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U.S. Men One Step Away from World League Finals

July 01, 2011, 11 p.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Statistics * Official Statistics

To view the U.S. Men's 2011 FIVB World League Media Guide, click here.

To view the World League television schedule on Versus, click here.

Long Beach, Calif. (July 1, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team rallied after Puerto Rico won the fourth set and defeated the side, 25-27, 25-22, 25-12, 25-27, 15-8 in an FIVB World League match on Friday at the Walter Pyramid.

Thanks to losses by Bulgaria and Serbia on Friday in other pools, the United States (7-4) is one win away from a berth in the World League Final Round as one of the three best second-place teams in pool play. The U.S. and Puerto Rico (0-11) will play again on Saturday (7 p.m. PT) at the Pyramid in the final match of the Intercontinental (pool play) Round.

With the 3-2 final score, Puerto Rico gained its first point of World League.

After falling behind 2-1, Puerto Rico came back to win the fourth set. But the U.S. jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker and Puerto Rico couldn’t rally. Among the adjustments made by Puerto Rico Head Coach Carlos Cardona was pulling Hector Soto, the opposite who has been his leading scorer until this weekend, in favor of Steven Morales.

“I thought we pressed a little early,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “We wanted to be perfect and we’re not going to be perfect. Puerto Rico is a good team.”

The U.S. out-blocked Puerto Rico 20-3, led by middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) with six and David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) with five.

“The big difference is that they out-blocked us 20-3,” Puerto Rico Head Coach Carlos Cardona said. “In my mind, that was the match.”

United States outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) led all scorers with 21 points on a match-high19 kills and two blocks. Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 17 points on 11 kills, four blocks and two aces. Millar posted 16 points on nine kills, six blocks and one ace. Lee totaled 12 points on seven kills and five blocks.

Juan Figueroa led Puerto Rico with 18 points on 18 kills. Jose Rivera added 12 points.

The U.S. Men out-attacked Puerto Rico 82-67. The U.S. hitting efficiency was 0.442 while its kill percent was 51.3. Puerto Rico’s hitting efficiency was 0.341 while its kill percent was 45.9.

The U.S. had four aces as compared to two for Puerto Rico. The U.S. was struck with 17 service errors while Puerto Rico had 14. Puerto Rico led in digs 48-39.

Among other U.S. scorers, outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), who started the third, fourth and fifth sets, finished with seven points on six kills and one ace. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who started the first and second sets, scored six points on six attacks.

Setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) scored on two blocks and middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.), who played as a substitute, scored on a block.

Thornton was credited with 33 assists. U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) led the team in digs with 14. Priddy added nine.

Knipe started Priddy and Anderson at outside hitter, Millar and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Thornton at setter and Lambourne was the U.S. libero.

Lotman started the third, fourth and fifth sets for Anderson. Holmes played as a substitute.

Puerto Rico opened the first set strong while the U.S. looked shaky. Soto scored with two kills for Puerto Rico as it built a 6-2 lead, causing the U.S. to call timeout. Priddy scored on a back-row attack coming out of the break but then the U.S. lost the serve on an error. Priddy came back with another kill followed by a Millar ace to pull the U.S. to within two at 7-5, but a block by Puerto Rico’s Enrique Escalante gave his team the lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). After the break, the U.S. scored on two blocks from Lee and a kill by Priddy to pull to within one at 8-9 and Puerto Rico called timeout. The teams traded points following the break. With Puerto Rico leading 13-10, the U.S. scored on two straight kills to pull to within one, but a U.S. serving error kept Puerto Rico ahead and a kill from Angel Perez gave Puerto Rico a 16-13 lead at the second TTO. Another U.S. hitting error after the break caused Knipe to call timeout for the U.S. The strategy worked as Puerto Rico’s next serve went out of bounds. But Puerto Rico still held a four-point lead at 21-17 when the U.S. scored on straight kills from Stanley and Anderson to pull to within two. Later, with Puerto Rico leading 23-21, the United States scored on a Stanley kill and Priddy block to tie the score and Puerto Rico called timeout. Soto came back with a kill to give Puerto Rico set point, but lee answered with a block. A kill by Jose Rivera gave Puerto Rico its second set point, but Anderson answered with a block. Finally, Angel Perez used a setter dump to give Puerto Rico its third set point and Roberto Muniz ended the set with a block. Priddy led the U.S. with six points on four kills and two blocks. Soto had five points on five kills.

The teams traded points to open the second set. The U.S. took its first lead of the match at 3-2 on an Anderson kill and increased it to 4-2 on an ace from Stanley. But Puerto Rico tied it back up at 4-4 on a kill and tip from Juan Figueroa. The teams traded points again. With the score tied 7-7, Muniz connected on an attack to give Puerto Rico the lead at the first TTO. Puerto Rico increased its lead to 9-7 on a tip from Figueroa. Lee answered with a tip and a block to tie the score at 9-9. A U.S. serving error and Escalante kill put Puerto Rico back up by two. The U.S. answered with two straight Stanley kills. Later, with the scored tied 14-14 an attack by Rivera and U.S. net violation gave Puerto Rico a 16-14 lead at the second TTO. Stanley came back with a cross court shot. But two U.S. errors in a row gave Puerto Rico an 18-15 advantage and the United States called timeout. A Rivera kill down the left side put Puerto Rico ahead by four at 19-15. Stanley answered with a kill off the block and Priddy followed with a strike to pull the United States to within two at 19-17. Puerto Rico held a three-point lead at 21-18 when the U.S. scored on blocks by Priddy and Stanley to pull to within one. Cardona called timeout and the U.S. had a service error. But the U.S. scored the next three points on quick kills from Millar and a Puerto Rico hitting error to lead 23-22. Puerto Rico called timeout, but Priddy came back with a kill and Puerto Rico hit the ball out to give the U.S. the set victory. Stanley scored six points for the U.S. in the set. Figueroa had five for Puerto Rico.

