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U.S. Men's Update: 2012 Training Block Begins

March 08, 2012, 6:16 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. (March 8, 2012) – The 2012 training block for the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team began Feb. 27 in Anaheim, Calif., Official Host City of the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams.

The following players are training at the American Sports Centers:

Antwain Aguillard (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Jordan Dufault (Lakewood, Colo.)
Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.)
Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.)
Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.)
Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.)
Matt Rawson (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Riley Salmon (League City, Texas)
Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.)
Cory Yoder (San Clemente, Calif.)
Austin Zahn (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)

Practices at the American Sports Centers (1500 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, Calif.) are free and open to the public. Visitors are asked to contact Gary Moy or Gary Mathews to make arrangements.

2012 Summer Update

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will host two major events this summer.

On May 7-12, the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament will be played at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. The winter of this tournament will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

All-tournament passes are now on sale for the qualifier. For more information, click here.

On June 29-July 1, the U.S. Men will welcome Italy, France and Korea for an FIVB World League weekend at the Dallas Convention Center Arena. It is the final weekend

Discounted tickets are now available for the weekend. For more information, click here.

CEV Cups

Two teams with U.S. players have advanced to the semifinals of the CEV Champions League.

Turkey’s Arkas Izmir, which includes U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), needed a golden set win to defeat U.S. middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) and visiting Lokomotiv Novosibirsk of Russia,  on March 1. Novosibirsk had swept the first meeting between the two teams. But in Turkey, Izmir won the match, 25-27, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-14 and then took the deciding golden set, 15-11.

Hansen started all five sets of the match and scored two points on one kill and one block. He set the team to a 44.4 kill percent and a .400 hitting efficiency. Millar was one of the leading scorers for his team with 20 points on 13 attacks (100 kill percent and 1.00 hitting efficiency) and a match-high seven blocks.

U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and his Russian Super League team Zenit Kazan won their second six-team playoff match over U.S. middle blocker Matt Denmark (Edmond, Okla.) and the host German team VfB Friedrichshafen, 25-21, 25-21, 26-24 on Feb. 28.

Priddy started the third set for Kazan and scored one point on one kill. Denmark started the first set and substituted in the second two, scoring one point on one block.

To view photos from both Champions League matches, click here.

In the semifinals on March 17, Izmir will play host PGE Skra Belchatow of Poland. Kazan will face Italy’s Trentino PlanetWin365

Champions League matches are broadcast live at www.laola1.tv and can also be viewed after they are played.

U.S. coach Shawn Patchell and his Swiss club team Lausanne University Club was eliminated from the CEV Challenge Cup after two losses to Belgium’s Prefaxis Menen. Lausanne includes U.S. outside hitter Andrew Stewart (Sandy, Utah) and opposite Evan Romero (Miami Lakes, Fla.).

On Feb. 29, Lausanne lost its second match to Menen, 25-21, 25-18, 25-11. Stewart led the team with 13 points on 12 attacks (52.2 kill percent, .435 hitting efficiency) and one block. Romero added eight points on five kills and three blocks.

ITALY

U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and his Italian Serie A League team Copra Elior Piacenza have now won seven matches in a row.

On March 4, Piacenza took a 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 victory over U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Acqua Paradis Monza Brianza. Holt scored eight points on five attacks (71.4 kill percent, .571 hitting efficiency), two blocks and one ace for Piacenza.  Rooney scored nine points on seven kills (38.9 kill percent) and two blocks.

On March 7, Piacenza defeated U.S. middle blocker Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and CMC Ravenna, 21-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-8. Holt scored 10 points on three attacks, three blocks and a match-high four aces. Brunner was one of his team’s scoring leaders with 12 points on seven attacks (58.3 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency), three blocks and two aces.

Piacenza is in seventh place in the league while Monza Brianza is in sixth and Ravenna is in 14th.

U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and Sisley Belluno have moved into fourth place in the league. On March 4 they scored a big win over third-place Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-20.

Suxho scored four points on two kills and two blocks and set his team to a 57.9 kill percent and a .514 hitting efficiency.

On March 7, Belluno beat U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Casa Modena, 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18. Suxho scored six points on two kills, two blocks and two aces and also set Belluno to a 42.6 kill percent and a .337 hitting efficiency. Anderson finished with 14 points on 13 attacks (38.2 kill percent) and one block.

On March 3, U.S. opposite Even Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and U.S. setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) combined to help Energy Resources San Giustino defeat Anderson and Modena, 25-20, 18-25, 28-26, 34-32.

Patak finished with 11 points on eight attacks (33.3 kill percent) and a match-high three aces. McKibbin started the entire match for San Giustino, scoring two points on two kills and setting the team to a 54.4 kill percent and a .476 hitting efficiency.

Anderson scored 16 points for Modena on 15 kills (53.6 kill percent, .464 hitting efficiency) and one block. Modena is in fifth place in the league while San Giustino is in 12th.

