U.S. Men's Update: Ball Returns to Kazan

Feb. 16, 2012, 1:54 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 16, 2012) – U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and his Russian Super League team Ural Ufa traveled to Kazan on Feb. 11 to play the final regular season match against  U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and Zenit Kazan.

Ball played for Kazan from 2006-2011. But the homecoming wasn’t pleasant for the setter as Kazan defeated Ufa, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.

Priddy started the third set and scored six points on five kills and one ace. Ball started all three sets and scored one point on a kill. He also set Ufa to a 54.8 kill percent and a .500 hitting efficiency.

To view photos from the match, click here.

Kazan finished first in the Super League East Division with an almost perfect record of 13-1. Its next match will be Feb. 22 in the CEV Champions League six-team playoff against U.S. middle blocker Matt Denmark (Edmond, Okla.) and the German team VfB Friedrichshafen. In March it will resume Super League play in the championship playoffs.

Ural finished fourth with a record of 8-6 and is competing in the playoffs for the chance to play in the championship tournament.

On Feb. 15, Ural defeated Yaroslavich Yaroslavl of the Western Division, 25-23, 25-18, 26-24.

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his Russian club Dinamo Moscow finished the regular season in second place in the Western Division, ending with a 25-20, 25-17, 25-16 win over Avtomobilist Saint Petersburg on Feb. 11.

Lee started the first two sets and scored three points on two attacks and one block. Moscow’s next match will be March 3 against one of the playoff winners.

Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, the Russian club team of U.S. outside hitter Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) finished second in the Eastern Division. However, Millar has not been playing in the team’s Super League matches and has been focusing on the Champions League.

Millar’s next Champions League match will be Feb. 21 against Turkey’s Arkas Izmir, which includes U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) in the round-of-six playoff.

ITALY

U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) was named the match’s most valuable player as his Serie A League team Acqua Paradis Monza Brianza defeated Marmi Lanza Verona on Feb. 12, 25-15, 25-19, 25-16.

Rooney finished with 11 points on nine kills (64.3 kill percent, .643 hitting efficiency) and two blocks. He was credited with 12 receptions, 75 percent positive.

Monza Brianza is in fifth place in the league.

U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Copra Elior Piacenza defeated U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and Andreoli Latina on Feb. 12, 25-14, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16.

Holt scored nine points on three kills, one block and a match-high five aces. Troy started the final three sets and scored five points on five kills (62.5 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency).

Piacenza is in seventh place in the league while Latina is 10th.

U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and Sisley Belluno defeated Fidia Padova on Feb. 12, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21. Suxho did not score, but set the team to a 51.9 kill percent and a .584 hitting efficiency.

Belluno is in sixth place in the league.

U.S. opposite Even Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led Energy Resources San Giustino with 19 points on a match-high 18 attacks and one ace as it defeated M. Roma Volley, 25-23, 29-27, 22-25, 25-21 on Feb. 11. U.S. setter Riley McKibbin, who also plays for San Giustino, substituted in the second set and started the third and fourth, scoring one point on a block. He helped set the team to a 45.8 kill percent and a .373 hitting efficiency.

San Guistino is in 12th place in the league.

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Casa Modena fell to league-leading Itas Diatec Trentino, 34-32, 25-21, 25-15 on Feb. 12.

Anderson led his team with 12 points on 11 kills (57.9 kill percent, .474 hitting efficiency) and one ace.

Modena is in fourth place in the league.

U.S. middle blocker Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and CMC Ravenna had their match against Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo  “rained out” as weather conditions outside the arena caused water to drip on the playing floor inside.

The league will take next weekend off for Cup of Italy play. Anderson and Modena will play Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo on Feb. 18 while Suxho and Belluno will take on Itas Diatec Trentino on the same day.

FRANCE

On Feb. 10, U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and his French league team Cannes defeated Toulouse in 4 sets. 25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 25-17. Tarr started all four sets, scoring14 points on 11 kills, two blocks and one ace. On Feb. 14, Cannes fell to Ajaccio, 26-24, 25-21, 25-14 on Feb. 14. Tarr started the first set and scored three points on two kills and one block. Cannes is tied for sixth place in the league.

