U.S. Men to Play for Fifth Place at Worlds

Oct. 07, 2010, 2:24 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

For the U.S. Men's 2010 World Championships Media Guide, click here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 7, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will play for fifth-eighth place on Friday and Saturday in Modena, Italy,  in the final round of the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship.

The U.S. Men are on track for their best World Championship finish since 1994, when they finished third.

The U.S. Men (5-2 overall) will play Germany (3-4) at noon PT on Friday (Oct. 8) at the Palapanini in Modena. Prior to their match, Bulgaria (4-3) will play Russia (5-2) at 8 a.m. PT. On Saturday (Oct. 9), the losers of each match will play each other for seventh place at 8 a.m. PT and the winners will play for fifth place at 8 a.m.

“We can expect the standard of volleyball in Modena to be the same as in Rome,” Knipe said during an FIVB press conference held at Hotel Raffaelo on Thursday. “Each one of the coaches here had the same goal of playing in Rome but that didn’t happen for some reason. The important thing is that we are here to play good volleyball.”

The United States’ fate was sealed on Wednesday when Italy defeated France, 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 25-27, 25-19), in the final match of Pool O. Italy will join Brazil, Cuba and Serbia in the semifinals in Rome. France will play for ninth-12th place in Florence along with Argentina, Spain and Czech Republic.

Heading into the final round, U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) leads all scorers in the competition with 127 points (4.70 points per set) on 93 kills, 13 blocks and 21 aces. His 21 aces (0.78 per set) also lead all servers. Stanley is the United States’ leading blocker and is 15th among all players with 13 for an average of 0.48 per set.

Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) leads the United States in kills and is 12th among all players with 68 kills on 132 attempts for a success percentage of 49.64.

U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) ranks third among all liberos with 168 “excellents” and 30 faults on 257 attempts and an average of 6.22 per set. Lambourne is fifth among all diggers with 67 digs and 22 faults on 96 attempts and an average of 2.48 per set. He is ninth among all receivers with 101 excellents and eight faults on 161 attempts and an efficiency of 57.76 percent.

Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) is 10th among all receivers with 78 excellents and six faults on 125 attempts for an efficiency of 57.60 percent.

Setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) is 10th among setters in the tournament with 176 running sets and no faults on 563 attempts for an average of 6.52 per set. A running set is defined as a set from a player that puts their hitter against one blocker or none.

The United States has a 16-5 record against Germany since 1981. The two teams have not played since the Four Nations Tournament early in 2008 where the United States defeated Germany twice.

Germany opened the World Championship in Pool F where it finished third with a 1-2 record. It defeated Canada, but lost to Poland (3-2) and Serbia (3-0). It advance to Pool G, where it finished second with a 1-1 record after defeating Puerto Rico (3-0), but losing to Italy (3-1). In the third round, Germany landed in Pool R where it again finished second after defeating Czech Republic (3-0) but losing to Brazil (3-0).

Germany is led by Gyorgy Grozer (6 feet, 7 inches), who has 104 points on 95 kills, seven blocks and two aces. Robert Kromm (6-11) has 90 points on 79 kills, 10 blocks and one ace. Kromm has been Germany’s top blocker.

Germany’s libero Ferdinand Tille leads all liberos with 189 “excellents” and 37 faults on 268 attempts and an average of 7.88 per set. He leads all diggers with 78 digs and 27 faults on 107 attempts for an average of 3.25 per set. He is also fifth among all receivers with 111 excellents and 10 faults on 161 attempts for an efficiency of 62.73 percent.

On the other side of the bracket, the U.S. Men are most familiar with Russia, which they played four times during the 2010 FIVB World League, finishing 1-3. The United States is 55-39 against Russia since 1981, but is 4-14 against it since 2000.

Russia opened the World Championship in Pool C, which it won with victories over Cameroon (3-0), Australia (3-1) and Puerto Rico (3-2). It advanced to Pool I, where it finished second at 1-1 with a victory over Egypt (3-0) and a loss to Spain (3-2).  From there it went to Pool P where it again finished second with a 1-1 record. It defeated Argentina (3-0), but lost to Serbia (3-1).

