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U.S. Men Suffer Tough Loss to Italy at World Cup

Nov. 25, 2011, 7:48 a.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Statstics * Official Statistics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 25, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team fought back from a tough first-set loss, but could not overcome Italy, falling 41-39, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21 on Friday at the FIVB World Cup in Kumamoto, Japan.

The lost drops the United States’ record to 2-3 and it sits in eighth place in the standings at the end of the second round. Italy, ranked third in the world, improved to 4-1. The U.S., ranked fourth, will spend Saturday traveling to Fukuoka for the third round where it will face Iran (4-1; Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. PT), Poland (4-1; Nov. 27 at 10 p.m. PT) and Japan (0-5; Nov. 29 at 1:20 a.m. PT).

The FIVB World Cup uses a round-robin format resulting in 11 matches over a 15-day period. The three teams reaching the World Cup medal podium on Dec. 4 will earn berths into the 2012 Olympic Games. For the full FIVB World Cup schedule and tournament details, visit the U.S. Men’s tournament event page at http://usavolleyball.org/events/5557.

The first set was the highest scoring set in World Cup history as the U.S. took set point at 24-23 before Italy came back to score on two kills to take its first set point. The U.S. would fight off two more before taking its second advantage at 28-27. The U.S. took four more set points. But at 33-32, Italy scored on a kill and ace to regain the advantage. Team USA fought Italy off five more times before Michal Lasko got a kill off the block and Cristian Savani followed with an attack to give Italy the 41-39 victory.

"I thought tonight both teams sided out well; both offenses sided out a high number," U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. "The first game was a marathon. Both teams had opportunities, and we’ll look back at opportunities we had and see what we could do better."

The second set saw Italy take the first significant lead at 14-11. The U.S. pulled to within one at 22-21, but Italy held it off for the win. In the third set it was the U.S. that took the significant lead at 18-15. Italy pulled to within one at 22-21, but the U.S. attack held off the Europeans. The U.S. lead 8-4 at the first TTO of the fourth set and continued to lead 13-10 before Italy tied it at 13-13. The score was still tied at 17-17 before Italy scored twice to pull away.

Opposite and team captain Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) led the U.S. with 22 points on 20 attacks, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 20 points on 18 kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) totaled 19 points on 16 spikes, two blocks and one ace.

The U.S. out-attacked Italy, 68-65 and the teams were tied on aces 5-5. But Italy won the blocking battle 13-8 and also scored 30 points off U.S. errors while committing 26.

"I think this game was won on blocking and Italy blocked better," Stanley said. "Italy got some good serves, got in a couple of aces. We relaxed a little too much on coverage of hitters, and those little points cost us the game."

Among other U.S. scorers, middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) scored nine points on seven attacks and two blocks. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) totaled eight points on seven spikes and one block. Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), who played as a serving substitute, score with an ace.

Setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) finished with two points on one block and one ace. He was credited with 30 assists and set the U.S. Men to a kill percent of 53.5 and a hitting efficiency of 0.394. Italy’s kill percent was 54.2 and its hitting efficiency was 0.442.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) led the team in digs with 15 and also had 13 excellent receptions. Priddy led in excellent receptions with 19.

U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Holmes and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Thornton at setter and Lambourne at libero.

Lotman, Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) and Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) all played as substitutes.

Lasko led Italy and all scorers with 25 points on 20 attacks, two blocks and a match-high three aces.

"I’m extremely happy about this victory because I knew the USA is one of worst opponents we could face," Italy Head Coach Mauro Berruto said. "They have wonderful organization - serving, blocking, defense - they are a kind of model for us."

Italy qualified for the World Cup as the runner-up in the European zone. The U.S. last faced Italy in an emotional quarterfinal match at the 2010 FIVB World Championship, which Italy won. The U.S. went 3-1 against the Europeans during the Intercontinental Round of the 2010 World League. The U.S. is now 23-40 against Italy since 1981.

The teams were tied 6-6 in the first set with the U.S. scoring on two kills from Anderson and two from Stanley along with two Italy errors. Two straight blocks by Lee gave the U.S. the 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). Italy tied the score at 11-11, but a kill and an ace from Stanley pulled the U.S. back out in front. The teams traded points until the second TTO, where the U.S. led 15-13, scoring the last two points on Italy’s error and a block by Thornton. With the U.S. leading 20-18, Italy tied the score on a U.S. error and attack by Savani. The teams traded points until the U.S. reached its first set point at 24-23, scoring on an Anderson block. Italy fought it off with a kill from Simone Parodi and then reached two more set points. With Italy leading 27-26, the U.S. scored twice on Italy’s net serve and Priddy’s kill of an overpass to take its second set point at 28-27. It would take seven more before Italy again scored twice to take the lead at 34-33 for its fourth set point. The U.S. fought it off, then fought off five more before Italy reached its 10th set point at 40-39 and won the set on a kill from Savani.

