U.S. Men's Update: Priddy, Kazan Victorious

March 22, 2012, 7:29 p.m. (ET)

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

To view the 2011 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team Yearbook, click here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 22, 2012) – Zenit Kazan, the Russian Super League team of U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) won the 2012 CEV Champions League with a 25-15, 16-25, 22-25, 26-24, 17-15 victory over Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow on March 18.

Priddy started the fourth and fifth sets of the final and scored three points on three attacks.

Turkey’s Arkas Izmir, which includes U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), finished fourth.

In the third-place match, Izmir fell to Italy’s Trentino PlanetWin365, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19. Hansen started all three sets and scored two points on two kills while setting his team to a 45.0 kill percent and a .325 hitting efficiency.

In the March 17 semifinals, Kazan defeated Trentino, 31-33, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17. Priddy did not play in the match. Belchatow beat Izmir, 25-23, 25-21, 28-26. Hansen started all three sets, scoring four points on four blocks and setting the team to a 35.4 kill percent and a .268 hitting efficiency.

Champions League matches can be viewed after they are played at www.laola1.tv.

In the CEV Cup finals, U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and the Russian Super League team Dinamo Moscow will face Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, the Polish PlusLiga team of U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) in two matches, one home and one away.

In the semifinals, Lee and Moscow got past U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Acqua Paradis Monza Brianza thanks to a golden set. While Monza Brianza won its home match on March 14, it fell to Moscow on March 18 in Russia, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-22. Moscow won the golden set 15-13.

Lee scored six points on five kills and one block in the match. Rooney played as a substitute for Monza Brianza and three points on three attacks.

Lotman did not play in Resovia Rzeszów’s second semifinal match, a 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 victory over host Slovenia’s ACH Volley Ljubljana.

The finals will be played March 28 in Poland and April 1 in Russia.

To view photos from all CEV tournament matches, click here.

OLYMPIC QUALIFIER TICKETS

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

All tickets are now on sale. For more information, click here.

FRANCE

U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and his French league team Tours moved into first place in the French league with a 22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 26-24, 15-12 victory over Ajaccio on March 20.

Smith was Tours’ second-leading scorer with 17 points on eight attacks, a match-high six blocks and three aces.

U.S. outside hitter Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) and Cannes have moved into fourth place in the league thanks to a 25-21, 25-22, 25-20 victory over Paris on March 20. Tarr finished with 10 points on eight attacks and two blocks.

Tourcoing, the French league team that includes U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.), has moved up into sixth place following a 25-23, 29-31, 29-27, 27-25 win over Beauvais.

Winder started all four sets and scored four points, including an ace. He set the team to a 46.0 kill percent. Jablonsky started the first two sets and finished with nine points on nine attacks.

The French league will play its final regular season matches on March 24.

ITALY

With two weekends left in the Italian Serie A League, teams are fighting to be sure they are in the top 12, which will participate in the league playoffs, while the last two teams are sent to the A2 league.

U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) and Sisley Belluno are in fourth place, but lost on March 22 to league-leading Itas Diatec Trentino, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22. Suxho scored two points on two kills and set the team to a 50.0 kill percent and a .419 hitting efficiency.

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Casa Modena are in fifth place. On March 18, Modena defeated Marmi Lanza Verona, 25-22, 33-31, 22-25, 25-17. Anderson finished with 13 points on 12 kills (41.4 kill percent, .310 hitting efficiency) and one block. He was credited with 17 receptions, 65 percent positive.

U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Copra Elior Piacenza are in sixth place and took a 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 victory over M. Roma Volley on March 17. Holt scored eight points on two attacks, a match-high five blocks and one ace.

U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Acqua Paradis Monza Brianza are in seventh place and are suffering a five-match losing streak. On March 21, they fell to Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21. Rooney started the first two sets and played as a substitute in the third. He scored five points on three attacks, one block and one ace.

U.S. opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) and Andreoli Latina are in eighth place. U.S. middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) has left Latina to join Fidia Padova, which defeated Latina on March 18, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 15-7.

Hein substituted in the second set and started the third, fourth and fifth, finishing with five points on four kills and one block. Troy started the first three sets and substituted in the fourth, finishing with 13 points on 11 kills (44.0 kill percent, .320 hitting efficiency), one block and one ace. Padova sits in 13th place in the league.

U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.), U.S. setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Energy Resources San Giustino are on the bubble in 12th place. The team lost to second-place Lube Banca Marche Macerata on March 18, 25-23, 25-20, 24-26, 25-20.

Patak scored 12 points on 12 attacks. McKibbin started the first two sets and scored two points on two kills.

POLAND

U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów have advanced to the semifinals of the Polish league playoffs after winning three straight matches over Tytan AZS Częstochowa.

U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Jastrzębski Węgiel have also advanced to the semifinals, after winning the series against Delecta Bydgoszcz, 3-1.

After going 1-1 in Bydgoszcz, Węgiel came back to win two straight matches at home to advance. On March 21, Węgiel won 26-28, 22-25, 25-20, 26-24, 16-14. Holmes scored 16 points on 11 attacks (84.6 kill percent, .846 hitting efficiency), three blocks and two aces.

On March 22, Węgiel won 25-23, 21-25, 25-20, 25-18. Holmes had a standout performance with match-highs of five blocks and four aces to go with his four kills for 13 points.

GERMANY

The German league team Berlin Recycling Volleys, including U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), are playing U.S. middle blocker Matt Denmark (Edmond, Okla.) and VfB Friedrichshafen in a best-of-five league semifinal series.

In the first match on March 21, Friedrichshafen came out on top, 25-20, 25-16, 23-25, 27-25. Denmark played as a substitute and scored one point on a block. Touzinsky started all four sets and scored 11 points on 11 attacks. Shoji started the first two sets and scored two points on two kills.

The next match will be played March 25.

TURKEY

U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Istanbul B.B. defeated Niksar Belediyespor, 25-13, 25-17, 25-14 on March 21.

Billings led his team with 10 points on nine attacks (69.2 kill percent, .615 hitting efficiency) and one block.

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.), fell to Hurrikaani-Loimaa in the first round of the league playoffs and has finished its season.

In the final match on March 19, Hurrikaani-Loimaa won 25-22, 25-21, 12-25, 25-16. Budinger led his team with 19 points on 17 attacks (50.0 kill percent, .353 hitting efficiency), one block and one ace. Muagututia added 13 points on nine kills, three blocks and one ace. He was credited with 28 receptions, 71 percent positive.

Watten was credited with 15 receptions, 67 percent positive.

SPAIN

U.S. outside hitter Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and his Spanish league team Unicaja Almeria are 1-1 in the best-of-five league semifinals against Ciudad del Medio Ambiente Soria.

On March 17, visiting Almeria defeated Ciudad del Medio Ambiente Soria, 25-22, 16-25, 25-18, 29-27. Menzel scored 16 points on 13 attacks (44.8 kill percent, .379 hitting efficiency) and three aces.

On March 18, host Ciudad del Medio Ambiente Soria struck back with a 25-19, 25-22, 15-18 victory. Menzel led his team with 16 points on 15 attacks (55.5 kill percent, .481 hitting efficiency) and one block.

Almeria will host the next two matches on March 23 and 24.

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