UPDATED US Men to Play Cuba in Semifinals
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Phone: (719) 228-6800
The NORCECA Olympic Qualifier is being live streamed at usavlive.com. The gold medal match will not be streamed, and instead will be shown on NBC Sports Network at 3-5 p.m. ET on May 13.
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UPDATE: The U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team will play Cuba in the semifinals of the NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament at 8 p.m. PT on Friday at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach.
Cuba defeated Trinidad & Tobago in their quarterfinal match on Thursday, 25-18, 25-13, 25-16. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the other quarterfinal, 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 25-19 and will play Canada in Friday's other semifinal at 6 p.m. PT
LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 9, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will advance to the semifinals of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament after beating Mexico on Wednesday, 25-23, 25-19, 25-14.
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The U.S. Men won their pool with a 3-0 record and will await their opponent for Friday‘s semifinal. Mexico (2-1) will play Puerto Rico (1-2) in one of Thursday’s quarterfinals while Cuba (2-1) will play Trinidad & Tobago (1-2) in the other.
Canada (3-0), which scored an upset over Cuba in their final pool play match on Wednesday, will play in the other semifinal on Friday.
The U.S. Men got off to a slow start on Wednesday, but accelerated and finished the match leading Mexico in kills (40-31), blocks (8-4) and aces (6-3).
“I would like to congratulate Mexico for coming out ready to play,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “They put pressure on us early and often. We haven’t allowed teams to earn many points that teams don’t earn. I think we have room for improvement and things on video we can clean up on our day off tomorrow.”
U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) led all scorers with 14 points on 10 kills (58.8 kill percent, , three blocks and one ace.
"Mexico did a great job," Stanley said. "They are really scrappy and made a lot of great plays. We made a lot of little plays in the beginning that kept the game close especially in the first set with over passes and free balls. In the third set we opened that set up with service to put them in trouble spots."
Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 12 points on 10 attacks and two aces. Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) totaled 10 points on nine attacks and one block.
Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added seven points on four attacks and three blocks. Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) scored six points on six kills.
Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) scored two points on one kill and one block. Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and opposite Dave McKienzie each scored one point with an ace. Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) added one point with a block.
Suxho set the team to a 49.4 kill percent and a .370 hitting efficiency.
Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) had 13 of the team’s 43 digs. Stanley had nine. Lambourne was credited with 11 excellent receptions while Priddy led with 12.
Mexico’s Carlos Guerra produced a team-high 12 points and captain Gerardo Contreras added nine points.
Knipe started Priddy and Anderson at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Suxho at setter and Stanley at opposite. Lambourne is the United States’ designated libero.
Holmes took over for Millar in the second set and started the third. McKienzie, Salmon and Lotman all played as substitutes.
Mexico opened the first set fired up and took an 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). The U.S. Men got points off two kills by Anderson, one from Priddy and blocks from Millar and Lee. The U.S. led 16-15 at the second TTO. Mexico tied the score on a setter dump. Priddy responded with a kill and Stanley followed with an ace. The U.S. scored again on Mexico’s hitting error to lead 19-16. With the U.S. Men leading 22-18, Contreras scored on a kill and then took the serve, leading Mexico on a 4-0 run to tie the score at 22-22. Knipe called timeout and Stanley came back with a kill. The United States’ next hit went long to tie the score at 23-23. But an Anderson nailed an attack, and then combined with Stanley for a block for the set victory.
The U.S. led 8-6 at the first TTO of the second set, scoring on three Stanley attacks and one from Holmes. Mexico tied the score at 8-8, but Anderson responded with a kill and the U.S. went ahead 12-9. With the U.S. Men ahead 13-11, Stanley scored on a kill, then served for two more points to give the U.S. a 16-11 lead at the second TTO. With the U.S. still leading 17-12, Mexico scored with a tip then scored two more points on a block and U.S. error to pull to within two points at 17-15. The U.S. called timeout and Mexico’s next serve went into the net. The U.S. was leading 18-16 when Mexico served into the net. The U.S. scored two more points on an Anderson kill and block by Lee and Stanley to increase the lead to 21-16. The U.S. Men led 22-18 when Anderson used a kill and Stanley had a block to give the U.S. set point. Mexico scored with a kill before Priddy ended the set with an attack.