The U.S. held an 8-7 lead at the first TTO of the second set. The teams were still tied at 10-10 when Italy scored on a kill by 1 and setter dump from 13. Stanley came back with an attack off the block. But Italy responded with two more straight points to lead 14-11. Italy increased its lead to 19-15 when its serve went out of bounds and Lotman scored with an ace to pull the U.S. to within two at 19-17. With Italy leading 21-18, the U.S. scored on straight blocks from Priddy and Holmes to pull to within one at 21-20. Italy responded. With Italy still leading by one at 22-21, Italy scored on a U.S. service error and a block to reach set point. Anderson held off the loss with a block before Italy’s 3 won the set with a kill.

The two teams opened the third set even at 6-6 when the U.S. scored on a block and kill by Stanley to lead 8-6 at the first TTO. Italy used two attacks out of the break to tie the score. But the U.S. came back with three straight points, including a block from Anderson, to lead 11-8. Italy tied the score at 12-12 an the score was still tied at 14-14 when the U.S. Men got a kill from Stanley and ace by Thornton to lead 16-14. 7 scored for Italy after the break, but the U.S. Men came back with a Stanley kill and a triple block to lead 18-15 and Italy called timeout. The U.S. continued to lead at 22-19 when Italy scored on two straight kills and the U.S. called timeout. Stanley came back with an attack off the block. Italy scored on the United States’ service error, but Priddy’s right-side attack gave the U.S. set point at 24-22. Stanley won the set with a kill in transition.

With the score tied 2-2 in the fourth set, the U.S. scored on a Holmes attack, Italy error and Anderson ace to open a three-point lead. Italy scored on a U.S serving error, but the  U.S. led 8-4 at the first TTO thanks to a Priddy kill and Italy attack error. The U.S. lead was three at 13-10 when Italy scored on a kill, block and U.S. attack error to tie the score. Priddy ended the run with a left-side spike and the teams traded points until it was tied 15-15 and Italy scored with a block to lead at the second TTO. With the score tied 17-17, Savani put Italy up with an attack and Lasko followed with an ace to give Italy the lead. Priddy came back with a block, but two straight Lasko kills led the U.S. to call timeout down 21-18. Team USA came back with a kill and block by Priddy, but Ivan Zaytsev scored with a kill and a U.S. passing error put Italy ahead 23-20. The U.S. caleld timeout. Italy reached match point with a block of Stanley. Anderson scored from the back row, but setter Dragan Travica gave Italy the victory with a setter dump.

FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup 2011
U.S. Men's Roster for Nov. 25
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
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, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (L, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
12 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13C Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Trainer: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Doctor: Scott Magness and William Stetson
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Massage Therapist: Eli Evette
Scout Coach: Frank Ciarelli
Scout Coach: Andy Read

Qualified Teams

Team (Qualification Method, World Ranking as of Jan 15, 2011, Current World Ranking)
Brazil (South America Champion, 1, 1)
Serbia (Europe Champion, 3, 5)
Cuba (NORCECA Champion, 4, 6)
Egypt (Africa Champion, 13, 12)
Iran (Asia Champion, 19, 14)
USA (NORCECA Runner Up, 5, 4)
Italy (Europe Runner Up, 6, 3)
Argentina (South America Runner Up, 8, 9)
China (Asia Runner Up, 11, 10)
Japan (Hosts, 14, 18)
Russia (Wild Card, 2, 2)
Poland (Wild Card, 10, 8)

Tournament Schedule (All times local except for U.S. matches in bold)

1st round
Nagoya (Site A)

1 SRB-ARG 20-Nov 11:00 Nagoya ARG def SRB, 25-20, 25-13, 25-18
2 POL-CUB 20-Nov 15:00 Nagoya POL def CUB, 25-21, 25-23, 25-16
3 IRI-JPN 20-Nov 18:20 Nagoya IRI def JPN, 17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-15
7 CUB-IRI 21-Nov 11:00 Nagoya CUB def IRI, 25-17, 25-17, 25-22
8 SRB-POL 21-Nov 15:00 Nagoya POL def SRB 21-25, 25-18, 25-19, 30-28
9 ARG-JPN 21-Nov 18:20 Nagoya ARG def JPN 25-22, 21-25, 11-25, 25-15, 15-12
13 IRI-SRB 22-Nov 11:00 Nagoya IRI def SRB 25-17, 18-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-11
14 POL-ARG 22-Nov 15:00 Nagoya POL def ARG 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-22
15 JPN-CUB 22-Nov 18:20 Nagoya CUB def JPN 25-21, 25-23, 25-22

Kagoshima (Site B)

