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US Men Cruise Past Costa Rica at Qualifier

May 08, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

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

DataVolley Statistics * Official Match Statistics

The NORCECA Olympic Qualifier is being live streamed at usavlive.com The gold medal match will not be streamed, and instead will be show on NBC Sports Network at 3-5 p.m. ET on May 13.

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 8, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team coasted past Costa Rica, 25-14, 25-9, 25-9 on Tuesday at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.

The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The U.S. Men improved to 2-0 in pool play. They will try to secure the pool victory on Wednesday when they play Mexico (2-0) at 8 p.m. PT at the Pyramid. Costa Rica (0-2) will play Trinidad & Tobago (0-2) at 3 p.m. PT.

The U.S. Men dominated the match, leading in kills, 38-18, in blocks, 8-2 and in aces, 11-0.

“We subbed a little more freely tonight and the guys did a good job keeping their focus,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “We stressed a lot about continued pressure on the end line.”

U.S. opposite David McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) led all scorers with 10 points on a match-high eight kills (80.0 kill percent, .700 hitting efficiency) and two aces. Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) added eight points on three attacks (75.0 kill percent, .750 hitting efficiency), a match-high three blocks and two aces.

“I thought our team controlled the game behind the service line,” Stanley said. “We had a pretty nice control block giving them pressure and having it hard (for Costa Rica) to side out.”

Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) totaled seven points on four kills and a match-high three aces. Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) added seven points on five attacks and two blocks.

Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) scored six points on six attacks. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) totaled five points on three kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) scored five points on three attacks and two aces. Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added five points on three kills and two blocks.

Outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) contributed three points on three attacks and setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) scored a point with a kill. Setters Suxho and Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) combined to help the U.S. Men to a 69.1 kill percent and a .600 hitting efficiency.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) had six of the United States’ 26 digs while Suxho had five. Lambourne was also credited with 12 excellent receptions.

Knipe started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Suxho at setter and Lambourne at libero.

Holmes started the second and third sets for Lee. Lotman started the third set for Priddy. Thornton started the third set for Suxho. McKienzie started the third set for Stanley.

The U.S. Men led 5-4 in the first set when Anderson scored his first point with an attack. He took the serve and helped the U.S. score five more points before Costa Rica called timeout and scored with an attack. Priddy came back with a kill off the block and McKienzie served three more points for the U.S. to put it ahead 15-5. The U.S. Men led 16-6 at the second technical timeout (TTO). Costa Rica went on a run coming out of the break, scoring three straight points before serving into the net. The U.S. came back with a Millar block and scored again when Costa Rica hit the ball out of bounds. The U.S. reached set point at 24-14 and won the set on a Priddy block.

The second-set score was tied at 3-3 when Anderson scored on two straight kills. The U.S. led 6-5 when Holmes took the serve and the U.S. launched an eight-point run, including two kills by Stanley, before he served into the net. With the U.S. leading 14-6, Millar sparked another run with a kill, giving the serve to Stanley. The U.S. scored three more straight points, including two straight Stanley aces, to lead 18-6. The U.S. reached set point at 24-9 and won the set on Suxho’s ace.

Lotman served the United States to a 6-0 lead, including an ace and McKienzie kill, in the third set. The U.S. went on to lead 10-1. With the U.S. Men ahead 14-6, Holmes scored with an attack and Lotman served for three more points to put Team USA up 18-6. The U.S. reached match point at 24-9 and a kill by Salmon finished the match.