The U.S. Men jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set and led 8-2 at the first TTO. With the U.S. leading 9-3, Stanley scored on a kill and Priddy followed with an ace. Holmes had an attack to put the U.S. ahead 12-3 and Mexico called timeout. The U.S. kept up the pressure and led 16-7 at the second TTO. The U.S. Men never looked back as the won the set.
Clay Stanley Opening: My opinion of this match, Mexico, they did a great job. They are really scrappy and made a lot of great plays. We made a lot of little plays in the beginning that kept the game close especially in the first set with over passes and free balls. In the third set we opened that set up with service to put them in trouble spots. As far as our next two matches we need to clean those little things up, make better plays, stay focused, follow our offense and be consistent and not be so up and down.
Clay Stanley on facing better competition We need as many good matches as we can get. It is great that team Mexico put the pressure on us and it reminds us that going into the next competition of who your opponents are going to be.
Mexico Captain Gerardo Contreras Opening: I have to congratulate USA on their win. Like Clay said, they gave us a few things in the beginning to keep it close. Once USA settled down a little bit in the third set they took it away. It was great to share the court with players like USA. We see on the Mexico side that there is room for improvement and against Puerto Rico we will keep our hopes alive.
Alan Knipe: First of all I would like to congratulate Mexico for coming out ready to play. They put pressure on us early and often. We haven’t allowed teams to earn many points that teams don’t earn. I think we have room for improvement and things on video we can clean up on our day off tomorrow. Tonight we had our offense going and we served well, which has been consistent for our first three matches. That is certainly something positive, and the ability to settle down. We are going to have to play a little bit better on Friday and the guys know that. We will watch some video and be ready to go.
Coach Knipe on Canada I know that they have played well today. We have seen them at a few NORCECA’s and they played with a lot of energy and a lot of aggression. They have some big swings and big arms at the antennas, we will have a chance to get ready for them when that time comes. For right now we are focused on who we play Friday.
Mexico Head Coach Jorge Miguel Azair: Congratulations to Team USA, we are very happy for them. The first set I think we played very well, served well and we were able to withstand their service pressure. The truth is that physically they are superior to us, but we will forget that and tomorrow is a new opportunity, though not as difficult and I think we have a good chance and we will prepare for that.
2012 NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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)
9. Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10. Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
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)
21. David McKienzie (Opp, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
2012 NORCECA Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament Schedule (All times PT)
Schedule subject to change depending on U.S. finishes
Canada def. Dominican Republic, 25-21, 25-13, 25-15
Mexico def. Costa Rica, 25-17, 25-18, 25-20
Cuba def. Puerto Rico, 25-20, 25-18, 25-18
USA def. Trinidad & Tobago, 24-9, 25-10, 25-14
Cuba def. Dominican Republic, 25-15. 25-21, 25-15
Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-18, 19-25, 25-21, 25-22
Canada def. Puerto Rico, 25-19, 25-20, 25-13
USA def. Costa Rica, 25-14, 25-9, 25-9
Puerto Rico def. Dominican Republic, 25-15, 25-18, 25-16
Trinidad & Tobago def. Costa Rica, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19
Canada def. Cuba, 25-21, 25-17, 25-21
USA def. Mexico, 25-23, 25-19, 25-14
|3||Trinidad & Tobago||1-2||6|
1 p.m. Costa Rica vs. Mexico
3 p.m. Dominican Republic vs. Trinidad & Tobago
6 p.m. Canada vs. Puerto Rico
8 p.m. USA vs. Cuba
1 p.m. Seventh-place match
3 p.m. Fifth-place match
6 p.m. Third-place match
8 p.m. Championship