LONDON (July 31, 2012) – The U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team defeated Germany 25-23, 25-16, 25-20 on Tuesday afternoon during an Olympic Games Pool B match at Earls Court in London.
Team USA, ranked fifth in the world and the defending Olympic Games champion, improved to 2-0 with six points in Pool B. The Americans continues Pool B on Thursday against Brazil at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT). Team USA, with three Olympic Games titles to its credit, has now won 10 straight matches in Olympic Games competition.
Less than a month ago, Germany edged out Team USA in a five-set thriller during the FIVB World League Final Round pool play. However, the Americans bounced back in that that tournament and finished with the silver medal.
After falling behind 4-0 in the first set, the U.S. scored the next four points and the rest of tight with no team leading by more than two points. Team USA scored the final three points of the set to rally from a 23-22 deficit to win 25-23. The Americans pushed out to a 17-11 lead in the second set on a 6-1 run and closed out the set with the final four points for a 25-16 victory. Team USA separated from Germany in the third set with a 5-1 scoring run to take a 14-8 lead, then expanded its advantage to 21-14 late before holding off Germany down the stretch for a 25-20 victory.
“Tonight was a completely different feel than the last match where we got off to a really good start on the scoreboard,” U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team Head Coach Alan Knipe said. “Tonight, (Germany) got behind the end line and served well and right out of the gate got us down. I thought our guys did a really good job of staying composed and getting the side out we needed after the time out. My comment to them was that we didn’t need to get it all back in one serve, and then Clay went and got it all back in one serve.”
Clay Stanley (Honolulu) collected a Team USA-high 16 points with 13 kills on 18 attacks, two aces and a block. Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) contributed 11 kills on 20 attacks, three aces and a block for 15 points. Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) turned in five kills on seven attacks with four blocks for nine points. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) pocketed seven kills and an ace for eight points, which was matched by David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) as he had five kills on eight attacks and three blocks. Donald Suxho Korce, Albania) rounded out the scoring with two blocks.
Suxho tallid 35 running sets on 58 assist attempts leading to a 56.2 kill percent and .438 hitting efficiency (41-9-73). Anderson provided 17 excellent receptions on 24 attempts, while Suxho was the U.S. leader in digs with five.
“They tested us pretty well in the first set,” Anderson said. “We relied on each other heavily and it was good. We have a lot of trust in each other.”
Knipe started Priddy and Anderson at outside hitter, Lee and Holmes at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite and Suxho at setter. Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) is the designated libero for the tournament. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) was a sub in all three sets, while David McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) was a sub in the first and third sets.
The U.S. held a commanding 11-4 block advantage in the match and held a 6-4 margin in aces. Germany managed a slim 25-22 edge in digs and 27-26 cushion in excellent receptions. However, Team USA’s 53.1 excellent reception percent was better than Germany’s 44.3 percent. Further, the U.S. limited Germany to a 37.0 kill percent and .161 hitting efficiency (30-17-81).
“It was good, but wasn't clean all the time,” Priddy said about the match. “We worked together and worked hard, as well as showing a lot of composure. I’m quite happy, it's not going to look perfect all the time.”
Germany was led by Grorgy Grozer’s 12 points as he was the only player in double-digit scoring.
“They are a great team with great serves, which put us in a lot of trouble often snowballing into more mistakes,” Priddy said of Germany after the match.
“I think they played very good in all elements, especially in block and defense,” Germany’s Sebastian Schwartz said.
According to Priddy, the team is not looking too far into the future, which proved to 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).”
In preparation for Brazil in its next match, the U.S. will focus on itself and not its opponent from the 2008 Olympic Games gold-medal match.
“We’re going to go back and it’s going to be video on us, not on Brazil,” Knipe said. “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.”
