Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all scorers with 15 points on a match-high 13 successful attacks (0.500 hitting efficiency; 54.2 kill percent), one block and one ace. Lotman added 14 points on nine kills (0.470 hitting efficiency; 52. 9 kill percent), three blocks and two aces. Lee totaled 11 points on five attacks and six blocks.
Puerto Rico was led by Victor Rivera with 11 points on 10 kills and one block.
Among other U.S. scorers, opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) scored 10 points on six attacks, two blocks and two aces. Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished with eight points on one attack and his seven blocks. Setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) totaled three points on one ace and two blocks. Opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) played as a substitute and had an ace.
Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) led the United States in digs with five. Lambourne also led in receptions with 14. Anderson had 13 receptions.
U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) started Anderson and Lotman at outside hitter, Lee and Holt at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Hansen at setter and Lambourne at libero.
Patak and middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) played as substitutes.
Despite two early aces from Stanley, Puerto Rico took a 5-4 lead in the first set, scoring on three kills and two U.S. errors. The U.S. Men came back to tie the score on a kill from Lee and then scored five more straight points led by Lee with another kill and two blocks. The U.S. Men extended their lead to 16-8 at the second technical timeout (TTO). The United States reached set point at 24-13 when Patak came in as a serving substitute and scored with an ace. Puerto Rico scored on one more kill before committing an error to give the U.S. the set win. Anderson and Lee each scored five points in the first set. Puerto Rico had nine kills, no blocks and no aces.
The U.S. opened the second set with a 6-1 lead, including three Lotman kills. Puerto Rico came back with three straight points on an ace and two U.S. errors. Stanley and Anderson got two straight kills to give the U.S. an 8-4 lead at the first TTO. Puerto Rico did not give up and with the U.S. Men leading 11-8 it used two straight kills to pull to within one at 11-10. The United States still led by one at 12-11 when it went on a 4-1 run to take a 16-12 lead at the second TTO. Coming out of the break, Puerto Rico scored on a U.S. error, but the North Americans scored the next three points to lead 19-13. Leading 23-16, the U.S. scored the final three points of the set on a kill and block from Stanley and a block by Holt. Lotman scored seven points in the set and Stanley added six.
Puerto Rico took a 4-1 lead in the third set. The U.S. Men came back to lead 6-5 and led 8-6 at the first TTO. Puerto Rico eventually tied the score at 10-10 and the teams battled back and forth. The U.S. went up by two at 19-17, but Puerto Rico’s Jose Rivera scored twice on kills to tie the score at 19s. The U.S. reached match point first at 24-23 on Lee’s block. Puerto Rico tied the score with a kill. Anderson and Holt ended the match with a kill and block.
2011 NORCECA Men's Continental Championship
Aug. 29-Sept. 3
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
U.S. Men's Roster
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-7, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
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)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10 Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
13 Clay Stanley (Opp, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
16 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-8, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Therapist/Trainer: Frank Ciarelli
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Team Doctor: David Dyck
Schedule (All times PT) and Results
Aug. 29: Canada def. Mexico, 25-21, 23-25, 27-25, 25-22
Aug. 29: Puerto Rico def. St. Lucia, 25-11, 25-17, 25-11
Aug. 30: Canada def. St. Lucia, 25-18, 25-14, 25-13
Aug. 30: Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, 27-25, 25-19, 25-17
Aug. 31: Mexico def. St. Lucia, 25-16, 25-14, 25-22
Aug. 31: Puerto Rico vs. Canada at 5 p.m.
Aug. 29: USA def. Trinidad and Tobago, 25-15, 25-7, 25-12
Aug. 29: Cuba def. Costa Rica, 25-16, 25-13, 25-15
Aug. 30: Cuba def. Trinidad and Tobago, 25-14, 25-15, 25-13
Aug. 30: USA def. Costa Rica vs. USA, 25-16, 25-12, 25-9
Aug. 31: Trinidad and Tobago def. Costa Rica, 26-24, 25-17, 28-26
Aug. 31: USA def. Cuba, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17
Sept. 1: Cuba def. Mexico, 25-10, 25-23, 25-14
Sept. 1: Puerto Rico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19
Sept. 2: Trinidad & Tobago def. St. Lucia, 25-20, 25-21, 25-17
Sept. 2: Mexico def. Costa Rica, 23-25, 22-25, 25-12, 25-15, 15-11
Sept. 2: Cuba def. Canada, 23-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-17, 15-9
Sept. 2: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-14, 25-16, 26-24
Final Classification 7-8
Sept. 3: Loser of M15 vs. Loser of M16 at 11 a.m.
Final Classification 5-6
Sept. 3: Winner of M15 vs. Winner of M16 at 1 p.m.
Sept. 3: Loser of M17 vs. Loser of M18 at 3 p.m.
Sept. 3: Winner of M17 vs. Winner of M18 at 5 p.m.