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U.S. Men Out of Africa with Two World League Wins

July 03, 2010, 4:32 p.m. (ET)

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

Official Match Statistics * Unofficial DataVolley Statistics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 3, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team got all it could handle from Egypt, but came away with an FIVB World League Intercontinental Round pool play victory, 3-2 (20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22, 18-16) on Saturday in Cairo.

And thanks to Finland’s 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19) Pool C victory over Russia on Saturday, the U.S. Men will return to the United States with a chance to win the pool when it hosts Russia for two matches in Wichita, Kan., on July 9-10 (BUY TICKETS!).

Team USA improved its record to 7-3 and remains in second place in Pool C. Russia is in first place with a 9-1 record. Egypt (1-9) will host Finland (3-7) on July 7-8 (the matches are early so as not to coincide with World Cup soccer games) in their final Pool C matches.

The U.S. Men were paced by outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), who scored 20 points on 15 kills, four blocks and one ace. Opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) added 12 points on nine kills, one block and two aces. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added 10 points on eight kills, one block and one ace.

Egypt’s Ahmed Abdelhay led all scorers with 25 points on a match-high 24 kills and one block. Mohamed Badawy scored 17 points on 12 kills and five blocks. Abdel Latif Ahmed added 15 points on eight kills, five blocks and two aces.

After the U.S. needed five sets to defeat Egypt on Friday, U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) made many lineup changes on Saturday, with every player on the 12-man roster (middle blocker Andy Hein and libero Alfee Reft sat out the match) starting at least one set.

The United States out-served Egypt with seven aces and 13 faults as opposed to two aces for Egypt, which had 18 faults. Egypt out-blocked the U.S. 15-12.

The United States’ hitting percentage was 0.21 while its kill percentage was 0.38. Egypt’s hitting percentage was 0.26 and its kill percentage was 0.42.

The U.S. was credited with four digs, led by Patak with two, and 26 faults while Egypt had eight digs with 23 faults. The U.S. was credited with 11 “excellent” receptions, led by Rooney with seven, and two faults. Egypt totaled 29 excellent receptions with six faults.

Among other U.S. players, outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) scored eight points on six kills, one block and one ace. Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored six points on five kills and one block. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) had five points on four kills and one block and middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) totaled five points on three kills and two blocks.

Setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) scored four points on one kill and three blocks and opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) added two points on two kills.

Hansen was credited with 17 running sets and no faults in 59 attempts. Tyler Hildebrand (Mesa, Ariz.), who took over for Hansen in the third set and started the fourth and fifth, totaled 14 running sets and one fault in 48 attempts.

Knipe started Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) and Lotman at outside hitter, Lee and Holmes at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Hansen at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.

Patak played as a serving substitute in the first set, then took over for Stanley to start the second and started the rest of the match at opposite. Rooney took over for Salmon at the left side in the first set and started the rest of the match.

Holt replaced Holmes in the third set and started the fourth and fifth. Anderson substituted for Lotman in the third set and started the fourth and fifth.

In the fifth-set tiebreaker, things looked bad for the U.S. Men when Egypt took a 6-2 lead, scoring on four kills, one block and one U.S. error. Team USA’s points came off spikes from Anderson. A kill by Patak followed by a Rooney tip cut Egypt’s lead to 6-4. Egypt had a kill to make it 7-4, but the U.S. scored to give Hildebrand the serve and a Rooney tip cut Egypt’s lead to one. Egypt called timeout, but then came back with a hitting error to tie the score. A Rooney block gave the U.S. an 8-7 lead as the teams changed sides. A Badawy kill tied the score for Egypt at 8-8 and each side had a service error to keep the tie. Abdelhay’s successful attack put Egypt ahead at 10-9, but the U.S. responded with a Patak kill and Holt ace to lead 11-10. Egypt called timeout and responded with an attack from Ahmed to tie the score at 11s. Patak had a kill, followed by Egypt’s hitting error to put the U.S. ahead at 13-11 and the U.S. reached match point at 14-12 on a Patak tip. But Egypt fought off match point with a Rashad Atia spike and a double block to tie the score at 14-14. Team USA called timeout and took match point again with a triple block. Egypt tied it with a Badawy attack. Rooney put Team USA ahead 15-14 with a spiked, but this time Ahmed returned the favor. At 16-16, Rooney used his 15th kill of the match to give his team the lead and a U.S. block sealed the victory.

In the first set, Egypt held an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). The U.S. scored on kills from Lotman, Holmes, Lee and Stanley, but struggled to stop Abdelhay, who had four points on three kills and a block. After the break, Egypt outscored the U.S. Men 4-2, with the U.S. only scoring on Egyptian errors. Trailing 12-8, Knipe called timeout and the U.S. scored on Abdelhay’s serving error. But he came back with a kill to put Egypt up 13-9. Despite two attacks from Lee, the U.S. trailed 16-12 at the second TTO and Egypt increased its lead to five points at 17-12. Team USA responded with kills by Stanley and Lotman, but Egypt responded with an Ahmed attack. Later, trailing 21-15, Team USA scored on Egypt’s service error. Knipe replaced Salmon with Rooney and Lotman scored with an ace. An Egyptian hitting error cut its lead to 21-18 and Egypt’s head coach Antonia Giacobbe called timeout. Nevertheless, a Rooney block made it 21-19, but Youssef stopped the U.S. run with a kill and a U.S. hitting error made the score 23-19. Team USA scored once more on an Egyptian service error, but Egypt reached set point with a Youssef attack and won the set on Atia’s block.