2012 NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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)
7. Donald Suxho (S, 6-5, Korce, Albania, USC)
8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9. Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10. Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
11. Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13. Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
21. David McKienzie (Opp, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

2012 NORCECA Men’s Olympic Games Qualification Tournament Schedule (All times PT)
Schedule subject to change depending on U.S. finishes

Pool Play
May 7
Canada def. Dominican Republic, 25-21, 25-13, 25-15
Mexico def. Costa Rica, 25-17, 25-18, 25-20
Cuba def. Puerto Rico, 25-20, 25-18, 25-18
USA def. Trinidad & Tobago, 24-9, 25-10, 25-14

May 8
Cuba def. Dominican Republic, 25-15. 25-21, 25-15
Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-18, 19-25, 25-21, 25-22
Canada def. Puerto Rico, 25-19, 25-20, 25-13
USA def. Costa Rica, 25-14, 25-9, 25-9

May 9
1 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic
3 p.m. Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
6 p.m. Cuba vs. Canada
8 p.m. USA vs. Mexico

Pool A
Rank Team Record Points
1 USA 2-0 10
2 Mexico 2-0 9
3 Trinidad & Tobago 0-2 1
4 Costa Rica 0-1 0
Pool B
Rank Team Record Points
1 Canada 2-0 10
2 Cuba 2-0 10
3 Puerto Rico 0-2 0
4 Dominican Republic 0-2 0

May 10
6 p.m. 2nd-place B vs. 3rd-place A
8 p.m. 2nd-place A vs. 3rd-place B

Classification 5-8
May 11
1 p.m. 4th-place A vs. Quarterfinal Loser
3 p.m. 4th-place B vs. Quarterfinal Loser

May 11
6 p.m. 1st-place B vs. Quarterfinal Winner
8 p.m. 1st-place A vs. Quarterfinal Winner

May 12
1 p.m. Seventh-place match
3 p.m. Fifth-place match
6 p.m. Third-place match
8 p.m. Championship

Match Quotes

Stanley opening statement: As far as tonight, I thought our team controlled the game behind the service line had a pretty nice control block giving them pressure and having it hard to side out. As far as tomorrow, we want to keep doing what we have been doing and keep our serves in, keep improving and get ready for the next few matches coming up.
Stanley on comparing the team right now to the team at the same time last year
I am not too sure, it is really early. Starting at the beginning of the summer and ending at the end is a big difference because we are together longer. We have been together only for a week or so and me five days of training off of surgery. We are at the early stages trying to build something. It makes something like this tournament tougher since is so important. We are using past experiences to build a stronger team in a shorter amount of time.
Clay Stanley on what he thinks of the Mexican team…
They are a good team. They have given us trouble at World Championships. They are not a team to be taken lightly; I don’t think any team should be taken lightly here. Hopefully we go in tomorrow and concentrate on the goal.
Coach Knipe opening statement: Clay touched upon the primary goal of the past two nights; stay focused and maximize opportunity to communicate. I thought the guys did a good job with that tonight. We subbed a little more freely tonight and the guys did a good job keeping their focus. We stressed a lot about continued pressure on the end line. With that I would like to wish Costa Rica the best of luck in their third match of the tournament.
Coach Knipe on what he thinks of the Mexican team…
We have seen them at World Championships and this past summer at the London Olympic Test Event. They were at NORCECA in Puerto Rico going for the World Cup (entry) though we didn’t play them we have seen them. They have played together for a while so they have a comfort level. They have some young arms and good leadership. They have played well together and we expect them to play well tomorrow night.
Coach Knipe on the serve philosophy of Team USA…
It has been a process. There is a balance that we are looking for. We want to be aggressive, but aces aren’t that important, as much as disturbing the opposition’s offense. We like to get the serve in certain rotations to certain passers to cause some problems. For us, our goal is to get at least one of their options out. We have been building this serving philosophy for four years now. We are dealing with an athlete who keeps his errors down with our goal of staying below 15 percent as a team, and so we are serving hard and we are making it a lot. I haven’t seen the final stats from tonight but it think we are below 10 percent.
Costa Rica Quotes
Captain Pablo Zumbado Opening Statement: Congrats to the USA, it was a great game. It is a great experience to play one of the best teams in the world and it was very important for us to have better receiving. The physical difference is very noticeable and we are trying to fight that with a little enthusiasm.
Head Coach Salas Cesar Opening Statement: Our goal tonight was to have better reception of the ball and improve our defense and there isn’t a better team to do that against than the United States. I am pretty happy about tonight. These kinds of tournaments are very helpful for us. In Central America the challenge isn’t so high so every point, set and match is very important to us.