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U.S. Men Beat Puerto Rico in NORCECA Tuneup

Oct. 11, 2009, 11:57 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org 

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Oct. 11, 2009) - The U.S Men's National Volleyball Team warmed up for the 2009 NORCECA Continental Championship with two exhibition victories over Puerto Rico on Friday and Saturday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

On Friday, Team USA served up a 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23) victory, led by Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) with 25 points, including a match-high 10 aces and 15 kills. The U.S. Men finished with 14 aces in the match.

"The conditions were hot causing lots of slipping and floor wipe stops," said U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) via e-mail.

Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) scored 20 points on 17 kills, two blocks and one ace. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added 10 points on four kills, a match-high four blocks and two aces. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) scored 10 points on nine kills and one block. Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) scored 10 points on seven kills, two blocks and one ace.

Hector Soto led Puerto Rico with 17 points on 17 kills. Victor Rivera added 14 points on 14 kills.

Behind the setting of Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) the U.S. Men completed 52 of 110 kill attempts (47 percent) with nine errors and seven blocked hits. Patak completed 15 of 30 attack attempts (50 percent) with one error. Rooney completed 17 of 38 attack attempts (45 percent) with three errors.

Puerto Rico completed 57 of 116 kill attempts (49 percent) with 10 errors and nine blocked hits.

As a team, the U.S. Men had 68 percent positive receptions and 47 percent excellent. Lotman led the way with 26 receptions, 73 percent positive and 50 percent excellent.

Team USA out-blocked Puerto Rico 9-7. Puerto Rico had two aces compared to the United States' 14.

Knipe started Lotman and Rooney at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Winder at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) and Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) played as substitutes.

Saturday's match went to five sets, but the U.S. Men won again, 21-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12.

Patak again led the U.S. Men in scoring with 18 points on a match-high 15 kills, one block and two aces. Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.), who is playing for a professional team in Puerto Rico, chipped in to help the U.S. Men and finished with 13 points on 13 kills. Salmon scored 12 points on eight kills, two blocks and two aces. Lotman added 12 points on 11 kills and one ace.

Soto led Puerto Rico with 18 points on 14 kills and four blocks. Victor Bird added 13 points on 10 kills and three aces.

Puerto Rico out-blocked the United States 13-10. The United States had nine aces while Puerto Rico had eight.

The U.S. Men completed 56 of 114 kill attempts (49 percent) with nine errors. Patak completed 15 of 22 attempts (68 percent) with one error. Nielsen completed 13 of 23 attempts (57 percent) with two errors.

Puerto Rico completed 58 of 111 kill attempts (52 percent) with 10 errors.

The United States was 66 percent positive and 50 percent excellent on 86 receptions. Salmon had 23 receptions with 74 percent positive and 54 percent excellent. Lotman had 20 receptions with 80 percent positive and 70 percent excellent. Libero Alfee Reft (Oxnard, Calif.) had 20 receptions with 45 percent positive and 25 percent excellent.

Among other U.S. scorers, Hein had seven points on six kills and one block. Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) added six points on two kills, two blocks and two aces. Millar totaled two points on one kill and one block. Winder tallied two points on two blocks. Lambourne, who played as a serving substitute, scored two points on two aces.

Knipe started outside hitters Lotman, Nielsen and Salmon, middle blockers Hein and Hoff, Winder at setter and Reft at libero.

NORCECA Men's Continental Championship
Oct. 12-17 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico

U.S. Men's Roster
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)

2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
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)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
16 Andy Hein (MB, 611, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
17 Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
19 Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawai'i)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe
Team Manager: Bill Neville
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato
Therapist/Trainer: Charlie Sullivan
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson
Medical Support: Aaron Brock

Pool Play Schedule (All times PDT)
Group A
Oct. 12
3 p.m. Cuba vs. Dominican Republic
5 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. Barbados
Oct. 13
1 p.m. Barbados vs. Cuba
5 p.m. Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico
Oct. 14
1 p.m. Dominican Republic vs. Barbados
5 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. Cuba

Group B
Oct. 12
11 a.m. USA vs. Mexico
1 p.m. Canada vs. Panama
Oct. 13
11 a.m. Mexico vs. Canada
3 p.m. Panama vs. USA
Oct. 14
1 p.m. Mexico vs. Panama
3 p.m. USA vs. Canada