Patak took over for Stanley at opposite in the second set and the U.S. held an 8-2 lead at the first TTO, scoring on two Patak kills and one each from Lee, Rooney and Hansen along with a Hansen block and two Egypt errors. The U.S. Men kept up the pressure and led 14-9 when a Patak kill followed by a kill and block from Rooney put Team USA ahead 17-9. Egypt scored on a Youssef kill, but Lee took the serve on a Rooney attack and served for the next three points, including an ace and kills by Rooney and Patak, to increase Team USA’s lead to 21-10 and it seemed well on its way to the set win. The U.S. Men reached set point at 24-14 on a Rooney kill. But Egypt wasn’t done and it scored four straight points sending the crowd of 6,750 into a frenzy before Lotman could end it with a kill.

The third set started out close and Egypt held an 8-7 advantage at the first TTO. The U.S. scored on three kills from Lee, and one each from Patak, Rooney and Hansen. With Egypt leading 10-8, Team USA scored three points on Egypt’s error, a Lotman block and Patak kill to lead 11-10. Egypt called timeout and came back with two Abdelhay attacks to re-take the lead. The teams traded points and the U.S. trailed by two at the second TTO, 16-14. Rooney closed the gap to one with an attack, but Egypt scored the next five points behind the serving of Abdalla Ahmed to lead 21-15. Patak ended the run with a kill, but the damage was done. Egypt reached set point at 24-19 on a Youssef kill and Youssef ended the set with another successful attack.

Team USA jumped to an 8-2 lead in the fourth set, getting two aces and a kill from Patak, along with an Anderson ace and Rooney kill in the run. Egypt scored its two points on U.S. serving errors. The U.S. was leading 12-5 when Egypt scored three straight points on two kills and a U.S. error to cut the lead to 12-8. But the U.S. came back with a five-point run behind Rooney’s serving, including an ace and attacks by Holt and Anderson to lead 17-7. Egypt scored the next three points on an Abdelhay kill and two blocks by Ahmed. The teams traded points, but with the U.S. leading 19-11, Egypt used a 5-1 run to cut the lead to cut the U.S. lead to 20-16. Knipe called timeout and Egypt responded with a service error. Then Giacobbe called timeout and after Team USA scored on an Egypt error, Egypt scored three straight points to cut the lead to three at 22-19. Rooney’s kill made it 23-19. Badawy scored on an attack to make it 23-20 before another Rooney kill gave Team USA set point. Egypt score twice on a kill and U.S. error before Holt gave it the set victory with a block. The U.S. finished the set with five aces.

U.S. World League matches are being shown via tape delay on Comcast Sportsnet stations, with the final matches against Russia being shown on Versus as well as Comcast Sportsnet stations. Click here for a schedule.

For the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide, click here.

To view U.S. World League photo galleries, click here.

The USA Volleyball page for World League information is http://usavolleyball.org/events/2878.

To visit the FIVB World League page with photos, statistics and live scoring, click here.

2010 FIVB World League

July 2-3 in Cairo, Egypt
U.S. Roster (Roster will be reduced to 12 for the matches)
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)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
4 C 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)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
11 Tyler Hildebrand (S, 6-4, Mesa, Ariz., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
16 Andy Hein (MB, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
19 Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawai'i)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader: Arnie Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Trainer: Shawn Patchell (Provo, Utah)
Doctor: Chris Koutures
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

Pool C Standings (As of July 2)
Country (points) record
Russia (26) 9-1
USA (20) 7-3
Finland (9) 3-7
Egypt (5) 1-9

Note: Match won 3-0 or 3-1: 3 points for the winner, 0 point for the loser
Match won 3-2: 2 points for the winner, 1 point for the loser
In case of tie, the teams will be classified according to the following criteria: number of matches won, points ratio and sets ratio

2010 U.S. World League Schedule and Results
Date: June 4-5
Location: Ekaterinburg, Russia
June 4: Russia def. United States, 25-15, 26-24, 25-14
June 5:
Russia def. United States, 25-14, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21

Date: June 11-12
Opponent: Finland
Location: Tampere, Finland
June 11: United States def. Finland, 25-27, 25-18, 27-25, 25-28
June 12: United States def. Finland, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21, 28-26

Date: June 18-19
Opponent: Egypt
Location: Cabarrus Arena in Concord, N.C.
June 18: United States def. Egypt, 25-19, 25-15, 14-25, 25-21
June 19: United States def. Egypt, 25-20, 25-22, 11-25, 25-14

Date: June 25-26 (7 p.m. CT both days)
Opponent: Finland
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 25: Finland def. United States, 25-22, 14-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11
June 26: United States def. Finland, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23

Date: July 2-3
Opponent: Egypt
Location: Cairo, Egypt
July 2: United States def. Egypt, 20-25, 31-29, 25-17, 21-25, 15-12
July 3: United States def. Egypt, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22, 18-16

Date: July 9 at 7 p.m. CT; July 10 at 6 p.m. CT
Opponent: Russia
Location: Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan. - www.wichitasports.com/

Final Round (must qualify)
Date: July 21-25
Location: Cordoba, Argentina

Other Pool C Results
June 5: Egypt def. Finland, 23-25, 26-24, 25-16, 20-25, 15-13
June 6: Finland def. Egypt, 25-22. 23-25, 25-20, 25-19
June 11: Russia def. Egypt, 26-24, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15
June 12: Russia def. Egypt, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17, 22-25, 15-8
June 18: Russia def. Finland, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18
June 19: Russia def. Finland, 25-18, 25-16, 18-25, 25-18
June 25: Russia def. Egypt, 25-18, 25-18, 25-16
June 26: Russia def. Egypt, 25-17, 25-12, 25-18
July 2: Russia def. Finland, 25-20, 25-19, 25-14
July 3: Finland def. Russia, 25-18, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19