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USA Volleyball

U.S. Men Face Tall Task Against Russia

July 08, 2010, 1:07 a.m. (ET)

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

WICHITA, Kan. (July 7, 2010) – A surprise victory by Finland over Russia last Saturday has given the U.S. Men’s National Team the opportunity to advance to the FIVB World League Final Round, but Russia will certainly have something to say about it.

The United States (7-3), ranked No. 2 in the world, will play No. 3 Russia (9-1) for the top spot in Pool C in Wichita at 7 p.m. CT on Friday (July 9) and again at 6 p.m. on Saturday (July 10) at Charles Koch Arena on the campus of Wichita State University.

In order to advance to the Final Round, the U.S. must win both Intercontinental Round pool play matches by scores of 3-0 or 3-1. It will be a tall order for the United States, which lost its first two Intercontinental Round matches to Russia, 3-0 (25-15, 26-24, 25-25) and 3-1 (25-14, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21).

Moreover, the United States is coming off two tough matches against Egypt in which it needed five sets to defeat the African Zone champion in both matches.

“We need to focus on what we are doing on our side of the net if we hope to play better against Russia,” U.S. coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “We have played some good sets, but we have yet to play an entire match with our best effort.”

After defeating Finland 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-14) on July 2, Russia was expected to clinch Pool C with a victory on July 3. But it fell to a 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19) loss, setting up the showdown in Wichita.

Russia is led by opposite Maxim Mikhaylov who has scored 145 points on 118 kills, 14 blocks and 13 aces. Dmitriy Muserskiy, a 7-foot middle blocker, has added 118 points on 69 kills, 34 blocks and 15 aces.

Muserskiy’s 34 blocks put him second among all blockers. Muserskiy and Mikhaylov are second and third respectively among all servers for their aces per set.

Russian setter Sergey Grankin is fifth among all setters with an average of 6.28 running sets per set.

David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) leads the U.S. in scoring with 101 points on 55 kills, 38 blocks and eight aces. His 38 blocks put him third among all World League blockers. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) is second in scoring with 97 points on 84 kills, 10 blocks and three aces.

Team USA has a record of 55-41 against Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) since 1981, but is 3-11 against it since 2000. One of the biggest U.S. victories came in the semifinal match of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where the United States won 3-2 (25-22, 25-21, 25-27, 22-25, 15-13). However in 2009, Russia knocked the U.S. Men out of the World League Final Round with a 3-0 victory.

U.S. World League matches are being shown via tape delay on Comcast Sportsnet stations, with the final matches against Russia being shown on Versus as well as Comcast Sportsnet stations. Click here for a schedule.

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

To view U.S. World League photo galleries, click here.

The USA Volleyball page for World League information is

To visit the FIVB World League page with photos, statistics and live scoring, click here.

2010 FIVB World League
July 9-10 in Wichita, Kan.

U.S. Roster (Roster will be reduced to 12 for the matches)
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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)
8 C Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
11 Tyler Hildebrand (S, 6-4, Mesa, Ariz., 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 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
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 (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader:  Jon Roberts
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Trainer: Jeff Stork (Topanga, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Ron Larsen
Doctor: William Stetson
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa) 

Pool C Standings (As of July 2)
Country (points) record
Russia (26) 9-1
USA (20) 7-3
Finland (9) 3-7
Egypt (5) 1-9

Note: Match won 3-0 or 3-1: 3 points for the winner, 0 point for the loser
Match won 3-2: 2 points for the winner, 1 point for the loser
In case of tie, the teams will be classified according to the following criteria: number of matches won, points ratio and sets ratio

2010 U.S. World League Schedule and Results
Date: June 4-5
Location: Ekaterinburg, Russia
June 4: Russia def. United States, 25-15, 26-24, 25-14
June 5:
Russia def. United States, 25-14, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21

Date: June 11-12
Opponent: Finland
Location: Tampere, Finland
June 11: United States def. Finland, 25-27, 25-18, 27-25, 25-28
June 12: United States def. Finland, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 28-26

Date: June 18-19
Opponent: Egypt
Location: Cabarrus Arena in Concord, N.C.
June 18: United States def. Egypt, 25-19, 25-15, 14-25, 25-21
June 19: United States def. Egypt, 25-20, 25-22, 11-25, 25-14

Date: June 25-26 (7 p.m. CT both days)
Opponent: Finland
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 25: Finland def. United States, 25-22, 14-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11
June 26: United States def. Finland, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23

Date: July 2-3
Opponent: Egypt
Location: Cairo, Egypt
July 2: United States def. Egypt, 20-25, 31-29, 25-17, 21-25, 15-12
July 3: United States def. Egypt, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22, 18-16

Date: July 9 at 7 p.m. CT; July 10 at 6 p.m. CT
Opponent: Russia
Location: Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan. -

Final Round (must qualify)
Date: July 21-25
Location: Cordoba, Argentina

Other Pool C Results
June 5: Egypt def. Finland, 23-25, 26-24, 25-16, 20-25, 15-13
June 6: Finland def. Egypt, 25-22. 23-25, 25-20, 25-19
June 11: Russia def. Egypt, 26-24, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15
June 12: Russia def. Egypt, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17, 22-25, 15-8
June 18: Russia def. Finland, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18
June 19: Russia def. Finland, 25-18, 25-16, 18-25, 25-18
June 25: Russia def. Egypt, 25-18, 25-18, 25-16
June 26: Russia def. Egypt, 25-17, 25-12, 25-18
July 2: Russia def. Finland, 25-20, 25-19, 25-14
July 3: Finland def. Russia, 25-18, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19