Russia is being led by its dominant opposite Maxim Mikhaylov (6-8), who is third among all scorers with 123 points on 98 kills, nine blocks and 16 aces.  Mikhaylov leads all spikers with 98 and 11 faults on 162 attempts for a success percentage of 60.49. He is second among all servers.

Alexander Volkov (6-10) has been Russia’s top blocker with 13 and 25 faults on 51 attempts for an average of 0.48 per set. Dmitriy Muserskiy (7-1) has 61 points on 40 kills, nine blocks and 12 aces.

Russia’s setter Sergey Grankin (6-5) is credited with 212 running sets and one error on 429 attempts and an average of 7.85 per set.

Finally, the United States last played Bulgaria in pool play at the 2008 Olympic Games where the U.S. men won 3-1. That was after the U.S. Men went 2-2 against Bulgaria during pool play of the 2008 FIVB World League. The U.S. is 22-13 against Bulgaria since 1981.

Bulgaria started the tournament in Pool E where if finished third after defeating China (3-0) but losing to France (3-2) and Czech Republic (3-1). It moved on to Pool N, which it won 2-0, defeating Poland (3-0) and Brazil (3-0). That put it in Pool Q where it defeated Spain (3-1), but lost an epic battle to Cuba, 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 26-28, 30-28, 15-11).

Bulgaria has been led in scoring by Vladimir Nikolov (6-6), who is tied for fourth overall with 122 points on 99 kills, 13 blocks and 10 aces. Matey Kaziski (6-7) is second and sixth overall with 111 points on 91 kills, 10 blocks and 10 aces.

Nikolay Nikolov (6-9) leads the team in blocking and is fourth overall with 23 blocks and 34 errors on 98 attempts and an average of 0.85 per set. Viktor Yosifov (6-8) is just behind him with 19 blocks and 38 errors on 83 attempts and an average of 0.70 blocks per set.

To reach the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship page, click here.

2010 FIVB World Championship
Sept. 25-Oct. 10 in Italy

U.S. Roster
(Each team can bring up to 14 players. Prior to each match, 12 players are chosen to play)

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
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)
6 Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7 Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
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)
16 Carson Clark (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader: Greg Vernovage (Susquehanna, Pa.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Trainer: Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.)
Technical Coordinator:
Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Team Doctors: Andrew Gregory (Nashville, Tenn.) and Keith Feder (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Medical Support:
Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

Classification 5-8 Schedule (in Modena; all times PT)
Oct. 9: Bulgaria vs. Russia, 8 a.m.
Oct. 9: USA vs. Germany, noon
Oct. 10: Match 1 loser vs. Match 2 loser, 8 a.m.
Oct. 10: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner, noon

Pool O Results (Rome)
Oct. 4: USA def. France, 25-16, 25-14, 25-23
Oct. 5: Italy def. USA, 14-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-22
Oct. 6: Italy def France, 25-18, 25-20, 25-27, 25-19

Pool O Final Standings
Rank Team (Matches Won-Lost) Points; Point Ratio
1. ITA (2-0) 4; 1.067
2. USA (1-1) 3; 1.179
3. FRA (0-2) 2; 0.783

Pool L Results (Ancona)
Sept. 30: Czech Republic def. USA, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22
Oct. 1: USA def. Cameroon, 23-25, 25-14, 25-27, 25-20, 15-7
Oct. 2: Czech Republic def. Cameroon, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17

Pool L Final Standings
Rank Team (Matches Won-Lost) Points; Point Ratio

1. Czech Republic (2-0) 4; 1.304
2. USA (1-1) 3; 1.048
3. Cameroon (0-2) 1; 0.771

Pool D First Round Results (Reggio Calabria)
Sept. 25: Argentina def. Venezuela, 25-23, 25-17, 25-18
Sept: 25: USA def. Mexico, 22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-11
Sept. 26: Argentina def. Mexico, 25-12, 25-19, 17-25, 25-15
Sept. 26: USA def. Venezuela, 25-19, 25-23, 25-19
Sept. 27: Mexico def. Venezuela, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20
Sept. 27: USA def. Argentina, 22-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-20

Pool D Final Standings
Rank Team (Matches Won-Lost) Points; Point Ratio
1. USA (3-0) 6; 1.102
2. Argentina (2-1) 5; 1.136
3. Mexico (1-2) 4; 0.950
4. Venezuela (0-3) 3; 0.804