USA Volleyball Features U.S. Men Finish Amer...

U.S. Men Finish America's Cup with a Win

Sept. 28, 2008, 2:33 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team finished the 2008 America’s Cup tournament on a high note with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-15 defeat of Mexico on Saturday in Cuiaba, Brazil.

With the victory, the U.S. Men finish the tournament in fifth. Cuba will play Brazil for the gold medal on Sunday while Argentina will face Venezuela in the bronze medal match.

Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led all scorers with 14 points on a match-high 12 kills, one block and one ace. Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 12 points on nine kills and three blocks. Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) scored seven points on three kills and a match-high four blocks.

Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) scored seven points on seven kills. Phil Eatherton (Glencoe, Mo.) scored seven points on four kills, three blocks and one ace.

Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Brandon Taliaferro (San Clemente, Calif.) each scored one point on one kill.

Anderson had 25 service receptions with 60 percent “excellent.” Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) had 15 serve receptions with 47 percent excellent. Lambourne was also credited with 10 digs.

Jesus Rangel led Mexico with 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks.

The U.S. Men converted 49 percent of their kill attempts into points while Mexico converted 41 percent. Team USA out-blocked Mexico 10-5 and was 60 percent “excellent” on serve receptions as compared to 52 percent for Mexico.

U.S. Head Coach Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.) started Anderson and Touzinsky at outside hitter, Eatherton and Hein at middle blocker, Patak at opposite and Taliaferro at setter. Lambourne was the designated libero. Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.), Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and Billings all played as substitutes.

Team USA got off to a fast start in the first set, taking an 8-3 lead at the first technical timeout. But Rangel heated up at the net and Mexico tied the score at 11-11. U.S. errors aided Mexico in taking a 14-12 lead. But Mexico’s service error cut Mexico’s lead to 14-13 and the United States scored the next four points to regain the edge.

Mexico kept things interesting and pulled to within one point at 21-20, but a Patak kill kept the U.S. Men out of reach. The United States reached set point first at 24-22. Mexico gained one more point before a Hein kill ended the set.

The U.S. Men led 8-6 at the first technical timeout of the second set. With Team USA leading 11-9, it scored the next four points, including blocks by Hein and Anderson, to extend the lead to 15-9.  Although Mexico trailed by as many as eight points, it did not give up and eventually pulled to within three at 21-18. But Team USA picked up the pace and stayed ahead for the victory.

Mexico held a 6-4 lead in the third set when the U.S. Men got the serve back on an Anderson kill and then scored five more points to lead 10-6. The United States led 16-8 at the second technical timeout and reached match point at 24-12. Mexico scored three points, but a Mexico serving error gave the United States the match victory.

2008 America’s Cup
Sept. 24-28 in Cuiaba, Brazil

U.S. Team
1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
3 - Nils Nielsen (OH, 6-4, Fallbrook, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
4 - Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5 - Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 - Phil Eatherton (MB, 6-9, Glencoe, Mo., Ball State)
7 - Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
9 - Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
11 - Brook Billings (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., Southern California)
12 - Andrew Hein (MB, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
16 - Brandon Taliaferro (S, 6-5, San Clemente, Calif., UCLA)
17 - Delano Thomas (MB, 6-7, Sacramento, Calif., Hawai’i)
18 - Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Ron Larsen
Team Leader: Mark Pavlik
Assistant Coach: Jamie Morrison
Assistant Coach: Peter Hanson
Medical Support: Aaron Brock
Technical Coordinator: David Hunt

Tournament Results and Schedule (All times PDT)

Group A
Cuba 2-0
Argentina 1-1
USA 0-2

Group B
Brazil 2-0
Venezuela 1-1
Mexico 0-2

Sept. 24
Cuba def. USA, 25-19, 25-27, 23-25, 25-21, 15-8
Brazil def. Mexico, 25-18, 25-16, 25-20

Sept. 25
Argentina def. USA, 25-17, 16-25, 25-16, 17-25, 15-13
Brazil def. Venezuela, 25-20, 25-19, 25-16

Sept. 26
Cuba def. Argentina, 25-21, 25-16, 25-18
Venezuela def. Mexico, 25-20, 25-17, 25-20

Sept. 27
Cuba def. Venezuela, 21-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-19, 17-15
Brazil def. Argentina, 25-17, 25-22, 29-27
USA def. Mexico, 25-23, 25-19, 25-15

Sept. 28
Bronze Medal: Argentina vs. Venezuela
Gold Medal: Brazil vs. Cuba