U.S. Men's Team Update - Oct. 21, 2008
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
It has been almost two months since the U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team defeated Brazil to win the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. After a whirlwind of media and celebrations, team members are now playing with their international club teams.
Here is a rundown of how the players are doing on their teams:
Six players from the U.S. Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team are playing in the 12-team Russian Superliga.
Setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.), who was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 World League final round, and opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i), who was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 Olympic tournament, are playing for Zenit Kazan.
Following matches played on Oct. 15, Kazan is in a four-way tie for third place in the standings. Its next match will be Oct. 22 against Iskra Odintsovo, which currently leads the standings with a 3-0 record. Kazan lost to Dynamo Moscow, the defending Russian league champion, in its last match and has a 2-1 record. Stanley scored 15 points, including four aces, against Moscow.
View Ball’s Russian photo gallery at http://www.zenit-kazan.com/eng/media/photo/?id_players=9.
View Stanley’s Russian photo gallery at http://www.zenit-kazan.com/eng/media/photo/?id_players=13.
Also in that four-way tied for third at 2-1 is Ural Ufa, which features U.S. opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.). Gardner scored 11 points on nine kills and two blocks in Ufa’s 3-0 victory over Yaroslavich Yaroslavl in their match on Oct. 15.
Sitting in second place with a 3-0 in the Russian Superliga is Fakel Novy Urengoi, which includes U.S. Men’s team players Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.).
Both players started and played in all five sets in Fakel’s 3-2 victory over Gazprom-Ugra Surgut on Oct. 15. Rooney scored 11 points on eight kills and three blocks. Hansen had four points on two kills, once ace and one block.
View photos of Hansen and Rooney from their last match at http://www.fakelvolley.ru/photo1_20082009/l_ph05.htm.
Finally, U.S. Men’s outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) plays for Lokomotiv Novosibirsk in Siberia, which is tied for seventh place with a 1-2 record. Priddy scored 17 points on 13 kills, one block and three aces in Novosibirsk’s victory on Oct. 15 over NOVA Novokuibyshevsk.
View photos from Priddy’s last match at http://www.lokovolley.ru/en/photo/Foto3en/.
Both Novosibirsk and Kazan have qualified for the final four of the Russian Cup, which will be played Nov. 28-30.
Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) are in Turkey and playing together on ?stanbul Büyük?ehir Belediyesi, which is 1-1 in the Turkish league. Most recently, Millar had 12 points and Touzinsky had eight as Istanbul defeated SGK, 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-22) on Oct. 18. Millar led all players with four blocks. Touzinsky had three aces. SGK featured another U.S. player, Matthew Proper (Meadville, Pa.), who had three points.
Outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) is also playing in Turkey for Ziraat Bankas?. However he returned to the United States for the birth of his son and has not yet played in a match for Ziraat, which is 2-0 in the Turkish league.
Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) is playing for Trenkwalder Modena in Italy’s Serie A League. Modena is 2-2 so far this season. On Oct. 18, Lee scored seven points, all on kills, as Modena fell 2-3 to Sisley Treviso. Lee was credited with eight blocks in Modena’s 3-2 victory over Marmi Lanza Verona earlier this season.
The team is coached by Andrea Giani, who is being inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame this weekend.
U.S. Team Captain Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) is on the 18-man roster for Olympiakos Piraeus in Greece but has not played in a match.