Serbia Stuns U.S. Men in World League Final Round
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 23, 2008) – The U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team could not find an answer for Serbia's Ivan Milijkovic, who had 16 points on 16 kills as Serbia surpassed the U.S. Men, 25-23, 25-19, 25-17, in an FIVB World League Final Round match on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Team USA, which won its World League pool with a 9-3 record to make it to the Final Round, must defeat Poland on Thursday (9:15 a.m. PDT) if it hopes to advance to a medal match. In the other pool play match on Wednesday, Brazil defeated Russia, 25-23, 25-18, 25-15. The top two teams from each pool will advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) led the U.S. effort on Wednesday with 10 points on eight kills and two blocks. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added nine points on nine kills. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and the only ace scored by either team in the match.
While Milijkovic pounded out the offense for Serbia, Marko Podrascanin helped keep the U.S. hitters at bay with a match-high five blocks. Serbia finished the match with 13 blocks as compared to five for the United States. Serbia was also credited with 42 digs as opposed to 27 for Team USA.
The U.S. Men had 32 kills on 84 attempts for 38 percent while Serbia converted 48 percent of its kill attempts to points.
Among the other U.S. scorers, Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) had five points on four kills and one block. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) scored three points on three kills. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), scored two points on two kills and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) each scored on one kill.
U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) tallied 30 running sets and 33 still sets on 64 attempts with one fault. Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with nine digs on 14 attempts and 14 “excellent” receptions with no faults on 27 attempts.
U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Priddy and Salmon at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite and Ball at setter with Lambourne at libero. Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) played as a substitute in the first set. Rooney entered the match as a substitute in the second set and Gardner and Touzinsky both saw time in the third set.
“The biggest disappointment to me is the fact that we did not play as a team,” Hoff said. “We need to recover the shape we had in the summer, when we were training.”
The United States got off to a strong start in the first set, taking a 12-9 lead and later leading 18-14. However Serbia went on a 5-1 run to tie the score at 19-19, then took a 21-20 lead before winning 25-23.
Buoyed by its victory, Serbia grabbed an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the second set, and increased it to 16-11 at the second TTO before breezing to the 25-19 set win.
The score was tied at 7-7 in the third set when Serbia went on an 8-1 scoring run to lead 15-8. The U.S. Men never threatened after that.
View the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/08WL_MNTMediaGuide.pdf.
The U.S. World League site is www.usavolleyball.org/national/08WL.asp.
The FIVB World League site is www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2008.
2008 FIVB World League Final Round
U.S. Men's Roster
1 Lloy Ball (S, 6-8, Fort Wayne, Ind., IPFW)
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)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
12 C Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (Opp, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Gabe Gardner (Opp, 6-9, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen
Assistant Coach: John Speraw
Team Doctor: Michael Wynn
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Schedule and Results (all times PDT)
July 23: Brazil def. Russia, 25-23, 25-18, 25-15
July 24: Japan vs. Russia, 6 a.m.
July 25: Brazil vs. Japan, 6 a.m.
July 23: Serbia def. USA, 25-23, 25-29, 25-17
July 24: USA vs. Poland, 9:15 a.m.
July 25: Poland vs. Serbia, 9:15 a.m.
Semifinals – July 26
6 a.m.: Pool F winner vs. Pool E second place
9:15 a.m.: Pool E winner vs. Pool F second place
Finals – July 27
5:30 a.m.: Bronze medal match
8:30 a.m.: Gold medal match