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U.S. Olympic Men's Volleyball Preview vs Tunisia

Aug. 05, 2012, 9:13 a.m. (ET)

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

Event Page - Press Kit

LONDON (Aug. 5, 2012) – The U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team, ranked fifth in the world and defending Olympic Games champion, is just one win away from winning Pool B of the 2012 London Games being held at Earls Court in London. The U.S. has 10 points with a 3-1 record heading into its final pool match against winless Tunisia (0 points, 0-4) on Monday at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT).

The Americans lost their 11-match Olympic Games win streak dating back to the 2008 Beijing Games in a five-set loss to Russia on Saturday, but picked up a key standing point by reaching the fifth set. The added point serves as a cushion as Team USA, Russia (8 points, 3-1) and Brazil (8 points, 3-1) all hold the same won-loss record.

The U.S. has a two-point lead over both Russia and Russia, and standings points are the first criteria on pool standings. By finishing atop the pool, the U.S. would be paired with Pool A’s fourth-place team in the quarterfinal round.

“The good thing is we can learn from this,” U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team Head Coach Alan Knipe said about the loss to Russia. “There’s a lot of things that we know on our side of the net we can do better. We also get a point. We wanted to win, but we do get a point and stay in the driver’s seat in the pool.”

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) mentioned that the intensity level cannot drop at only point during the Olympics, which was reinforced through its loss to Russia in which the Americans had won the first two sets.

“We need to take from this something positive, that we need to continue to have a high level of energy throughout the entire match and not just go all-out in the first two sets and not finish,” Lee said. “It’s good that this happened in pool play. I think we have a great chance to beat Tunisia in the next match and from there win the pool.”

In other Pool B matches, third-place Russia (8 points, 3-1) faces fifth-place Serbia (5 points, 1-3) at 11:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. PT) and Brazil (8 points, 3-1) challenges fourth-place Germany (5 points, 2-2) at 10 p.m. local time (2 p.m. PT).

In Pool A, the race for the group winner is tight as Poland, Bulgaria and Italy are all within one point of each other. Poland (9 points, 3-1), which currently holds the lead, faces fifth-place Australia (4 points, 1-3), which is fighting to gain a berth into the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, second-place Bulgaria (9 points, 3-1) challenges third-place Italy (8 points, 3-1). Fourth-place Argentina (6 points, 2-2), which defeated previously undefeated Bulgaria on Saturday to pull the group tighter together, plays host Great Britain (0 points, 0-4).

Team USA is 8-0 all-time versus Tunisia. The two teams have not faced each other since Nov. 25, 2007, when the Americans won in four sets during the FIVB World Cup.

Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), a first-time Olympian, ranks seventh in scoring during the 2012 Olympic Games with 65 points (54 kills, 5 blocks, 6 aces). He ranks seventh in Best Spiker with a .376 hitting efficiency (54-16-101). Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu), the MVP of the 2008 Olympic Games, ranks ninth in scoring with 62 points (50 kills, 7 blocks, 5 aces). He holds a .308 hitting efficiency (50-17-107) for ninth in Best Spiker. Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) ranks 18th in scoring with 45 points (30 kills, 8 blocks, 7 aces). Priddy ranks fourth in Best Server with 0.47 aces per set, followed by Anderson in ninth place with 0.40 aces per set.

Blocking has been a key area for the U.S. Men in the 2012 Olympic Games with Lee ranking fourth in Best Blocker with 0.80 per set. Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) ranks eighth in Best Blocker with 0.67 per set, while Priddy averages 0.53 blocks per set for 14th in the category.

Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) ranks as the second-best setter in the Olympics through four matches with 10.33 running sets average. Anderson adds a 72.22 excellent reception percent to rank fifth in Best Receiver category.

Tunisia’s Hamza Nagga has scored a team-high 56 points (51 kills, 2 blocks, 3 aces) for 11th place overall. He also ranks eighth in Best Spiker with a .327 hitting efficiency. Anouer Taouerghi averages 1.85 digs per set for ninth place in the tournament, while teammate Noureddine Hfaiedh ranks 12th in the category with 1.62 digs per set.

2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team
# - Player (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 (9 points, 3-1)
Poland (9 points, 3-1)
Italy (8 points 3-1)
Argentina (6 points, 2-2)
Australia (4 points, 1-3)
Great Britain (0 points, 0-4)

Pool B
USA (10 points, 3-1)
Brazil (8 points, 3-1)
Russia (8 points, 3-1)
Germany (5 points, 2-2)
Serbia (5 points, 1-3)
Tunisia (0 points, 0-3)

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: Germany def. Serbia 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-20, 20-18
Aug. 2: Bulgaria def. Australia 25-23, 25-21, 25-22
Aug. 2: Russia def. Tunisia 25-21, 25-15, 25-23
Aug. 2: Poland def. Argentina 25-18, 25-20, 25-16
Aug. 2: USA def. Brazil 23-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-17
Aug. 2: Italy def. Great Britain 25-19, 25-16, 25-20

Aug. 4: Germany def. Tunisia 25-15, 25-16, 25-16
Aug. 4: Poland def. Great Britain 25-16, 25-19, 25-18
Aug. 4: Italy def. Australia 21-25, 18-25, 25-21, 25-14, 15-13
Aug. 4: Russia def. USA 27-29, 19-25, 26-24, 25-16, 15-8
Aug. 4: Argentina def. Bulgaria 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20
Aug. 4: Brazil def. Serbia 22-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-22, 15-9

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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