Home News VOLLEYBALL: Cuba Tak...

VOLLEYBALL: Cuba Takes Rare Victory over U.S. Men

Sept. 25, 2008, 12:45 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2008) - The U.S. Men's Volleyball Team lost a hard-fought match to Cuba, 2-3 (19-25, 27-25, 25-23, 21-25, 8-15) in Wednesday's opening pool play match at the America's Cup Tournament in Cuiaba, Brazil.

The U.S. Men have not lost to Cuba since the 2003 Pan American Games.

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all scorers on Wednesday with 24 points, including a match-high 23 kills. Anderson was also credited with 36 "excellent" receptions on 51 attempts.

Opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) added 17 points on 14 kills, two blocks and one ace. Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) scored 13 points.

Middle blocker Delano Thomas (Sacramento, Calif.) scored seven points. Middle blocker Phil Eatherton (Glencoe, Mo.), who is serving as the team captain, scored six points on three kills, two blocks and one ace. Setter Brandon Taliaferro (San Clemente, Calif.) scored three points.

Taliaferro was credited with 39 assists. Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) had 10 digs.

Cuba's Robertlandy Simon and Oreol Camejo each scored 20 points.

Cuba stopped the United States at the net with 17 blocks as opposed to seven for Team USA. Cuba also took advantage 43 U.S. team errors while committing 30.

Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.), who is serving as head coach for the U.S. Men, started Anderson and Touzinsky at outside hitter, Thomas and Eatherton at middle blocker, Billings at opposite and Taliaferro at setter. Lambourne is the United States' designated libero.

Outside hitter Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.), opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.), outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.), setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and middle blocker Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) all played as substitutes.

In Wednesday's other match, Brazil defeated Mexico, 25-18, 25-16, 25-20, to take the lead in Group B.

Team USA will face Argentina at 2 p.m. PDT on Thursday.

1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
3 - Nils Nielsen (OH, 6-4, Fallbrook, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
4 - Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5 - Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 - Phil Eatherton (MB, 6-9, Glencoe, Mo., Ball State)
7 - Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
9 - Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
11 - Brook Billings (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., Southern California)
12 - Andrew Hein (MB, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
16 - Brandon Taliaferro (S, 6-5, San Clemente, Calif., UCLA)
17 - Delano Thomas (MB, 6-7, Sacramento, Calif., Hawai'i)
18 - Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Ron Larsen
Team Leader: Mark Pavlik
Assistant Coach: Jamie Morrison
Assistant Coach: Peter Hanson
Medical Support: Aaron Brock
Technical Coordinator: David Hunt

Tournament Results and Schedule (All times PDT)

Group A
Cuba 1-0
USA 0-1
Argentina 0-0

Group B
Brazil 1-0
Mexico 0-1
Venezuela 0-0

Sept. 24
Cuba def. USA, 25-19, 25-27, 23-25, 25-21, 15-8
Brazil def. Mexico, 25-18, 25-16, 25-20

Sept. 25
2 p.m.: USA vs. Argentina
5 p.m.: Brazil vs. Venezuela

Sept. 26
2 p.m.: Cuba vs. Argentina
5 p.m.: Venezuela vs. Mexico

Sept. 27
Noon: Semifinal 1
3 p.m.: Semifinal 2
6 p.m.: 5/6 determination

Sept. 28
5:30 a.m.: Bronze Medal
8:30 a.m.: Gold Medal