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U.S. Men Win Pool, Advance to Final Round

By B. J. Hoeptner Evans | July 01, 2012, 11:30 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Communications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org
@USA_Volleyball - USAV Facebook

Unofficial DataVolley Statistics * Official Statistics

DALLAS, Texas (July, 2012) – The United States won Pool C and a trip to Bulgaria on Sunday as it defeated Italy 3-2 (26-28, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17, 15-10) on Sunday in the final Intercontinental Round match of the 2012 FIVB World League at the Dallas Convention Center Arena.

The U.S. Men, ranked No. 6 in the world, completed pool play with a 9-3 record while Italy, ranked No. 3, finished at 5-7. The five-set victory meant the U.S. Men beat France for the pool win. France had put pressure on the United States by sweeping Korea in the first match of the evening, 25-19, 25-15, 25-17.

The U.S. was trailing 2-1 in sets and 8-6 in points in the fourth set when it tied the score at 8-8 and then used 4-0 run to pull ahead at 12-9. The run included a kill by outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), who had replaced Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) in the third set and made several crucial plays.

The U.S. Men also bounced back from a first-set loss in which Italy fought off six set points and went on to win.

“It was a great effort by our team, especially players who came off the bench: Dave Smith, Sean Rooney,” U.S. team captain and opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) said. “We have been trying not to get down in matches and keep our heads up; keep pushing, keep going.”

The U.S. led Italy in blocks, 18-11, aces, 3-2 and digs, 47-46. Italy led in attacks, 67-64.

Stanley led all scorers with 25 points on a match-high 23 attacks (56.1 kill percent, .439 hitting efficiency) and two blocks. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 20 points on 16 kills (45.7 kill percent, .343 hitting efficiency) and four blocks.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) finished with 13 points on six kills, a match-high six blocks and
blocks and a match-high three aces.

Priddy scored two points on two kills. David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) at middle blocker added two points on one kill and one block.

Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania ) scored two points on two blocks. He was credited with 29 assists and set the United States to a 46.0 kill percent and a .317 hitting efficiency. Italy had a 44.4 kill percent and a .252 hitting efficiency.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 11 digs and nine excellent receptions. Stanley led in digs with 13 and Anderson led in excellent receptions with 15.

“We are pleased,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe said. “It was a must-win for us against a quality opponent, an Olympic opponent. It allows us to go on and gain experience before London.”

Ivan Zaytsev paced Italy with 21 points on 18 attacks, one block and two aces.

Knipe started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Holmes and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Suxho at setter and Lambourne at libero.

Rooney substituted for Priddy in the third set and started the fourth and fifth. Smith and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) played as substitutes.

The score was tied 6-6 in the first set when Italy used a Fei spike and ace by Zaytsev to lead 8-6 at the first technical timeout. With Italy leading 12-10, the U.S. scored on attacks from Stanley and Lee to tie the score. The U.S. used Italy’s hitting error and a block to lead 15-13, but Italy tied the score at 19-19. With the score tied 20-20, the U.S. got a block and an Italy hitting error to lead. A Stanley attack made it 23-20. The U.S. reached set point at 24-21, but Italy scored with an attack and two blocks from Fei to tie the score. The United States took set point two more times but could not convert. Italy reached set point at 27-26 on a Zaytsev attack and won the set on a spike by Lasko.

With the score tied 6-6 in the second set, Stanley scored with an attack, Italy hit in the net and Holmes added a spike to give the U.S. a 9-6 lead. Italy came back to tie the score at 10-10 on two straight attacks. The U.S. led 16-13 at the second technical timeout and extended the lead to 19-13. Italy pulled to within three at 21-18, but a Stanley block kept the U.S. ahead. The U.S. reached set point at 24-20 on an attack from Holmes. The U.S. won the set on a block by Smith who was brought in as a substitute for Suxho.

The score was tied 6-6 in the third set when Italy scored on a Zaytsev attack and U.S. hitting error to lead 8-6 at the first technical timeout. Italy tied the score at 8-8 and took a 12-9 lead on attacks by Lasko, Zaytsev and Fei. The U.S. called timeout and came back to tie the score on a Rooney attack, Italy net violation and block from Holmes and Anderson. The teams battled back and forth. Italy reached set point first at 24-23 on a Fei strike. Anderson tied it with an attack for the U.S. Zaytsev came back with a tip to give Italy its second set point and Lasko won it for Italy on an attack.

Italy led 9-8 in the third set when it served out of bounds and the U.S. came back with three straight points, including a Rooney spike, to lead 12-9. The U.S. still led by three at the second technical timeout, 16-13. The U.S. Men extended the lead to 21-15 and reached set point at 24-16 on a Rooney attack. The next U.S. serve went into the net, but Rooney won the set with an attack, ensuring the United States of the pool victory.

The score was tied 4-4 in the tie-breaker when Italy scored on a U.S. hitting error and Parodi attack to lead 6-4. The U.S. came back with a 4-0 run including an ace by Holmes and blocks from Rooney and Lee, to lead 8-6 at the side change. The U.S. reached match point at 14-9. Italy scored on a U.S. violation before Anderson won the match for the U.S. with a back-row attack.

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U.S. World League 12-Player Roster for July 1 in Dallas, Texas

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)
10. Riley Salmon (L, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
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)
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.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Sealy (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

Pool C Final Standings

Rk

Team

Points

Matches

Sets

Points

Played

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Ratio

Won

Lost

Ratio

1

USA

26

12

9

3

30

16

1.875

1,075

1,019

1.055

2

FRA

24

12

9

3

29

19

1.526

1,115

1,025

1.088

3

ITA

15

12

5

7

23

27

0.821

1,131

1,163

0.972

4

KOR

7

12

1

11

16

35

0.457

1,073

1,187

0.904

U.S. World League Results

In Florence, Italy
May 18: France def. USA, 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-17
May 18: Italy def. Korea, 24-26, 27-25, 21-25, 29-27, 18-16
May 19: USA def. Korea, 20-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 17-15
May 19: Italy def. France, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22
May 20: France def. Korea, 25-18, 24-26, 25-20, 21-25, 15-11
May 20: Italy def. USA, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16

In Lyon, France
June 15: France def. Korea, 21-25, 25-15, 31-29, 25-16
June 15: USA def. Italy, 30-28, 28-26, 25-22
June 16: USA def. Korea, 22-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-16
June 16: France def. Italy, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20
June 17: Korea def. Italy, 22-25, 24-26, 26-24, 25-15, 15-11
June 17: USA def. France, 20-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-21

In Gwangju, Korea
June 22: France def. Korea, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15
June 22: USA def. Italy, 22-25, 25-21, 29-27, 25-16
June 22: Italy def. Korea, 15-25 22-25 25-21 25-22 13-15
June 23: USA def. France, 25-21, 25-21, 25-20
June 24: USA def. Korea, 25-20, 25-18, 25-18

In Dallas, Texas
June 29: France def. Italy, 29-31, 25-23, 25-18, 21-25, 15-12
June 29: USA def. Korea, 32-30, 26-24, 25-22
June 30: Italy def. Korea, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21, 27-29, 15-12
June 30: France def. USA, 25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13
July 1: France def. Korea, 25-19, 25-15, 25-17
July 1: USA def. Italy, 26-28, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17, 15-10

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