4 CHN-USA 20-Nov 11:00 Kagoshima USA def. CHN 25-14, 25-23, 25-21
5 ITA-RUS 20-Nov 15:00 Kagoshima RUS def ITA 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21
6 EGY-BRA 20-Nov 18:20 Kagoshima BRA def EGY 25-19, 25-13, 25-19
10 EGY-ITA 21-Nov 11:00 Kagoshima ITA def EGY 25-22, 25-15, 25-20
11 BRA-USA 21-Nov 15:00 Kagoshima BRA def USA 25-17, 25-18, 16-25, 25-16
12 RUS-CHN 21-Nov 18:20 Kagoshima RUS def CHN 25-18, 25-20, 25-18
16 CHN-EGY 22-Nov 11:00 Kagoshima EGY def CHN 25-20, 25-20, 25-18
17 ITA-BRA 22-Nov 15:00 Kagoshima ITA def BRA 25-16, 20-25, 18-25, 25-21, 22-20
18 USA-RUS 22-Nov 18:20 Kagoshima RUS def USA, 25-18, 25-19, 26-24

2nd round

Osaka (Site A)

19 ARG-CUB 24-Nov 11:00 Osaka ARG def CUB 17-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-17
20 POL-IRI 24-Nov 15:00 Osaka IRI def POL 23-25, 28-26, 8-25, 26-24, 15-11
21 SRB-JPN 24-Nov 18:20 Osaka SRB def JPN 25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 22-25, 15-12
25 IRI-ARG 25-Nov 11:00 Osaka IRI def ARG 15-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-16, 15-12
26 CUB-SRB 25-Nov 15:00 Osaka CUB def SRB 17-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-17
27 JPN-POL 25-Nov 18:20 Osaka POL def JPN 25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 18-25

Kumamoto (Site B)

22 EGY-USA 24-Nov 11:00 Kumamoto USA def EGY 25-19, 25-20, 25-20
23 BRA-RUS 24-Nov 15:00 Kumamoto BRA def RUS 25-16, 25-19, 25-22
24 ITA-CHN 24-Nov 18:20 Kumamoto ITA def CHN 25-10, 25-18, 25-14
28 RUS-EGY 25-Nov 11:00 Kumamoto RUS def EGY 25-18 25-17 23-25 25-9
29 CHN-BRA 25-Nov 15:00 Kumamoto BRA def CHN 23-25, 25-10, 25-18, 19-25, 15-8
30 USA-ITA 25-Nov 18:20 Kumamoto ITA def USA 41-39, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21

3rd round

Fukuoka (Site A)

31 IRI-USA 27-Nov 11:00 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
31 IRI-USA 26-Nov 18:00 PT    
32 POL-CHN 27-Nov 15:00 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
33 JPN-EGY 27-Nov 18:20 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
37 IRI-EGY 28-Nov 11:00 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
38 POL-USA 28-Nov 15:00 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
38 POL-USA 27-Nov 22:00    
39 JPN-CHN 28-Nov 18:20 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
43 POL-EGY 29-Nov 11:00 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
44 IRI-CHN 29-Nov 15:00 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
45 JPN-USA 29-Nov 18:20 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
45 JPN-USA 29-Nov 01:20 PT    

Hamamatsu (Site B)

34 SRB-RUS 27-Nov 11:00 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
35 ARG-BRA 27-Nov 15:00 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
36 CUB-ITA 27-Nov 18:20 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
40 ARG-RUS 28-Nov 11:00 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
41 CUB-BRA 28-Nov 15:00 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
42 SRB-ITA 28-Nov 18:20 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
46 CUB-RUS 29-Nov 11:00 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
47 ARG-ITA 29-Nov 15:00 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena
48 SRB-BRA 29-Nov 18:20 Hamamatsu Hamamatsu Arena

4th round

Tokyo (Site A)

49 IRI-BRA 02-Dec 11:00 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
50 POL-ITA 02-Dec 15:00 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
51 JPN-RUS 02-Dec 18:20 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
55 IRI-RUS 03-Dec 11:00 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
56 POL-BRA 03-Dec 15:00 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
57 JPN-ITA 03-Dec 18:20 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
61 POL-RUS 04-Dec 11:00 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
62 IRI-ITA 04-Dec 15:00 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium
63 JPN-BRA 04-Dec 18:20 Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium

Tokyo (Site B)

52 SRB-EGY 02-Dec 11:00 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
53 CUB-CHN 02-Dec 15:00 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
54 ARG-USA 02-Dec 18:20 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
54 ARG-USA 02-Dec 0:1:20 PT    
58 SRB-CHN 03-Dec 11:00 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
59 ARG-EGY 03-Dec 15:00 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
60 CUB-USA 03-Dec 18:20 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
60 CUB-USA 03-Dec 01:20 PT    
64 CUB-EGY 04-Dec 11:00 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
65 ARG-CHN 04-Dec 14:00 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
66 SRB-USA 04-Dec 17:00 Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
66 SRB-USA 04-Dec midnight PT