U.S. Men Can't Polish Off Poland

Aug. 12, 2006, 12 a.m. (ET)
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2006) - The U.S. Men's National Team let a two-set lead slip away and fell to Poland 3-2 (25-17, 25-21, 19-25, 23-25, 15-17) in their 2006 FIVB World League match on Saturday in Katowice, Poland, before an estimated crowd of 10,890 at Spodek Hall.

With the loss, the U.S. Men fall to 5-4 in their pool. Serbia & Montenegro, which defeated Japan in three sets on Saturday, leads Pool A at 6-3 and Poland is second. Japan sits at 1-8.

The two teams will play again and for the final time in pool play on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. PDT (12:30 p.m. EDT). The match will not be televised in the United States, but live scoring updates will be available at http://www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2006/Scorebox/Scorebox.asp?sm=123

After winning the first two sets, the United States seemed to be in complete control. In the third set, Poland turned to 6-foot-4 opposite Mariusz Wlazly, who scored 18 points in the set and finished the match with 27 points on 22 kills, three blocks and two aces.

"In the first two (sets), the Americans were much better in attack," said Poland Head Coach Raul Lozano. "They didn't allow us to play on our usual level. After the break after two (sets), we managed to organize our play as we wished and play our best. When we played better, the Americans played worse."

In the fifth and deciding set, the U.S. Men took a 14-13 lead when Wlazly made a game-tying kill, but then had to leave the game due to muscle cramps. Poland used this to motivate its team to a 17-15 victory.

"It was a good match. The arena was full. The spectators were great," U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "We are really disappointed that we didn't win the match. Hopefully this will change tomorrow."

Jim Polster (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) led Team USA with 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added 14 points on 12 kills, one block and one ace. Dave McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) and Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) each scored 11 points and Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) added 10. McKienzie started the first three sets at opposite for the United States before making way for Stanley in the final two.

Sebastian Swiderski scored 19 points for Poland on 16 kills, two blocks and one ace. Dawid Murek added 14, all on kills, and Pawel Zagumny scored 10.

"Wlazly is suffering from great cramps," Lozano said. "His muscles are too tired because of the temperature on the hall and because of his exhaustion."

For more U.S. World League information, go to http://www.usavolleyball.org/National/06worldLeague.asp.

The FIVB World League web site is http://www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2006/.

2006 FIVB World League Standings as of Aug. 12, 2006

Pool A
Serbia & Montenegro 6-3
Poland 6-3
USA 5-4
Japan 1-8

Pool B
Brazil 9-0
Argentina 4-4
Finland 3-6
Portugal 1-7

Pool C
Russia 7-1
France 6-2
Italy 4-5
China 0-9

Pool D
Cuba 8-1
Bulgaria 7-2
Korea 3-6
Egypt 0-9

U.S. Roster
USA at Poland
Aug. 12-13, 2006
Katowice, Poland
(Twelve-man rosters can be updated between World League weekends)

2 Pieter Olree (OH, Reading, Pa.)
3 Jim Polster (OH, Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, Tustin, Calif.)
6 Phil Eatherton (MB, Glencoe, Mo.)
7 Donald Suxho (S, Korce, Albania)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, Richmond, Va.)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, Palmdale, Calif.)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, State Park Ridge, Ill.)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, Honolulu, Hawaii)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, Newport Beach, Calif.)
15 Gabe Gardner (OH, San Clemente, Calif.)
16 Dave McKienzie (OPP, Littleton, Colo.)

U.S. World League Schedule

Date: July 14-15
Opponent: Poland
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah - The "E" Center
Match 1: Poland defeats USA 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23)
Match 2: Poland defeats USA 3-1 (26-24, 25-13, 20-25, 25-22)

Date: July 22-23
Opponent: Japan
Location: Hiroshima Green Arena
Match 1: USA defeats Japan 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-17)
Match 2: USA defeats Japan 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-18)

Date: July 29-30
Opponent: Japan
Location: Minneapolis, Minn. - Target Center
Match 1: USA defeats Japan 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18)
Match 2: USA defeats Japan 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15)

Date: Aug. 4-5
Opponent: Serbia & Montenegro
Location: Spokane, Wash. - Spokane Memorial Arena
Match 1: Serbia & Montenegro defeats USA (13-25, 36-34, 25-22, 25-17)
Match 2: USA defeats Serbia & Montenegro (27-25, 25-22, 25-27, 25-21)

Date: Aug. 12-13
Opponent: Poland
Location: Katowice - Spodek
Match 1: Poland def. USA (17-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-23, 17-15)

Date: Aug. 18-19
Opponent: Serbia & Montenegro
Location: Beograd - Hall Pionir

World League Final
Date: Aug. 23-27
Location: Russia