U.S. Men Hope to Hold on to First Place

June 20, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

 Sean Rooney attacks against France during their match on June 17 in Lyon

 

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

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 20, 2012) – A three-match sweep of FIVB World League matches in Lyon, France has left the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team in first place in Pool C, ahead of France, Italy and Korea.

But it’s not like the team can relax as it heads into the third weekend of 2012 World League pool play on June 22-24 in Gwangju, Korea. The U.S. Men will play Italy on Friday, France on Saturday and Korea on Sunday. Each match will be at 12:30 a.m. PT.

A disappointing first World League weekend in Italy on May 18-20 left the U.S. Men in third place with a 1-2 record.

But at the halfway point of pool play, the U.S. Men and France have identical records at 4-2 with 11 points. However, the U.S. is in first place by virtue of its set ratio.

Italy, which did not play its usual starting rotation in France, went 0-3 and is in third place at 3-3, but has nine points and could easily make up ground. Korea is in fourth place at 1-5 with five points and has proven that it is a threat by beating Italy in France and by taking the U.S. Men to five sets during the first weekend in Italy.

In other words, a trip to the Final Round on July 4-8 in Sofia, Bulgaria is still up for grabs. The four winning pool teams plus Bulgaria and the best second-place team will go to the Final Round. Poland, in Pool B, which has completed pool play, has already secured one of those slots and Brazil, which finished in second place in Pool B with an 8-4 record and 26 points finished second.

But the U.S. Men are not as concerned about other pools or even other teams as they are about their side of the net.

John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.), who recently announced he was leaving as head coach of UC Irvine’s men’s volleyball team to take the same position at UCLA, will continue to serves as the U.S. Men’s head coach in Korea as Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) continues to attend to a family issue.

Speraw got good performances from outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), who both started all three matches in France.

“A lot of teams took the opportunity to play with young guys,” Speraw said. “Obviously we did too, for example with Sean Rooney and he played very well. That’s very good for us. We also had nice contribution of guys from the bench.”

The roster will be adjusted somewhat for Korea, as outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) have joined the team and middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) and outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) have departed.

Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) has been the United States’ leading scorer and is 15th among all World League players with 91 points on 75 kills, 11 blocks and five aces. Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) has been the team’s best blocker and third among all World League players with 18 blocks and an average of .78 per set.

Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) leads the team in aces and is sixth among all World League players with eight aces and an average of .35 per set.

Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) is now third among all setters with 158 assists and an average of 6.87 assists per set.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) is fourth among all liberos. He is fourth among diggers with 55 and an average of 2.39 per set. He is fourth among receivers with 74 excellent receptions and an efficiency percent of 57.1.

The FIVB World League is the premier annual international men’s volleyball tournament in which 16 of the top national teams in the world compete for a prize purse in excess of $1 million (the overall winning team receives $1 million, but there are additional monetary prizes for each match victory and for a pool victory).

The four pool winners plus host Bulgaria and the best second-place team will advance to the World League Final Round in Sofia on July 4-8.

To reach the FIVB World League web site, click here.



To reach the USA Volleyball World League web site, click here.



U.S. World League 14-Player Roster for June 15-17 in Lyon, France

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)

15. Gabe Gardner (Opp, 6-8, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)

17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)

20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)

21. David McKienzie (Opp, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)

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.)

Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)



U.S. World League Schedule/Results

(All times PT unless noted)



Rk

Team

Points

Matches

Sets

Points

Played

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Ratio

Won

Lost

Ratio

1

USA

11

6

4

2

13

10

1.300

520

525

0.990

2

FRA

11

6

4

2

14

11

1.273

579

546

1.060

3

ITA

9

6

3

3

12

12

1.000

551

553

0.996

4

KOR

5

6

1

5

11

17

0.647

610

636

0.959

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 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 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

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