Men's Update: Repair, Recover, Rehab and Return

By BJ Evans | March 03, 2015, 5:25 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March, 3, 2015) – Remember Reid Priddy; an outside hitter with big hops and solid passing last seen playing for the U.S. Men in FIVB World League pool play in Bulgaria? He is a three-time Olympian and won a gold medal in 2008. That guy.

Reid Priddy
   Reid Priddy, right, attacks during a 2013 match.

Not a lot has been heard from Priddy (Richmond, Va.) since he tore his right ACL during that World League match against Bulgaria. The U.S. Men went on to win World League. Priddy, 37, returned to California to begin the long process of repair, recovery, rehabilitation and return to the court.

The first thing you should probably know is that Priddy didn’t have to recover from one knee operation, but two.

Normally, doctors would have used the patellar tendon in Priddy’s injured, right leg to reconstruct his ACL. However Priddy’s right tendon was not useable. So they told him he could choose between using a tendon from a cadaver and using the tendon from his left leg. After seeing the failure rate of grafts from cadavers, Priddy went with using the patellar tendon from his good, left leg.

“The left tendon where they took the graft is causing pain. But I can play with pain. I’ve done it before," Priddy said. "I can’t play without an ACL.”

Priddy is back on the court, training three days a week at the American Sports Center in Anaheim. He is also doing plenty of time in the weight room and spending some on the golf course.

Recovering from a major knee injury has required Priddy to start thinking about parts of volleyball he never had to before.

“In my entire career, 90 percent of the questions I get is, ‘How do you jump so high? How can I jump high?’ I never had to think about it. I have always loved volleyball so I’ve always jumped,” he said.

“Now, I am learning about the mechanics of jumping and the mechanics of movement. It’s very interesting. But it’s a trying time because I am needing to be patient.”

One plus side to the down time has been Priddy's ability to spend more time with his family, which includes wife Lindsay, son Caden and now daughter Eden Scarlett, born in February.

But Priddy expects to be back with the U.S. team full time this summer as it competes at the NORCECA Champions Cup, the FIVB World League, the USAV Cup and the FIVB World Cup, which will be the first opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.

“Last spring, I didn’t have a clear vision of the finish line or of how I fit in with this group,” Priddy said. “As soon as we got to Bulgaria, it all came together and I completely saw the role that was there for me to play. I felt a real sense of joy before the first game when we were lining up.

“To have my ACL go out the next night was a bummer. But it was great that I captured that vision of where I fit in.”

WORLD LEAGUE

The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team, the 2014 FIVB World League champion, will begin defense of the title in Southern California and Hoffman Estates, Ill., this summer.

USA Volleyball will host Iran at the Galen Center in Los Angeles (May 30-31), Russia at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. (June 5-6), and Poland at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. (June 12-13).

Galen Center Tickets Walter Pyramid Tickets USAV World League Page FIVB World League Page

Tickets are on sale now for both Southern California matches. Individual tickets for the matches in Hoffman Estates will go on sale March 9. Group sales for Hoffman Estates are available now by calling (847) 649-2451.

WATCH CEV TOURNAMENT MATCHES LIVE

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
March 4 at 5 a.m. PT: Asseco Resovia Rzeszow (Russell Holmes and Paul Lotman) of Poland at Russia’s Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (David Lee)
laola1.tv/de-at/live/lokomotiv-novosibirsk-asseco-resovia-rzeszow/301718.html 

March 4 at 8 a.m. PT: Turkey’s Halkbank Ankara at Russia’s Zenit Kazan (Matt Anderson)
laola1.tv/de-at/live/zenit-kazan-halkbank-ankara/301720.html

March 4 at 11:30 a.m. PT: Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow at Italy’s Sir Safety Perugia (Joe Sunder)
laola1.tv/de-at/live/match-of-the-week-sir-safety-perugia-pge-skra-belchatow/301721.html

CEV CUP
March 4 at 8 a.m. PT: Turkey’s Fenderbahce SK Istanbul at Dinamo Moscow (Max Holt)
laola1.tv/de-at/live/dinamo-moscow-fenerbahce-sk-istanbul/304608.html

POLAND

Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.), who plays for Lotos Trefl Gdansk, finished the regular season as the Polish league’s best scorer (419 points) and second in kills per set (3.64).

