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U.S. Men Reach NORCECA Final

Sept. 27, 2013, 11 p.m. (ET)

LANGLEY, B.C., Canada (Sept. 27, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s National Team advanced to the finals of the NORCECA Continental Championship on Friday with a 25-13, 24-26, 25-20, 25-16 semifinal victory over Puerto Rico at the Langley Events Center.

Matt Anderson receives the ball during the match against Puerto Rico
  Matt Anderson lunges to receive the ball against Puerto Rico.

The United States (3-0) will play Canada (3-0) for the gold medal at 8 p.m. PT on Saturday. The match will be live streamed at langleyeventscentre.com/events/video-streams. Canada defeated Cuba on Friday, 25-14, 25-17, 25- 21.

The Championship winner will qualify for the FIVB Grand Champions Cup in November.

The U.S. led Puerto Rico in kills (50-40), in blocks (11-2) and in aces (6-0). U.S. errors in the second set kept it from getting the sweep.

“I don’t think it was our best volleyball of the summer, but we’re happy to get to the finals,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “I think we’ll be able to look at some of the things we did in that set and learn from it and hopefully get better.”

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all scorers with 15 points on a match-high 12 kills, two blocks and one ace.

“To beat a team pretty handily in the first set and come back like that and lose the second set is unacceptable for us,” Anderson said. “We can’t do that against good teams. They’re going to use that as a momentum swing.”

Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) and middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) each added 12 points. Priddy scored on 10 kills, one block and one ace. Holt totaled nine kills and a match-high three blocks.

Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) came in as a substitute in the second set and started the third and fourth and finished with 11 points on seven attacks, two blocks and a match-high two aces.

“I think Murphy did a nice job coming off the bench,” Speraw said. “He served some points for us, especially in that fourth set.”

Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu) scored five points on two kills, two blocks and one ace. He was also credited with 27 running sets and no faults. Opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) scored five points on five attacks. Middle blocker Futi Tavana (Kalaheo, Hawaii) scored five points on three kills, one block and one ace.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) entered the match as a substitute in the third set and finished with two points on two kills.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) was credited with 13 excellent receptions and three digs. Anderson led the team in excellent receptions with 14 and Priddy led in digs with 10.

The U.S. opened an 8-3 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set, scoring on a kill and block by Priddy, a kill and block from Anderson and an ace by Tavana. The U.S. led 16-9 at the second TTO and Puerto Rico never rallied.

Puerto Rico led 8-6 at the first TTO of the second set and led 16-15 at the second. Puerto Rico led 23-20 but the U.S. came back to tie it at 24-24. Puerto Rico used two straight kills to win the set.

In the third set, the U.S. took an 8-4 lead at the first TTO and increased it to 16-10 at the second. Puerto Rico never recovered. It was a similar story in the fourth set, where the United States led 8-6 at the first TTO and increased it to 16-10 at the second.

2013 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team
NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship
Sept. 23-28 in Langley, B.C., Canada

U.S. Roster for the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship
No. - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)

1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2 - Sean Rooney (OH, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 - Kyle Caldwell (S, 6-8, Newport Beach, Calif., UCLA)
4 - David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
8 - Reid Priddy (OH, 6-4, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 - Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
11 - Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
14 – Jeff Menzel (OH, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
15 - Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17 - Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
21 - Futi Tavana (MB, 6-7, Kalaheo, Hawaii, BYU)
22 - Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager: Anton Willert
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Wall
Consultant Coaches: Andrea Becker and Charlie Sullivan
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Doctor: Dr. Chris Lee

NORCECA Men’s Continental Championships Schedule
All times PT
Sept. 23
United States def. St. Lucia, 25-12, 25-10, 25-11 (Group A)
Cuba def. Bahamas, 25-16, 25-12, 25-7 (Group B)
Canada def. Guatemala, 25-10, 25-10, 25-10 (Group C)

Sept. 24
Mexico def. Guatemala, 25-18, 25-14, 25-23 (Group C)
Cuba def. Puerto Rico, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22 (Group B)
United States def. Dominican Republic, 25-19, 25-17, 25-9  (Group A)

Sept. 25
Puerto Rico def. Bahamas, 25-10, 25-17, 25-20 (Group B)
Dominican Republic def. St. Lucia, 25-19, 25-12, 25-23 (Group A)
Canada def. Mexico, 25-22, 25-15, 25-12 (Group C)

Sept. 26
9th-Place Final: Bahamas def. Guatemala, 25-18, 25-21, 25-23
Quarterfinals: Puerto Rico def. Mexico, 25-17, 25-17, 25-22
Quarterfinals, Cuba def. Dominican Republic, 25-21, 21-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-12

Sept. 27
7th-Place Final: Bahamas def. St. Lucia, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20
Semifinals: United States def. Puerto Rico, 25-13, 24-26, 25-20, 25-16
Semifinals: Canada def. Cuba, 25-14, 25-17, 25-21

Sept. 28
Mexico vs. Dominican Republic, 4 p.m.
Puerto Rico vs. Cuba, 6 p.m.
United States vs. Canada, 8 p.m.

Past Champions
1969:  Cuba (USA, third)
1971:  Cuba (USA, second)
1973:  USA
1975:  Cuba (USA, third)
1977:  Cuba (USA, fifth)
1979:  Cuba (USA, fifth)
1981:  Cuba (USA, second)
1983:  USA
1985:  USA
1987:  Cuba (USA, second)
1989:  Cuba (USA, third)
1991:  Cuba (USA, second)
1993:  Cuba (USA, second)
1995:  Cuba (USA, second)
1997:  Cuba (USA, second)
1999:  USA
2001:  Cuba (USA, second)
2003:  USA
2005:  USA
2007:  USA
2009:  Cuba (USA, second)
2011:  Cuba (USA, second)