US Men Complete Comeback to Beat Korea
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 19, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team used a valiant comeback to defeat Korea, 20-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 17-15 on Saturday in an FIVB World League pool play match played in Florence, Italy.
The U.S. Men (1-1), ranked No. 6 in the world, will finish their Italian World League stop on Sunday (11:30 a.m. PT) against host Italy, ranked No. 3. Korea (0-2), ranked No. 20, will play France, No. 21.
After losing the first two sets to Korea, which had a 34-18 lead in attacks after the first two sets, the U.S. Men pulled together.
The United States fell behind 9-6 in the third set, but took its first lead at 14-13. With the score tied 15-15, the U.S. used a Korean serving error, a block by middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and an ace from outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) to take an 18-15 lead that it never gave up.
The U.S. Men were behind 23-19 in the fourth set when Priddy scored with a block and Millar connected on an attack. Korea called timeout. But Priddy scored the final four points of the set on a block and three kills to give the U.S. the victory.
Team USA also looked to be in trouble in the tiebreaker as Korea reached match point at 14-13. Millar tied the score with a block and Holmes served an ace to give the U.S. match point. Korea tied it at 15-15 with a kill, but opposite David McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) came through with the final two points on an attack and a block.
“I’m happy with the way we responded,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “My thanks to our guys.”
The match was the second-straight five-set loss for Korea, which also tested Italy on Friday, 24-26, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 18-16.
The U.S. finished the match with a 16-6 lead in blocks. The teams were tied in aces with seven apiece while Korea held the edge in kills, 60-59. The U.S. kill percent was 50.0 while its hitting efficiency was .330. Korea’s kill percent was 52.17 and its hitting efficiency was .313.
Korea led in digs, 46-35, but the U.S. led in receptions, 61-51.
Priddy led the U.S. Men with 19 points on 15 attacks, two blocks and two aces. Holmes had 16 points on seven kills, a match-high seven blocks and two aces. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 16 points on 15 attacks and one block.
McKienzie, who substituted for opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) in the second set and started the rest of the match, finished with 15 points on 12 attacks, two blocks and one ace.
Korea’s Yo-Han Kim led all scorers with 20 points on 17 attacks and a match-high three aces. Hong-Suk Choi added 19 points on 15 kills and four blocks.
U.S. Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) totaled nine points on six kills and three blocks. Stanley finished with five points on three kills and two aces. Setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) scored one point with a kill while starting setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) had one point on a block.
Thornton, who substituted for Suxho in the first set and started the next four, was credited with 29 assists and no errors. Suxho was credited with 10 assists and no errors.
U.S. libero Rich Lambourne was credited with seven digs to lead the United States. Anderson was credited with 30 receptions, followed by Lambourne with 16.
Every player on both squads saw playing time in the match.
Knipe started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Holmes and Millar at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite and Suxho at setter. Lambourne is the designated libero.
Thornton substituted for Suxho in the first set and started the next four set, but Suxho returned in the fifth set with the U.S. down 6-4. McKienzie substituted for Stanley in the second set and started the next three. Outside hitters Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) played as substitutes as did opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.).
Korea led 8-6 at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set, and then expanded the lead to 16-11 at the second. Coming out of the break, Korea scored on a kill and U.S. hitting error to lead 18-11. With Korea leading 21-13, it served out of bounds, giving the serve to Stanley who scored with two straight aces. Korea called timeout, but Priddy scored on a block, cutting Korea’s lead to 21-17. The run ended when the U.S. served out of bounds. Priddy came back with a kill off the block and an ace to pull the U.S. to within three at 22-19. Korea called timeout and scored on the next two plays. With Korea at set point at 24-19, Holmes scored with a block, but Korea ended the set with a kill. Korea led in kills 18-7.
The U.S. started Thornton at setter in the second set but the Korean attack continued and the Asian side jumped out to an 8-4 lead at the first TTO. The U.S. scored on two kills by Stanley and two Korea errors. Korea extended its lead to 16-9 at the second TTO. The U.S. replaced Stanley with McKienzie. With Korea leading 18-11, the U.S. scored and Millar took the serve, helping the team to three more points on a block, McKienzie kill and block from Holmes. Korea ended the run with a quick kill and followed with an ace to lead 20-15. The U.S. called timeout and Priddy responded with a kill. Korea came back with a block. Anderson scored on a block and kill to pull the U.S. to within three at 21-18. But Korea scored on two straight kills and two straight blocks to reach set point at 24-18. It won the set on a U.S. net violation.
Korea held a 6-3 lead in the third set when Anderson scored on a back-row attack, McKienzie launched an ace and Holmes connected on a block to tie the score. Korea came back with two straight attacks off the block to lead 8-6. A Korea ace made it 9-6 before the U.S. scored twice on a McKienzie attack off the block and Korea hitting error. With Korea leading 11-9, the U.S. scored on a Millar quick attack and Anderson attack to tie the score. With Korea leading 13-12, the Asian side served into the net and McKienzie had a block to give the U.S. its first lead of the set. Korea called timeout and came back with an attack. The teams traded points and a Korean serving error gave the U.S. a 16-15 lead at the second TTO. Coming out of the break, the U.S. scored on a Holmes block and Priddy ace to lead 18-15. Korea called timeout and the U.S. served out of bounds, but Korea also had a service error and the U.S. scored the next two points to lead 21-17. Korea scored on a kill, but Millar answered with a quick attack and Korea hit the next ball out of bounds. Anderson attacked from the left to give the U.S. set point at 24-17 and the U.S. won the set on Korea’s hitting error.
The U.S. Men took a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, scoring on attacks by Anderson and McKienzie along with two Korea errors. With the U.S. leading 6-3, Korea’s Sun-Soo Han was injured in a collision with libero Oh-Hyun Yeo and the match was delayed for several minutes. The U.S. lost that point, but came back with an Anderson kill and Holmes ace to lead 8-4 at the first TTO. The U.S. led 13-8 when Korea called timeout and came back with a block. Yo-Han Kim took the serve and helped the team score the next six points, including three aces, to put Korea ahead 15-13. Korea was still leading at 17-15 when the U.S. scored on a Priddy kill and Korea hitting error to tie the score at 17-17. At 18-18, Korea scored four straight points on two kills and two U.S. errors to lead 22-18. McKienzie scored with a tip off the block to end the run. The teams traded points and Korea looked to control the set at 23-19. But Priddy scored on a block and Millar followed with a kill to pull the U.S. to within two at 23-21. Korea called timeout, but Priddy caught fire, scoring the final four points of the set on a block and three straight attacks.
Korea opened the fifth set with a 3-0 lead. The U.S. came back with a block and kill from Priddy, but it could not catch Korea. Korea reached match point at 14-13. Millar tied the score with a block and Holmes served an ace to give the U.S. match point. Korea tied it at 15-15 with a kill, but opposite David McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) came through with the final two points on an attack and a block.
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U.S. World League Roster for May 19 in Florence, Italy
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn 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)
10. Riley Salmon (L, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
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)
21. David McKienzie (Opp, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, 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, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 18-16
May 19: USA def. Korea, 20-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 17-15
May 20 at 11:30 a.m. USA vs. Italy
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
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