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U.S. Men Hold Off Netherlands; Win Pool

July 17, 2009, 10:56 p.m. (ET)

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

WICHITA, Kan. (July 17, 2009) - The United States secured its lead in Pool A and earned a spot in the FIVB World League final round with a 3-0 (25-21, 32-30, 31-29) victory over Netherlands before a crowd of 4, 475 on Friday at Koch Arena in Wichita.

The victory improves the United States' record to 8-3 in Pool A. Netherlands falls to 4-7. The two teams will play again on Saturday at 7 p.m. Following that match, the U.S. Men will travel straight to Serbia for the final round, which runs July 22-26.

"We were able to accomplish one of our goals to advance out of group A," U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. "I thought the match was hard-fought. Both teams are capable of playing better."

The United States was led by Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i) with 18 points on 14 kills, two blocks and two aces. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added 11 points on 10 kills and one block. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks. Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) scored nine points on five kills and four blocks.

Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Ill.) scored six points on six kills and Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) added three points on one kill, one block and one ace.

Robert Horstink led Netherlands with 18 points 15 kills, two blocks and one ace. Jeroen Trommel scored 12 points on nine kills and three aces.

Netherlands played a strong match, out-blocking the United States 12-10 and converting 41 percent of its attack attempts while the United States converted 40 percent.

But Netherlands was hurt by 15 serving errors that seemed to come at the most inopportune times.

"I was disappointed we missed so many opportunities to score important points," Netherlands head coach Peter Blange said. "We missed too many points to make it difficult for the U.S."

Knipe started Rooney and Touzinsky at outside hitter, Lee and Hein and middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.

The United States took an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set. A kill by Hein coming out of the TTO improved the lead to three and the U.S. held on to the three-point lead at the second TTO, 16-13. Netherlands drew to within one with a kill and a tip out of the timeout; but kills by Hein and Touzinsky improved the U.S. lead back to three. Touzinsky continued to hit well, helping the U.S. secure the set victory.

Netherlands came out strong in the second set and led 8-4 at the first TTO. With the Netherlands leading 14-9, Team USA substituted Hansen for Suxho at setter. But Netherlands held a 16-11 lead after a kill by Horstink took the teams into the second TTO. Netherlands seemed to have things well in hand at 20-15 when Hansen got the serve on a Dutch error. Team USA scored the next seven points in a row, despite a Netherlands timeout, including two kills and a block by Stanley.

The Dutch reached set point first at 24-23, but a Netherlands serving error tied the score. Netherlands reached set point three more times, but was unsuccessful. Team USA took its first set point at 28-27, but Kooistra's kill tied the score. With the score tied 30-30, Netherlands served into the net and Stanley followed up with a kill off the block to take the set at 32-30.

Netherlands took an 8-6 lead at the first TTO of the third set. But the U.S. kept up the pressure and tied the score at 12-12 on Rooney's tip. Team USA led 16-15 at the second TTO. The end of the match was another marathon, with the U.S. scoring the final two points on a kill by Lee and a block by Rooney.

World League Tickets: Tickets for the second match in Wichita are on sale.

For Wichita tickets, click here.

For more information on World League, please visit USA Volleyball's World League web site at http://usavolleyball.org/event/event/573.

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

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

For the FIVB Media Guide for Wichita, click here.

U.S. Men's Team Roster for July 17-18

2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
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)
7 Donald Suxho (S, 6-5, Korce, Albania, USC)
8 Andrew Hein (MB, 611, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
9 Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
10 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 C Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
19 Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawai'i)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe
Team Manager: Jeff Stork
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson
Therapist/Trainer: John Hawks
Medical Support: Aaron Brock
Doctor: Andrew Gregory

Pool A Standings (as of July 16)

1 USA 8-3 (21 points)
2 ITA 7-4 (17 points)
3 NED 4-7 (13 points)
4 CHN 3-8 (6 points)

2009 FIVB World League Schedule and Results

Date: June 13-14
Opponent: Netherlands
Location: Rotterdam
June 13: Netherlands def. USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 26-24)
June 14: USA def. Netherlands, 3-2 (25-16, 30-32, 25-17, 20-25, 15-6)

Date: June 19 and 21
Opponent: Italy
Location: Florence and Catania
June 19: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-21, 30-28, 21-25, 25-21)
June 20: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-20)

Date: June 26-27
Opponent: China
Location: San Jose State University Event Center Arena in San Jose, Calif.
June 26: USA def. China, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-21)
June 27: USA def. China, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22)

Date: July 4-5
Opponent: China
Location: Nanjing
July 4: China def. USA, 3-2 (25-19, 27-29, 18-25, 26-24, 15-12)
July 5: USA def. China, 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 25-12)

Date: July 10-11
Opponent: Italy
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
July 10: Italy def. USA, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 26-24)
July 11: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21)

Date: July 17-18 (7 p.m. both days)
Opponent: Netherlands
Location: Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan.
July 17: USA def. Netherlands, 3-0 (25-21, 32-30, 31-29)

Date: July 22-26
Event: Final Round (teams must qualify)
Opponents: TBD
Location: Belgrade, Serbia