US Mens National Team Update Anaheim Heats Up
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
To view the 2011 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team Yearbook, click here.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 24, 2012) – Almost the entire 2012 U.S. Men’s National Team is back in the gym in Anaheim, Calif., the Official Host City of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams, to get ready for a busy season.
As of Aug. 23, the following players were training at the American Sports Centers:
U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów won the Plus Liga championship in Poland, defeating the regular-season champion PGE Skra Bełchatów in the best-of-five final series, 3-1.
Lotman was named the most valuable player of the first match in the series, as visiting Resovia Rzeszów defeated Bełchatów, 18-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-18 on April 17.
Lotman scored 15 points on 10 attacks (47.6 kill percent, .381 hitting efficiency), a match-high four blocks and one ace. Lotman was also credited with 26 receptions, which were 54 percent positive.
Lotman was also involved in a controversial decision in the second match on April 18, which visiting Resovia Rzeszów won 25-21, 25-19, 24-26, 25-15.
With the score tied 12-12 in the fourth set, Lotman hit a ball that officials said was touched by Bełchatów’s block attempts. Bełchatów protested the call and the match was delayed for a time as the discussion ensued. Bełchatów was given a yellow card and Resovia Rzeszów went on to win the set. Lotman finished the match with 14 points on 11 kills (52.4 kill percent, .429 hitting efficiency), two blocks and one ace.
Lotman was held to four points in each of the final two matches, but had high percentages of positive receptions in both.
U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Jastrzębski Węgiel are tied 2-2 in their best-of-five, third-place series with ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle.
Holmes has played well in the series. In the first match on April 17, which visiting Jastrzębski Węgiel won 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-22, Holmes scored 10 points on seven attacks (63.6 kill percent, .545 hitting efficiency), two blocks and one ace.
In the second match, on April 18, host ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle won, 25-21, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21. Holmes scored 14 points on seven attacks (77.8 kill percent, .778 hitting efficiency), two blocks and five aces, which were his team’s only aces.
In the third match, on April 21, host Jastrzębski Węgiel won, 25-23, 25-22, 25-15. Holmes scored 10 points on five attacks (83.3 kill percent, .833 hitting efficiency), four blocks and one ace.
In the fourth match on April 22, host Jastrzębski Węgiel fell, 25-20, 25-19, 25-22. Holmes scored five points on three attacks and two blocks.
The final match will be played April 25, but Holmes is returning to the United States to prepare for the NORCECA Men's Continental OIympic Qualification Tournament.
To view photo galleries from Plus Liga matches, click here.
The German league team Berlin Recycling Volleys, including U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), won the German league championship, defeating Generali Haching in the final series, 3-2.
In the first four matches of the final series, the teams won their home matches. Haching hosted the final match, but Berlin turned the tables, winning 31-29, 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 16-14 on April 22.
Touzinsky was the second-leading scorer on the team in the final match with 13 points on 12 kills and one block. Shoji set the final match and also scored one point with a block. He set the team to a 40.5 kill percent and a .345 hitting efficiency.
Australia’s Paul Carroll, who played college volleyball at Pepperdine, led all scorers with 33 points. To view photos from the final match, click here.
The German title was the second league championship that Touzinsky has won this winter. In January, Touzinsky won the Puerto Rico league championship with Cariduros de Fajardo.
U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and his Russian Super League team Zenit Kazan won the league title, going 3-0 against U.S. middle blocker David Lee(Alpine, Calif.) and Dinamo Moscow.
Priddy played sparingly in the final series and did not score. Lee started all three matches. In the final match on April 17, Kazan won 25-21, 25-17, 25-22. Lee scored three points on three attacks.
To view Dinamo Moscow’s photos of the match, click here.
To view Zenit Kazan’s photos of the match, click here.
U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Ural Ufa finished fifth in the league playoffs, winning two matches over Dinamo Krasnodar.
In the final match on April 16, Ufa won, 26-28, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-9. Ball scored five points on three kills, one block and one ace, which was the winning match point. He also set Ufa to 50.9 kill percent and a .420 hitting efficiency.
U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and his French league team Tours, which won the league in the regular season, won the league championship match over Poitiers on April 21, 25-20, 25-19, 25-22.
Andreoli Latina, which includes U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.), lost in the league playoff semifinals to Itas Diatec Trentino, 2-0.
In the first match on April 12, Trentino won 28-26, 25-20, 25-21. Troy played as a substitute and started the third set. He scored six points on five attacks (50.0 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency) and one ace.
On April 15, Trentino won 28-26, 25-13, 25-23. Troy again played as a substitute and started the third set. He scored 10 points on nine kills (45.0 kill percent, .300 hitting efficiency) and one ace.
Latina will compete for Italy in the 2013 CEV Cup.
Another playoff was held to determine which team would represent Italy in the 2013 CEV Challenge Cup.
U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and Sisley Belluno played M. Roma Volley in one two-match semifinal, which Belluno won 2-0.
U.S. Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Copra Elior Piacenza won the other semifinal series over outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Acqua Paradis Monza Brianza, 2-0.
Rooney led his team in scoring in both matches. In the first match, which host Piacenza won 25-18, 25-20, 25-20, Rooney scored 14 points on 13 attacks (56.5 kill percent, .478 hitting efficiency) and one ace. Holt started the first two sets and scored three points on two kills and one block.
In the second, visiting Piacenza won 23-25, 25-15, 30-28, 21-15, 15-12. Holt scored 16 points on eight kills (66.7 kill percent, .667 hitting efficiency), five blocks and three aces. Rooney finished with 17 points on 14 attacks (41.2 kill percent, .324 hitting efficiency), one block and two aces.
In the final, Piacenza defeated Belluno, 25-22, 25-21, 25-20. Holt scored seven points on four kills (66.7 kill percent, .667 hitting efficiency), one block and two aces. Suxho scored two points on two attacks. He also set his team to a 57.4 kill percent and a .485 hitting efficiency.
U.S. outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and his Spanish league team Unicaja Almeria fell to Caja 3 Voleibol Teruel, which includes U.S. outside hitter Matt Webber (Brentwood, Calif.) in the best-of-five final round, 3-0.
In the final match on April 14, visiting Teruel won, 29-27, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19. Menzel substituted in the second set and started the third and fourth, finishing with nine points on seven kills and two aces. He was also credited with 22 receptions considered 68 percent positive.
Webber led his team with 17 points on eight attacks, a match-high six blocks and three aces.
To view a photo gallery of the final match, click here.
WATCH THE U.S. MEN THIS SUMMER
Fans will have several opportunities to see the U.S. Men in action this summer.
It all begins on April 27 and 29 when the U.S Men will play Argentina in two exhibition matches at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Both teams will be preparing for their zonal Olympic qualification tournaments.
Tickets will be available at the door or online at jserravball.eventbrite.com.
On May 7-12, USA Volleyball will host the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament, which will be played at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. The winner of this tournament will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
All tickets are now on sale. For more information, click here.
Finally, on June 29-July 1, the U.S. Men’s Team will host Italy, France and Korea for the FIVB World League at the Dallas Convention Center in Texas. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, click here.