In other Pool B matches, Serbia (3 points, 1-1) stopped Tunisia (0 points, 0-2) 25-15, 25-21, 20-25, 25-18, while Brazil (3 points, 1-0) concludes the day’s competition against Russia (3 points, 1-0) at 10 p.m. local time (2 p.m. PT). In the opposite pool, Bulgaria (6 points, 2-0) upset Poland (3 points, 1-1) 25-22, 29-27, 13-25, 25-23 and Italy (3 points, 1-1) edged Argentina (3 points, 1-1) 25-17, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23. Later today Great Britain (0 points, 0-1) hosts Australia (0 points, 0-1).
The U.S. found itself in an early 4-0 hole to start the first set capped by an ace leading into a timeout. After a Germany service error, Stanley served two aces and Germany hit into the net to knot the score at 4-all. Stanley put the U.S. in front with a back-row kill at 5-4. Team USA went into the first technical timeout leading 8-6 on consecutive Germany errors. Out of the break Germany evened the score at 8-all with consecutive points. Anderson notched a kill and ace to yield an 11-9 advantage going into a Germany timeout. Out of the break, Stanley hit a winner to extend the margin to 12-9. Three consecutive Team USA errors leveled the score at 12-all. Priddy hammered a kill and Holmes stuffed a Germany attack on a wicked Stanley serve to push the U.S. in front 15-13. Germany came back to tie the set at 20-all leading into a Team USA timeout, then regained the lead at 22-21. The U.S. regained the lead at 24-23 with an Anderson kill and Lee block to reach set point first. Anderson hammered the winner off the block at 25-23, his team-leading eighth point of the set. Stanley added seven points with five-of-seven hitting.
The U.S. gained the first two-point cushion of the second set at 7-5 with an Anderson kill and Lee block. Holmes picked up consecutive kills to extend the lead to 11-8 at a Germany timeout. Out of the break Germany responded with back-to-back points to narrow the deficit to 11-10. Team USA responded with a Holmes block, Germany attack error and Priddy ace at 14-10 leading to a Germany timeout. Anderson smacked a kill off the block after a Germany service error to reach the second technical timeout leading 16-11. Out of the break Priddy found open space for a kill at 17-11. Germany sliced two points off the deficit at 18-14. However, Stanley spiked a winner and Anderson served up an ace lifting the U.S. to a 20-14 lead. Suxho put up consecutive blocks after a Germany service error to extend the American lead to 24-16. Priddy ended the set quickly with a spike at 25-16. Stanley totaled five points in the second set to lead the Americans, who had three aces in the period.
The U.S. started the third set quickly with a Priddy kill following a Germany error for a 2-0 lead. Germany tied the set at 3-all following a miraculous diving save to keep the ball in play that landed for a kill. The U.S. answered with an Anderson kill after a Germany service error at 5-3. Team USA reached the first technical timeout leading 8-5 following an Anderson kill and Germany service error. Team USA stretched the lead to 11-7 with a Priddy kill and Holmes block forcing a Germany timeout. Out of the break Holmes added another block to inch the lead to 12-7. Stanley and Anderson hit consecutive kills to push the margin to 14-8, only to have Germany answer with two quick points to creep to 14-10. The U.S. reached the second technical timeout leading 16-10 thanks to a service and attack error by Germany. The Germans closed to 17-13 with back-to-back points. However, Germany called its last timeout down 20-14 following a Stanley kill and Anderson ace. Out of the break Lee put up a block for a third straight point at 21-14. The U.S. added the advantage at 23-15 with a Lee kill and Germany attack error. Germany saved two set point and match points, including an ace that prompted Knipe to call timeout with his lead shrunk to 24-18. Out of the break, Germany served another two aces to close to 24-20 for three in a row. Out of a second Team USA timeout, Germany served into the net to close the set at 25-20.
2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team
# - Name (Position, Ht, 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.)
Bulgaria (6 points, 2-0)
Argentina (3 points, 1-1)
Poland (3 points, 1-1)
Italy (3 points 1-1)
Australia (0 points, 0-1)
Great Britain (0 points, 0-1)
USA (6 points, 2-0)
Brazil (3 points, 1-0)
Russia (3 points, 1-0)
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: Great Britain vs. Australia, 8 p.m.
July 31: Brazil vs. Russia, 10 p.m.
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.