On Feb. 11, Tourcoing, the French league team that includes U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) defeated Poitiers, 26-24, 25-17, 24-26, 17-25, 15-11.  Jablonsky started all five sets, scoring a match high 28 points on 25 kills, two blocks and one ace. Winder played in all five sets, starting the last three, scoring five points on three kills and two blocks.

On Feb. 14, Tourcoing beat Lyon, 25-22, 25-15, 25-18. Winder started all three sets and scored six points on three attacks and three blocks. He also set the team to a 57.6 kill percent. Jablonsky started the first two sets and scored nine points on nine attacks. Tourcoing is tied sixth place in the league.

On Feb. 11, Tours. with U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), defeated Beauvais, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18. Smith started all three sets, scoring eight points on three kills, three blocks and two aces. On Feb. 14, Tours fell to Nantes Rezé, 20-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-27, 17-15 on Feb. 14. Smith scored five points in the loss. Tours is in second place in the league.

POLAND

U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and his Polish PlusLiga team Jastrzębski Węgiel defeated Indykpol AZS UWM Olsztyn on Feb. 11, 18-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22.

Holmes scored 10 points on seven attacks (70.0 kill percent, .700 hitting efficiency) and three blocks.

To view photos from the match, click here.

On Feb. 15, Jastrzębski Węgiel fell to Fart Kielce, 21-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 15-11. Holmes finished with 15 points on 10 attacks (45.5 kill percent, .409 attack efficiency), three blocks and two aces.

U.S. setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) also plays for Węgiel, but was not on the roster for the matches. Węgiel is in fourth place in the league.

GERMANY

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, the German league team of U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) fell to Matt Denmark and VfB Friedrichshafen on Feb. 11, 25-23, 21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12.

Touzinsky led Berlin with 17 points on 16 attacks (44.4 kill percent, .361 hitting efficiency) and one block. He was credited with 28 receptions, 86 percent positive. Shoji started all but the fourth set and scored five points on two attacks, one block and one ace. He also helped set the team to a 37.5 kill percent.

Denmark started the fifth set and scored three points on two kills and one block. To view photos from the match, click here.

On Feb. 15, Berlin came back to defeat CV Mitteldeutschlan, 25-23, 25-12, 25-22. Touzinsky scored 13 points on 12 attacks (60.0 kill percent, .550 hitting percentage) and one block. Shoji started all three sets and scored two points on two kills while setting the team to a 60.3 kill percent and a .521 hitting efficiency.

Meanwhile, Friedrichshafen defeated Moerser SC on Feb. 15, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20. Denmark started all four sets and scored seven points on four kills and three blocks.

Friedrichshafen is in second place in the league while Berlin is in third.

FINLAND

Loimu Raision, the Finnish league team that includes U.S. outside hitter Garret Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.), libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and outside hitter/opposite Duncan Budinger (Encinitas, Calif.), fell to Sun Volley, Oulu on Feb. 13, 36-34, 25-18, 31-29.

Budinger finished with 16 points on 13 attacks, one block and two aces. Muagututia scored 14 points on 12 kills, one block and one ace. Watten was credited with 26 receptions, 69 percent positive.

Loimu Raision is in sixth place in the league.

SWITZERLAND

U.S. coach Shawn Patchell is the head coach for the Lausanne University Club in the Swiss league and has three U.S. players on his team: middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.), outside hitter Andrew Stewart (Sandy, Utah) and opposite Evan Romero (Miami Lakes, Fla.).

Lausanne is in sixth place in the league. On Feb. 11, it defeated Münchenbuchsee, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-20.

SPAIN

In the Spanish league, Unicaja Almeria, which includes U.S. outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) is in third place.

On Feb. 11, Almeria fell to CMA de Soria - Numancia, 23-25, 25-23, 27-29, 25-16, 15-5. Menzel started the first three sets and scored seven points on six attacks and one block.

TURKEY

U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) has been playing well for Istanbul B.B., but the team has been struggling and is in sixth place in the league.

On Feb. 12, Istanbul fell to Maliye MilliI Piyango, 30-28, 25-27, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11. Billings led all scorers with 27 points on a match-high 23 attacks and four blocks.

On Feb 15, the team was eliminated from the Turkish Cup tournament with a second loss to Halkbank, 25-19, 25-15, 25-22. Billings led his team with 16 points on 13 attacks, two blocks and one ace.

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