U S Men Look for Improvement in France
Clay Stanley hits against Korea during their World League match on May 19 in Italy.
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 14, 2012) – After going 1-2 on its first weekend of play in the 2012 FIVB World League, the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team is hoping three straight weeks of training will improve its performance this weekend in Lyon, France.
The U.S. Men will open play Friday (June 15) against Italy at 9:30 a.m. PT. They will play Korea at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday and host France at 9 a.m. PT on Sunday.
The U.S. Men, ranked No. 6 in the world by the FIVB, left for their first World League weekend in Italy less than 48 hours after winning the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament in Long Beach, Calif. Prior to that, many of the players had been competing in league tournaments for their international club teams.
The results were a four-set loss to No. 21 France, a five-set defeat of No. 20 Korea and a three-set loss to No. 3 Italy.
“I think it was hard for the guys to stay so focused for so many weeks in a row,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “But we still could have played much better than we did.”
After three weeks of practice at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., the Official Host City of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams, the U.S. Men hope to improve their record this weekend.
Due to a family emergency, Knipe did not travel with the team to France. Instead, John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.), who recently accepted the head coaching position for UCLA men’s volleyball team after leading UC Irvine to the 2012 NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship, will act as the team’s head coach.
Among his assistants will be Mike Sealy (Santa Monica, Calif.), who is the head coach of UCLA’s women’s volleyball team, which won the 2011 NCAA Women's Volleyball Division I Championship. Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.) and Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.) will also assist.
Among the players, outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led the U.S. Men in scoring in Italy with 38 points on 35 attacks, two blocks and one ace. He also led the team in receptions with an efficiency percentage of 59.34 that places him sixth among all World League receivers.
Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), who did not make the trip to France, led the team in attacks with a success percentage of 43.1 followed by Anderson at 42.7.
Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) leads all World League players in blocking with an average of 1.17 per set. Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) is seventh among all World League players in digs with an average of 2.25 per set. He is fifth among all World League liberos.
Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) was credited with an average of 4.42 assists per set.
The FIVB World League is the premier annual international men’s volleyball tournament in which 16 of the top national teams in the world compete for a prize purse in excess of $1 million (the overall winning team receives $1 million, but there are additional monetary prizes for each match victory and for a pool victory).
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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. Donald Suxho (S, 6-5, Korce, Albania, USC)
8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9. Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
11. Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13. Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
15. Gabe Gardner (Opp, 6-8, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
16. Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. David McKienzie (Opp, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Sealy (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
U.S. World League Schedule/Results
(All times PT unless noted)
In Florence, Italy
May 18: France def. USA, 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-17
May 18: Italy def. Korea, 24-26, 27-25, 21-25, 29-27, 18-16
May 19: USA def. Korea, 20-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 17-15
May 19: Italy def. France, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22
May 20: France def. Korea, 25-18, 24-26, 25-20, 21-25, 15-11
May 20: Italy def. USA, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16
In Lyon, France
June 15 at 9:30 a.m. USA vs. Italy
June 16 at 8 a.m. USA vs. Korea
June 17 at 9 a.m. USA vs. France
In Gwangju, Korea
June 22 at 12:30 a.m. USA vs. Italy
June 23 at 12:30 a.m. USA vs. France
June 24 at 12:30 a.m. USA vs. Korea
In Dallas, Texas – BUY TICKETS
June 29 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. Korea
June 30 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. France
July 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. Italy