On March 7, Patak and McKibbin helped San Giustino sweep Marmi Lanza Verona, 25-23, 25-21, 26-24. Patak finished with five points on five kills while McKibbin scored one point with a block and set the team to a 56.3 kill percent and .513 hitting efficiency.

Andreoli Latina, which includes U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and U.S. middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.), fell to Lube Banca Marche Macerata on March 4, 25-16, 21-25, 25-19, 25-18.

Troy played as a substitute in the match and scored one point on a kill. Hein was not on the roster.

On March 7, Latina fell to Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22. Troy played as a substitute and scored two points on two attacks. Latina is in ninth place in the league.

RUSSIA

U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and Zenit Kazan along with U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Dinamo Moscow have advanced to the semifinals of the Russian Super League playoffs while U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Ural Ufa will play for fifth place.

Priddy and Kazan won a best two-out-of-three playoff series over Gazprom Surgut while Lee and Moscow took two wins over Lokomotiv Charkov.

On March 8, Priddy and Kazan defeated Surgut, 21-25, 25-21, 37-35, 19-25, 16-14. Priddy started the third and fourth sets and scored nine points on eight attacks (50.0 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency) and one block.

On March 7, Lee and Moscow beat Charkov, 26-24, 25-23, 22-25, 25-17. Lee scored five points on four kills and one block.

Ball and Ufa fell in two matches to Lokomotiv Novosibirsk. Novosibirsk was the team of Ryan Millar, but he is not competing in the playoffs as he was only used for the Champions League competition.

FRANCE

U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and his French league team Tours have gone 2-1 in their last three matches and have also advanced to the semifinals of the French Cup where they will play Rennes on March 10.

Most recently, on March 6, Cannes defeated host Sete, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21. Smith started the first two sets and scored seven points, including two blocks.

U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and his French league team Cannes have gone 2-1 in their last three matches. Most recently, on March 6, Cannes fell to Nantes Reze, 25-21, 25-22, 29-27. Tarr led his team with 12 points on nine attacks and three blocks.

On Feb. 25, Cannes defeated Tourcoing, including U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.), 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22.

Tarr scored 12 points on 12 attacks. Jablonsky started three sets and scored eight points on eight attacks. Winder started the first two sets and substituted in the next two, scoring two points and helping set the team to a 45.9 kill percent.

On March 3, Tourcoing came back to defeat Montpellier, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21. Jablonsky led his team with 22 point on 19 attacks and three blocks. Winder played as a substitute and scored one point.

Tours is in second place in the league while Cannes is fifth and Tourcoing is seventh.

GERMANY

Playoffs in the German league begin March 10.

U.S. middle blocker Matt Denmark (Edmond, Okla.) and the German team VfB Friedrichshafen finished the regular season in second place and also won the German Cup.

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), finished the regular season in third.

In its final match of the regular season on Feb. 25, Friedrichshafen fell to CV Mitteldeutschlan, 26-28, 25-21, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11. Denmark started all five sets and scored eight points on six attacks and two blocks.

Berlin will face the Netzhoppers KW-Bestensee in the first round of playoffs while Friedrichshafen will take on evivo Düren.

POLAND

The playoffs in the Polish league begin March 9.

U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and his Polish PlusLiga team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów finished the season in third place.

In their final match of the regular season on March 2, Resovia Rzeszów swept U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Jastrzębski Węgiel, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22.

Lotman played as a substitute and scored four points on two kills, one block and one ace. Holmes started all three sets and scored four points on four attacks.

In the first round of playoffs, Resovia Rzeszów will take on Tytan AZS Częstochowa. Węgiel will play Delecta Bydgoszcz.

TURKEY

U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and his Turkish League team Arkas Izmir Spor swept Sivas 4 Eylul Belediye, 27-25, 25-19, 25-19 on March 4.

Hansen started all three sets and scored one point on a kill. He also set the team to a 43.0 kill percent and a .360 hitting efficiency.

Arkas Spor is in fourth place in the league.

U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Istanbul B.B. defeated Çankaya Belediyesi-Anka on March 4, 25-20, 25-22, 25-20. Billings started the first set and substituted in the third, scoring six points on six attacks.

Istanbul is in sixth place in the league.

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.), has hit a rough patch, losing its last four matches.

Most recently on March 6, Loimu Raision fell to Lentopalloseura Etta, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17.

Budinger led the team with 20 points on 16 attacks (45.7 kill percent, .314 hitting efficiency), two blocks and two aces. Muagututia added six points on five kills and one ace. Watten was credited with 15 receptions, 67 percent positive.

Loimu is in eighth place in the league.

SPAIN

U.S. outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) was one of the scoring leaders for him Spanish league team Unicaja Almeria as it swept Voley Guada on March 3.

Menzel finished with 13 points on 12 kills (54.5 kill percent, .500 hitting efficiency) and one ace.

Almeria is in third place in the league. It will play its final regular season match on March 10.

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