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US Men Gun Past Guatemala at Qualifier

By BJ Evans | May 16, 2014, 11:18 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 16, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team got good production from some new players and defeated a young Guatemala team, 25-12, 25-14, 25-16 on Friday at the NORCECA World Championship Qualification Third-Round Pool O Tournament at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Dan McDonnell attacks
   Dan McDonnell, right, attacks against Guatemala.

With the victory, the U.S. Men secured a slot in Sunday’s final match at 7 p.m. MT. They will complete pool play on Saturday against Haiti (1-1) at 7 p.m. MT. The tournament winner will qualify for the FIVB World Championship Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in six cities in Poland.

The U.S. Men led Guatemala in kills (42-24), blocks (8-2), aces (5-3) and digs (19-12). Four U.S. players scored in double figures while Guatemala, whose oldest player is 25 and youngest is 16, used 11 of its 12 players and had 10 score at least one point.

Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) led the U.S. Men with 14 points on 10 kills, three blocks and one ace. It was Holmes’ first match with the U.S. Men after not playing in 2013.

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“For me personally, it was a lot of fun to be out with the guys wearing the USA uniform again, especially because I didn’t compete last summer,” Holmes said. “I was really looking forward to being back with these guys and competing again.”

Outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.), playing his first match with the senior men’s team, scored 12 points on 10 attacks and a match-high two aces.

“Aaron Russell has done a really nice job,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “I think he has a really bright future with the U.S. Men.”

Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) totaled 10 points on eight attacks and two blocks. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added 10 points on nine attacks and one ace.

Middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) scored eight points on eight attacks. Setter Ryan Ammerman (Denver, Colo.) scored one point with a kill. He was credited with 11 running sets and helped the U.S. Men to a 65.6 kill percent.

“It’s fun for me to coach Ammerman because obviously we have a history together (at UC Irvine),” Speraw said. “This was probably our first match together since our Irvine days.”

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) was credited with seven digs and eight excellent receptions. Rooney led the team in excellent receptions with 16.

Speraw started Russell and Rooney at outside hitter, Holmes and McDonnell at middle blocker, Troy at opposite, Ammerman at setter and Shoji at libero and made no substitutions.

U.S. Men’s Roster for the NORCECA World Championship Qualifier
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2. Sean Rooney (OH, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine) 
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU) 
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State) 
5. Ryan Ammerman (S, 6-9, Denver, Colo., UC Irvine)
7. Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine) 
8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
18. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
19. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
20. Riley McKibbin (S, 6-2, Honolulu, Hawaii, USC)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coach: Matt Fuerbringer
Assistant Coach: Mike Wall
Team Manager: Andrea Becker
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Technical Coordinator: Anton Willert
Consultant Coach: Mike Sealy
Consultant Coach: Erik Sullivan

FIVB World Championship NORCECA Men’s Qualification Tournament Schedule (all times MT
Guatemala def. Haiti, 25-17, 25-20, 25-8
USA def. St. Lucia, 25-16, 25-12, 25-9
Haiti def. St. Lucia, 12-25, 25-23, 25-19, 30-28
USA def. Guatemala, 25-12, 25-14, 25-16
May 17: St. Lucia vs. Guatemala, 5 p.m.
May 17: USA vs. Haiti, 7 p.m.
May 18: Pool 3rd Place vs. Pool 4th Place, 5 p.m.
May 18: Pool 1st Place vs. Pool 2nd Place, 7 p.m.

FIVB World Championship NORCECA Women’s Qualification Tournament Schedule (all times MT)
Panama def. Honduras, 25-17, 20-25, 25-13, 25-16
USA def. Guatemala, 25-10, 25-18, 25-11
Guatemala def. Honduras, 25-19, 25-19, 25-27, 25-22
USA def. Panama, 25-16, 25-12, 25-9
May 17: Panama vs. Guatemala, 1 p.m.
May 17: USA vs. Honduras, 3 p.m.
May 18: Pool 3rd Place vs. Pool 4th Place, 1 p.m.
May 18: Pool 1st Place vs. Pool 2nd Place, 3 p.m.


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