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US Men Frustrate France in World League Win

June 23, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Russell Holmes (12) attacks against France during their World League match on June 23 in Korea


B.J. Hoeptner Evans
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Unofficial DataVolley Statistics * Official Match Statistics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 23, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team extended its lead in Pool C on Saturday with a 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 victory over France in FIVB World League pool play in Gwangju, Korea.

The U.S. Men had been tied with France in the Pool C lead, but had been in first place by virtue of its set ratio. With Saturday’s victory, the U.S. improved its record to 6-2 with 17 points while France is 5-3 with 14 points. Italy, which beat Korea on Saturday, is in third place at 4-4 with 11 points.

The U.S. Men will complete their weekend series in Gwangju against host Korea at 10 p.m. PT on Saturday.

France led the U.S. in attacks on Saturday, 43-40. But the U.S. held a big edge in blocks, 12-3, including five blocks in a second-set comeback, and had a smaller edge in aces, 3-2. The U.S. Men led in digs 18-14. The U.S. also took advantage of 21 French errors while committing only 15.

The U.S. got balanced scoring from its starters, with four in double digits.

U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) led all scorers with 13 points on nine kills (40.90 kill percent, .364 hitting efficiency) and a match-high four blocks. Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 12 points on 10 attacks (45.5 kill percent, .364 hitting efficiency) and two blocks.

“We did a great job today,” Stanley said. “Our team led the game with excellent teamwork. It was consistent. Also, we showed incredible defense and blocking today. It was a pretty good match.”

Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) contributed 11 points on seven attacks, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) totaled 10 points on nine kills and one block.

Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) scored seven points on five attacks, on block and one ace. Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) scored one point with a block.

Suxho was credited with 27 assists and no faults. He set the U.S. to a 44.9 kill percent and a .348 hitting efficiency. France’s kill percent was 39.8 and its hitting efficiency was .185.

U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) led the team in digs with six and added five excellent receptions. Anderson led the team in excellent receptions with nine.

Antonin Rouzier led France with 11 points on 11 attacks. Kevin Tillie, who played on UC Irvine’s 2012 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship team under U.S. coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) also made an appearance in the third set and scored seven points on seven kills in the losing effort.

Speraw, who continued to fill in for Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) while Knipe attends to a family issue, started Anderson and Rooney at outside hitter, Holmes and Smith at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Suxho at setter and Lambourne at libero.

Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) played as a substitute.

The U.S. Men took a 7-4 lead in the first set, including blocks by Rooney and Stanley and an ace from Holmes. France came back to tie the score at 7-7, but Smith came in to give the U.S. the lead with a quick kill. An Anderson block and kill gave the U.S. a three-point lead at 10-7. The U.S. increased the lead to four at 14-10 on a French service error and ace by Smith. The U.S. led by four at the second technical timeout (TTO), 16-12 and increased it to five with a block by Suxho. But France came back with three straight points to pull to within two at 17-15. Speraw called timeout and France’s next serve went into the net. With the U.S. leading 18-16, Anderson scored on two straight kills to give the U.S. a four-point lead again. The U.S. reached set point first at 24-20 on a Rooney kill of an overpass. France came back with a kill before Holmes won the set with a quick attack down the middle.

France took a 9-4 lead in the second set as the U.S. struggled with errors. The U.S. came back with four straight points, including a Rooney block and Anderson kill, to pull to within one at 9-8. France held the U.S. off and led 16-13 at the second TTO. With France still leading at 19-16, the U.S. scored on a Smith kill, and Holmes block and kill to tie the score at 19-19 behind the serving of Smith. France called timeout, but the U.S. came back with two straight blocks from Holmes and Stanley. France hit the next ball out of bounds and Rooney and Holmes added two more blocks to give the U.S. set point at 24-19. France scored on two straight kills and Speraw called timeout. Stanley won the set with an attack.

Smith served the U.S. to a 5-0 lead in the third set as it scored on an Anderson block, Rooney kill and three French errors. France ended the run with a kill. But the U.S. led 8-3 at the first TTO. France scored twice to pull to within two, but the U.S. came back with an Anderson attack, Smith block and French hitting error to lead by six at 11-5. It continued to lead 16-11 at the second TTO. France brought in Tillie, who had starred on Speraw’s UC Irvine team that won the 2012 NCAA Men’s National Championship. He had two kills in a French run that pulled it to within two points at 17-15. But with the U.S. leading 18-16, the U.S. put together a Stanley attack and Rooney block and kill to pull ahead 21-16. The U.S. reached match point at 24-18 on France’s service error. France scored on kills from Tuia and Tillie, but Holmes won the match with a quick attack down the middle.

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U.S. World League 12-Player Roster for June 23 in Gwangju, Korea

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)

7. Donald Suxho (S, 6-5, Korce, Albania, USC)

8. Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)

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)

5. Gabe Gardner (Opp, 6-8, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)

20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)

Head Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)

Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)

Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)

Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

U.S. World League Schedule/Results

(All times PT unless noted)
































































U.S. World League Schedule/Results

(All times PT unless noted)

In Florence, Italy

May 18: France def. USA, 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-17

May 18: Italy def. Korea, 24-26, 27-25, 21-25, 29-27, 18-16

May 19: USA def. Korea, 20-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 17-15

May 19: Italy def. France, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22

May 20: France def. Korea, 25-18, 24-26, 25-20, 21-25, 15-11

May 20: Italy def. USA, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16

In Lyon, France

June 15: France def. Korea, 21-25, 25-15, 31-29, 25-16

June 15: USA def. Italy, 30-28, 28-26, 25-22

June 16: USA def. Korea, 22-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-16

June 16: France def. Italy, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20

June 17: Korea def. Italy, 22-25, 24-26, 26-24, 25-15, 15-11

June 17: USA def. France, 20-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-21

In Gwangju, Korea

June 22: France def. Korea, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15

June 22: USA def. Italy, 22-25, 25-21, 29-27, 25-16

June 22: Italy def. Korea, 15-25 22-25 25-21 25-22 13-15

June 23: USA def. France, 25-21, 25-21, 25-20

June 23 at 10 p.m. USA vs. Korea

In Dallas, Texas – BUY TICKETS

June 29 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. Korea

June 30 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. France

July 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT: USA vs. Italy