The U.S. momentum carried into the third set and it took a 5-2 lead led by Millar with a kill and two straight blocks. Puerto Rico called timeout, but Paul Lotman, who started the set for Anderson, answered with an ace. A Puerto Rico hitting error gave the United States a 7-2 lead before Perez won a joust to score for Puerto Rico. But another Millar attack gave the U.S. the 8-3 lead at the TTO. A Puerto Rico double contact call increased the U.S. lead to 9-3. It continued to lead by six at 12-6 when Rivera scored with a kill off the block. Two straight U.S. blocks had Puerto Rico calling timeout down 14-7. The U.S. continued to lead by eight, 16-8, at the second TTO. Millar had two straight blocks coming out of the break to increase the U.S. lead. Lotman had two tips and a kill as the U.S. went on to win the set 25-12. The U.S. had six blocks in the set while Puerto Rico had none.

Puerto Rico replaced Soto with Steven Morales in the fourth set and the new opposite had three kills as the teams played to a 6-6 tie. Lotman scored for the U.S. on a kill and a Puerto Rico hitting error gave the U.S. an 8-6 lead at the first TTO. The U.S. held a three-point lead at 13-10 when Rivera scored on two straight kills and Muniz tied it on a block. The U.S. was called for a net violation and Puerto Rico took a 14-13 lead. The U.S. called timeout and Priddy responded with a cross-court kill from the right side. A Lee block gave the U.S. a 16-14 lead at the second TTO. Puerto Rico’s Muniz scored with a kill. Stanley came back with a shot that Puerto Rico disputed, resulting in a yellow card. Cardona called timeout. A fired-up Morales score on a kill, but Puerto Rico was called for a center-line violation and then hit in the net to give the U.S. a 20-16 lead and Puerto Rico called timeout again. A Muniz kill followed by two straight U.S. hitting errors pulled Puerto Rico to within one at 20-19 and it was the United States’ turn to call timeout. Puerto Rico’ s next attack went into the net and the U.S. took a two–point lead on Russell Holmes’ block. Puerto Rico tied it again on a U.S. serving error and two straight kills from Figueroa. Puerto Rico reached set point first at 24-23 when the U.S. sent a Morales attack out of bounds. The U.S. fought off one more set point before Puerto Rico took a 26-25 lead on a Figueroa kill and then won the set when a U.S. attack went long. Morales had seven points for Puerto Rico and Figueroa added six.

The U.S. took a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker, scoring on a kill and block by Millar and Puerto Rico hitting error. Puerto Rico called timeout and scored on a Muniz strike. But the U.S. came back with a Priddy block and kills by Millar and Stanley to lead 6-1 as Cardona called timeout again. The U.S. lead increased to 7-1 before Puerto Rico scored on an attack. Rivera took the serve and the U.S. passed his first serve out of bounds and his second fell for an ace to pull Puerto Rico to within three at 7-4. Knipe called timeout. A U.S. tip gave it an 8-4 lead as the teams changed sides and a block from Thornton put the U.S. ahead 8-4. The teams traded kills. The U.S. reached match point at 14-8 on Stanley’s attack and Priddy’s back-row strike won the match for the U.S.

To visit the FIVB World League web site, click here.


Tickets to see the U.S. Men play Puerto Rico on July 2 (7 p.m. PT) at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach can be purchased by visiting the Long Beach State athletics web site, by calling the ticket office at (562) 985-4949 or by purchasing them at the door prior to the match.

2011 FIVB World League
12-Player Roster for July 1 in Long Beach, Calif.
(12-player rosters for each match are announced shortly prior)

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10 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)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

Pool A Standings
Team record (points)
1. Brazil 10-2 (30)
2. USA 7-4 (20)
3. Poland 6-6 (18)
4. Puerto Rico 0-11 (1)

U.S. Schedule and Results

Date: May 27-28
Opponent: Poland
Location: Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland
May 27: Poland def. USA, 25-20, 25-22, 25-19
May 28: USA def. Poland, 25-22, 25-19, 37-35

Date: June 3-4
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 3: USA def. Puerto Rico, 24-26, 29-27, 25-17, 25-17
June 4: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 25-12

Date: June 11-12
Opponent: Brazil
Location: Mineirinho in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
June 11: Brazil def. USA, 19-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21
June 12: USA def. Brazil, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 26-24

Date: June 17-18
Opponent: Poland
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 17: Poland def. USA, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20
June 18: USA def. Poland, 25-21, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22

Date: June 24-25 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Brazil
Location: Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa (Okla.)
June 24: Brazil def. USA, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19
June 25: USA def. Brazil, 25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23

Date: July 1-2 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. - BUY TICKETS
July 1: USA def. Puerto Rico,25-27, 25-22, 25-12, 25-27, 15-8

Date: July 6-10
Opponent: Teams must qualify
Location: Gdansk-Sopot, Poland