Russia Ends U.S. Men's World League Campaign

July 23, 2009, 4:16 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 23, 2009) – The U.S. Men’s National Team ended its 2009 World League campaign on Thursday with a 0-3 (22-25, 22-25, 23-25) loss to Russia at Beogradska Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.

The U.S. Men, who won the 2008 World League title, finish their 2009 run with a record of 5-9. Russia (9-4) will play Serbia (9-4) on Friday to determine each team’s seeding heading into the semifinals.

“We leave knowing a lot more about our team and the others as well,” said U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.). “A lot of work has to be done. There's a lot of room for growth on this team and we also will be able to add some more experienced players toward the end of the summer. I hope that with the experience gained her by getting to the final six in addition to some more experienced players, we can develop into a better volleyball team than we are right now.”

"I respect a lot the USA team," Russian Head Coach Daniele Bagnoli said through an interpreter. "When I saw how many players from last year's USA team were missing currently; I think they deserve a lot of merit for qualifying for this tournament and I think they will be a great team once again."

Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) paced Team USA offensively on Thursday with 14 points on 12 kills, one block and one ace. Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) scored eight points on seven kills and one block. Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) scored eight points on seven kills and one block.

Yury Berezhko led Russia with 13 points on 13 kills. Maxim Mikhaylov added 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace.

Team USA out-blocked Russia 7-5, led by David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) who each had two. The U.S. Men also had three aces as compared to two for Russia.

However the U.S. hitting percentage was .26 as compared to .30 for Russia. Russian had 31 digs while Team USA was credited with 20, led by Rooney who had six. Rooney also led the team in excellent receptions with 15 and not faults on 32 total attempts.

Among other U.S. scorers, Lee had six points on four kills and two blocks. Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) scored six points on six kills. Hansen had three points on two blocks and one ace. Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) scored three points on three kills. Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) scored two points on one kill and one block.

Knipe started Rooney and Touzinsky at outside hitter, Lee and Hein at outside hitter, Stanley at opposite, Hansen at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.

Patak played as a substitute and started the third set for Stanley. Hoff substituted for Hein in the second set and started the third. David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) also played as a substitute at middle blocker.

Russia jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set. Although the U.S. Men tied the score at 5-5, Russia went on a 7-1 run to lead 12-6 and continued to lead 16-11 at the second technical timeout (TTO). Team USA stepped up its defense and block and reduced the point difference to 17-15. Russian Head Coach Daniele Bagnoli called timeout to cool off the U.S. rally but Team USA eventually tied the score at 20-20. Michailov kept Russia ahead with his sixth point in the set and Russia extended the lead to 22-20, eventually winning 25-22.

The teams played back and forth in the second set until the score was tied at 12-12. Semen Poltavskiy, who had substituted for Mikhaylov, turned up the firepower at the net and Russia led, 19-14. Knipe called a timeout and the U.S. Men responded with a 5-0 run behind Patak’s serving. Sergey Tetyukhin ended the rally with a kill through the U.S. blockers. Berezhko scored the winning kill of the set, 25-22.

The U.S. Men continued to have to play catch-up in the third set, falling behind 13-8 before eventually tying the score at 18-18. With the score tied 23-23, Russia reached match point and then won the match on a failed U.S. attack.

To visit the FIVB World League web site, click here.

For the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide, click here.

2009 U.S. World League Roster for the Final Round

2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
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 Andrew Hein (MB, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
10 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
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)
16 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
19 Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawai'i)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe
Team Manager: Edward Rapp
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato
Trainer/Therapist: John Hawks
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Medical Support: Aaron Brock

2009 FIVB World League Final Round Schedule/Results

Pool E
July 22: Serbia def. USA, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22)
July 23: Russia def. USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23)
July 24: Russia vs. Serbia, 11:30 a.m. PT

Pool F
July 22: Cuba def. Argentina, 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 26-24, 26-24)
July 23: Brazil def. Cuba, 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19) 
July 24: Brazil vs. Argentina, 8:30 a.m. PT

July 25: Semifinals
  Pool F Winner vs. Pool E Second Place, 8:30 a.m. PT*
  Pool E Winner vs. Pool F Second Place, 11:30 a.m. PT*
  *as host country, Serbia will always play the late match so this schedule may be reversed.

July 26: Medal Matches
  Bronze Medal, 8 a.m. PT
  Gold Medal, 11 a.m. PT