In the first round of the playoffs, Gdansk went 2-0 against Transfer Bydgoszcz, which includes libero and outside hitter AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.). Gdansk won the first match on Feb. 28, 27-25, 25-23, 33-35, 25-16. Troy scored 12 points on 10 kills and two aces. Nally played libero and was credited with 23 receptions, 74 percent positive. In the second match on March 3, Gdansk won 25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 25-16. Troy led all scorers with 22 points on 18 kills, two blocks and two aces. At libero, Nally was credited with 32 receptions, 44 percent positive. Gdansk will play PGE Skra Be┼échatów in the semifinals, which start on March 7.

Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, including middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) has also advanced to the semifinals, where it will play Jastrzebski Wegiel. In the first round, Rzeszów went 2-0 against Cerrad Czarni Radom. In the first match on Feb. 25, Rzeszów won 23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11. Holmes started the final three sets and scored 10 points on nine kills and one ace. Lotman played as a substitute. In the second match on Feb. 28, Rzeszów won 25-13, 25-16, 25-21. Holmes scored nine points on five kills, three blocks and one ace. Lotman did not play.

RUSSIA

The Russian league finished its regular season last week. Zenit Kazan finished second behind Belogorie Belgorod. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) plays for Kazan, but only in Champions League matches.

Dinamo Moscow, which includes middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished third. In Moscow’s final regular-season match, Holt scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and one ace as Fakel beat Fakel Novy Urengoi, 25-15, 25-21, 25-14.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk finished fourth in the league. Their final regular-season match was a 25-15, 22-25, 25-17, 25-14 victory over Grozny Grozny.

The playoffs begin on March 8.

ITALY

Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) scored 16 points on 11 kills and five blocks as his Italian team Calzedonia Verona defeated Tonazzo Padova, 23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21 on March 1. Sander was also credited with 27 receptions, 81 percent positive. Verona is in fourth place in the league.

Outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) played as a substitute as Sir Safety Perugia beach Copra Piacenza, 25-19, 25-20, 25-20 on Feb. 28. Perugia is in fifth place in the league.

Setter Riley McKibbin (Honolulu, Hawaii) played as a substitute as his Italian team CMC Ravenna fell to Parmareggio Modena, 18-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-19 on March 1. Ravenna is in eighth place in the league.

FRANCE

Middle blockers David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) and their French team Tours have advanced to the finals of the French Cup where they will play Beauvais Oise UC. On Feb. 24, Tours defeated Spacer’s Toulouse Volley-Ball, 20-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 15-8 to advance to the final.

In a regular-season match on Feb. 28, Tours defeated Narbonne, 25-15, 25-19, 25-21.  McDonnell scored eight points on four kills, a team-high three blocks and one ace. Smith added seven points on six kills and one block. Tours is in fourth place in the league.

Libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Ajaccio defeated Toulouse, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18. Watten was credited with 32 receptions. 43 percent positive.

Outside hitter Connor Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) scored three points on three kills as his French team Montpellier fell to Lyon, 28-26, 25-14, 25-26 on Feb. 28. Hughes was credited with 12 receptions, 42 percent positive.

Outside hitter Taylor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Sète fell to Paris, 32-30, 25-23, 25-16. Crabb played as a substitute.

GREECE

Outside hitter Brian Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) led all scorers with 25 points on a match-high 21 kills and a match-high four aces as his Greek team Panathinaikos defeated Pamvoxaikos, 25-16, 25-23, 21-25, 21-25, 15-11 on Feb. 28. Cook was also credited with 21 receptions, 33 percent positive. Opposite Mark Dusharme (Chula Vista, Calif.) played for Pamvoxaikos and scored 15 points on 13 kills and two aces. Middle blocker Spencer Rowe (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) played for Pamvoxaikos and scored six points on three kills and a team-high three blocks.