Anderson Leads US Men Past Korea in France
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 16, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team rode a strong performance by outside hitter Matt Anderson to a 22-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-16 pool play victory over Korea on Saturday in an FIVB World League match played in Lyon, France.
The U.S. Men (3-2) will play host France (3-1) on Sunday (June 17) at 9 a.m. PT.
Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led the U.S. Men on Saturday with 21 points with 14 attacks (50.0 kill percent, .429 hitting efficiency), a match-high six blocks and one ace. He also led the team in excellent receptions with 21 on 34 attempts.
The blocking proved to be a key as the U.S. led Korea in blocks, 14-7. Korea led in attacks, 60-54 while the U.S. held a 3-2 edge in aces. The United States also scored on 28 Korea errors while committing only 20.
“I’m always satisfied to win but I think we have to play better tomorrow if we want to win against France,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) said in an FIVB press release. “Our defense was not very good but of course Korea plays well in defense. Chul-Woo Park played fantastic volleyball. The third set was the key point of the match.”
Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) served as U.S. team captain for the match as usual captain Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) took the evening off.
“Korea is a very good team, very tactical, so we had a difficult game,” Suxho said. “Korea never gave up and played incredible balls. So we stayed together and it worked because we stayed in-system.”
Among other U.S. scorers, outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) finished with 11 points on 10 kills (50.0 kill percent, .400 hitting efficiency) and one ace.
Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) scored 10 points on eight kills and two blocks. Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) added 10 points on seven attacks and three blocks. Opposite Dave McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) scored 10 points on nine attacks (56.3 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency) and one ace.
Opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) totaled five points on five attacks. Setter Donald Suxho added three points on three blocks and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) scored a point with a kill.
Suxho was credited with 44 assists and no errors. He set the U.S. Men to an overall kill percent of 56.3 and a hitting efficiency of .458. Korea’s kill percent was 53.6 and its hitting efficiency was .348.
U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) led the team in digs with seven and was also credited with 16 excellent receptions.
Korea’s Chul-Woo Park led all scorers with 24 points on 23 kills and one ace.
Speraw, who is filling in for Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) while he deals with a family issue, started Anderson and Rooney at outside hitter, Millar and Smith at middle blocker, Gardner at opposite, Suxho at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.
McKienzie substituted for Gardner in the second set and started the third and fourth. Lotman and middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) played as substitutes.
The U.S. took a 10-7 lead in the first set as Smith and Gardner each scored two points with two kills. Rooney added a block and kill and Suxho scored on a block. Korea came back to tie the score at 12-12. The U.S. again held a three-point lead at 19-16, but Korea scored three points in a row to tie the score and, after a U.S. timeout, took a 20-19 lead on a Hong-Suk Choi kill. With the score tied 21-21, Korea scored three points in a row on two kills and an ace. Anderson came back with a kill, but Korea won the set on a kill.
Korea held an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the second set and still led by two at 14-12 when the U.S. scored three straight points on a kill and ace by McKienzie and a Millar kill to lead 15-14. The two teams battled back and forth. With the score tied at 20-20, Anderson and Rooney each scored with a kill. Korea came back with a point, but kills by Rooney and Anderson gave the U.S. set point. Korea came back with two straight points before Millar won the set for the U.S. with a kill.
Korea led 8-6 at the first TTO of the third set and extended the lead to 10-6. The U.S. came back with a McKienzie kill and a kill and block from Millar to pull within one. Korea increased the lead to three at 14-11 and still led by three at 20-17 when the U.S. scored three straight points on a Korea error and attacks from Smith and Anderson to tie the score. Korea reached set point first at 24-23, but Millar tied it with a kill. Korea reached set point again at 25-24, but McKienzie tied it with a kill. Two straight blocks from Anderson gave the U.S. the victory.
The U.S. Men jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the fourth set. The run included three attacks by Rooney , an attack and three blocks from Smith, a kill and block from Rooney and a block by Suxho. The U.S. increased its lead to five at 15-5. Korea could not put together more than two points in a row. The U.S. reached match point at 24-15. Korea scored one more point on a U.S. error before the U.S. won the match on Korea’s serving error.
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
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)
9. Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
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)
15. Gabe Gardner (Opp, 6-8, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
16. Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, 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)
U.S. World League Schedule/Results
(All times PT unless noted)
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 17 at 9 a.m. USA vs. France
In Gwangju, Korea
June 22 at 12:30 a.m. USA vs. Italy
June 23 at 12:30 a.m. USA vs. France
June 24 at 12:30 a.m. USA vs. Korea
In Dallas, Texas – BUY TICKETS
June 29 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. Korea
June 30 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. France
July 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. Italy