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U.S. Men's Olympic Preview vs. Brazil

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 01, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)
FIVB

Bill Kauffman (copy)/B.J. Hoeptner Evans (contact)
USA Volleyball Communications

U.S. Men's Olympic Event Page - Press Kit

LONDON (Aug. 1, 2012) – The U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team have won 10 consecutive Olympic Games matches dating back to 2008, but the streak will be put to the test Thursday as it plays 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist and No. 1 Brazil at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT) at Earls Court in London.

Both teams enter the match with six points and 2-0 records in Pool B. To date, neither team has played a mutual opponent. USA has opened with sweeps over Serbia and Germany, while Brazil has topped Tunisia and Russia in straight sets.

The U.S. Men won the only match between the two teams in 2012, that being a four-set victory at the Pan American Cup when neither team utilized their Olympic Games roster. Before the 2012 meeting, Brazil had won five straight head-to-head matches in 2011. Team USA did split four matches during the 2011 FIVB World League Intercontinental Round with each team winning one match on foreign soil. Brazil defeated the U.S. in the FIVB World League Final Round pool play.

Team USA and Brazil have split 10 matches in past Olympic Games competition. The U.S. won the most recent Olympic meeting, that being a four-set victory in the 2008 Olympic Games. During the 2004 Olympics, Brazil won the semifinal showdown after the Americans won the pool play meeting. Brazil defeated the U.S. in 1996 Olympic pool play and in 1992 in the semifinal round. The U.S. Men topped Brazil in straight sets during the 1988 Olympic semifinals. At the 1984 Olympic Games, the U.S. gained revenge over Brazil in with a straight set victory in the gold-medal match after being swept in pool play. Team USA won the 1968 Olympic Games pool match, while the Brazilians captured the first-ever Olympic Games meeting in a five-set thriller during the 1964 Olympics.

Overall, Team USA trails Brazil 74-63 in the all-time series since 1981.

Team USA, ranked fifth in the world and the defending Olympic Games champion, is focused more on its side of the net and not what is in the past in preparations for the next meeting against Brazil.

“We’re going to go back and it’s going to be video on us, not on Brazil,” U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Coach Alan Knipe said following the team’s win over Germany. “Both these teams have a pretty good feel for each other. We saw each other five times last summer. It’s not going to come down to any surprises. It’s going to come down to execution.”

According to outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), the team is not looking too far into the future, which proved to be a winning formula at the 2008 Olympic Games.

“We are taking it all day by day, taking it as it comes,” Priddy said. “We'll have to just wait and see what happens. That's why we did so well in Beijing (the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games).”

Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), a first-time Olympian, leads the Team USA offense during the 2012 Olympic Games with 33 points for a tie for fourth place in overall scoring. He ranks second in Best Spiker with a .465 hitting efficiency (27-7-43). Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu), the MVP of the 2008 Olympic Games, ranks eighth in scoring with 29 points. He holds a .390 hitting efficiency (22-6-41) for sixth in Best Spiker.

Blocking has been a key area for the U.S. Men in the 2012 Olympic Games with three players ranking among the top seven. Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) ranks third with a 1.17 block average, followed right behind by David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) with a 1.00 block average for fourth place. Stanley ranks seventh in blocking with 0.83 per set.

Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) ranks as the third best setter in the Olympics through two matches with 10.33 running sets average. Anderson and Priddy are tied for fifth in Best Server with a 0.50 ace average. Anderson adds a 78.1 excellent reception percent for fourth place in Best Receiver. Priddy is the team’s leading digger with 1.50 per set for 14th place in Best Digger.

Brazil has employed a balanced offense through the first two matches of the 2012 Olympic Games. Murilo Endres has a team-leading 22 points for 17th in overall scoring. He ranks eighth in Best Spiker with a .368 hitting efficiency. Lucas Saatkamp is the next leading scorer for the South American team with 15 points. Bruno Rezende is 10th in Best Setter with 6.83 running sets average. Brazil libero Sergio Santos averages 2.83 digs per set for fourth place in Best Digger.

In other Pool B matches, Serbia (3 points, 1-1) takes on Germany (0 points, 0-2) at 9:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. PT) and Russia (3 points, 1-1) looks to get back on track against Tunisia (0 points, 0-2) at 2:45 p.m. local time (6:45 a.m. PT). On the opposite side of the bracket, Bulgaria (6 points, 2-0) plays Australia (3 points, 1-1) at 11:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. PT), Poland (3 points, 1-1) and Argentina (3 points, 1-1) look to rebound after losses in a 4:45 p.m. local time (8:45 a.m. PT) contest and Italy (3 points, 1-1) faces host Great Britain (0 points, 0-2) in the day’s final match at 10 p.m. local time (2 p.m. PT).

2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2 - Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
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)
11 - Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 - Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13 - Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
16 - David McKienzie (Opp, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)
20 - David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Scout Coach: Andy Read (Garden Grove, Calif.)
Scout Coach: Mike Sealy (Santa Monica, Calif.)

Pool A
Bulgaria (6 points, 2-0)
Argentina (3 points, 1-1)
Poland (3 points, 1-1)
Australia (3 points, 1-1)
Italy (3 points 1-1)
Great Britain (0 points, 0-2)

Pool B
USA (6 points, 2-0)
Brazil (6 points, 2-0)
Russia (3 points, 1-1)
Serbia (3 points, 1-1)
Germany (0 points, 0-2)
Tunisia (0 points, 0-2)

July 29: Bulgaria def. Great Britain 25-18, 25-20, 26-24
July 29: Russia def. Germany 31-29, 25-18, 25-17
July 29: Argentina def. Australia 25-21, 25-22, 25-20
July 29: USA def. Serbia 25-16, 25-22, 25-21
July 29: Poland def. Italy 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-14
July 29: Brazil def. Tunisia 25-17, 25-21, 25-18

July 31: Serbia def. Tunisia 25-15, 25-21, 20-25, 25-18
July 31: Bulgaria def. Poland 25-22, 29-27, 13-25, 25-23
July 31: Italy def. Argentina 25-17, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23
July 31: USA def. Germany 25-23, 25-16, 25-20
July 31: Australia def. Great Britain 25-15, 25-18, 25-20
July 31: Brazil def. Russia 25-21, 25-23, 25-21

Aug. 2: Serbia vs. Germany, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 2: Australia vs. Bulgaria, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 2: Russia vs. Tunisia, 2:45 p.m.
Aug. 2: Poland vs. Argentina, 4:45 p.m.
Aug. 2: Brazil vs. USA, 8 p.m. (noon PT)
Aug. 2: Great Britain vs. Italy, 10 p.m.

Aug. 4: Germany vs. Tunisia, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 4: Great Britain vs. Poland, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 4: Australia vs. Italy, 2:45 p.m.
Aug. 4: Russia vs. USA, 4:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m.)
Aug. 4: Argentina vs. Bulgaria, 8 p.m.
Aug. 4: Brazil vs. Serbia, 10 p.m.

Aug. 6: Australia vs. Poland, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 6: Russia vs. Serbia, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 6: Italy vs. Bulgaria, 2:45 p.m.
Aug. 6: Great Britain vs. Argentina, 4:45 p.m.
Aug. 6: USA vs. Tunisia, 8 p.m. (noon PT)
Aug. 6: Brazil vs. Germany, 10 p.m.

Aug. 8: Quarterfinal Matches at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m.

Aug. 10: Semifinal Matches at 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 12: Men’s Bronze Medal Match, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 12: Men’s Gold Medal Match, 1 p.m.
Aug. 12: Men’s Gold Medal Ceremony, 2:50 p.m.

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