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U.S. Men Set for Showdown with Dominican

Aug. 17, 2009, 12:16 a.m. (ET)

IRVINE, Calif. (Aug. 16, 2009) - The United States swept Panama on Sunday at the 2010 World Championship Qualifier for NORCECA Pool F at the Bren Center on the campus of UC Irvine, setting up a showdown between two undefeated teams on Monday.

Team USA (2-0) defeated Panama, 25-12, 25-14, 25-11 and will face Dominican Republic (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. PT on Monday to determine the team that will advance to the 2010 World Championships in Italy. Panama (0-2) will play Guatemala (0-2) at 5 p.m. PT. The second-place team will go to Mexico next week for another qualifying tournament.

The United States' Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i) led all scorers with 13 points on a match-high 10 kills, one block and a match-high two aces. Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) had 10 points nine kills and one ace. David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) added seven points on three kills and a match-high four blocks.

"They've got some good players," Jablonsky said of Dominican Republic. "We've just got to come out and focus on our side of the court and play our best volleyball."

Domingo Avila led Panama with nine points on nine kills. Donaldo Urena added five points on five kills.

Team USA out-blocked Panama 7-1 and had four aces while Panama had none. The U.S. converted 35 of 52 kill attempts with one error. Panama completed 22 of 77 kill attempts with 15 errors.

Among other U.S. scorers, Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.)scored six points on five kills and one block. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) totaled five points on five kills. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) tallied four points on three kills and one block. Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) scored one point on one ace. Suxho was credited with two running sets and no faults on 16 attempts. Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) had five running sets and no faults on 28 attempts.

U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with eight excellent receptions and no faults on 12 attempts. Lotman had six excellent receptions and no faults on eight attempts.

The United States held an 8-5 lead at the first TTO of the first set, including a kill by Smith and a kill, a block by Hein and two Stanley aces. Team USA kept up the pressure and increased the lead 12-7. Panama scored on Ruben Cuero's kill, but the U.S. responded with a block by Rooney and scored the next six points behind Hansen's serving, including three blocks. Panama scored four more points in the match, including kills by Domingo Avila and Ricardo Brown, but Team USA reached set point first at 24-12 on a booming kill by Hein. The United States won the set on Panama's hitting error.

The U.S. Men took an 8-3 lead at the first TTO of the second set. Panama scored its three points on a U.S. error, a kill and a block. Panama came out of the break and scored two straight points on Urena's kill and a U.S. error. Later, Team USA's lead was 14-11 when Stanley's kill gave Hein the serve and he increased the U.S. lead to 19-11, including a U.S. triple block and two Panamanian errors. Panama scored three more times, including a kill from Araba, but the U.S. took the set 25-14.

Team USA held an 8-3 lead to open the third set, including an ace from Suxho, a kill by Jablonsky and two Smith blocks. The U.S. held a 10-5 lead when Stanley took the serve on Lotman's kill and scored three more points on Panama errors. The run ended when Stanley served out of bounds, but the damage was done. Panama never scored more than two points in a row as the U.S. took the set 25-11.

Tickets for the event are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. Groups of 15 or more can get tickets for $8 each and an all-session pass is $25. Tickets are on sale now at the Bren Center box office at (949) 824-5000 or at TicketMaster.com.

The City of Anaheim is the Official Host City for the U.S. Men's and Women's National Volleyball teams.  The Men's Team relocated to Anaheim from Colorado Springs, CO in 2006, and the Women's Team followed in 2009, with both teams citing the advantages of training in Southern California, unequivocally the volleyball capitol of the country.  The Men's Team won the gold medal, and the Women's team the silver medal, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.  Anaheim serves as the training headquarters for the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams, and in partnership with USA Volleyball, will further promote the City throughout the volleyball and Olympic sport communities.  USA Volleyball is the National Governing Body for the sport of volleyball in the United States, and is recognized as such by the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).  Both the Men's and Women's Teams will train in Anaheim through the 2016 Olympic Games.  For more information on the City of Anaheim, please visit www.anaheim.net.  For more information on USA Volleyball, please visit www.usavolleyball.org.

2010 World Championship Qualifier for NORCECA Pool F
Aug. 15-17 in Irvine, Calif.

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
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, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
10 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
13 Clay Stanley (Opp, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai’i, Hawai’i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
16 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe
Team Manager: Rick McLaughlin
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato
Trainer/Therapist: John Hawks
Technical Coordinator:
Chris Jackson
Team Doctor: Chris Koutures
Medical Support: Aaron Brock

Match Schedule (All times PT)
Aug. 15
Dominican Republic def. Panama, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22
USA def. Guatemala, 25-8, 25-10, 25-6
Aug. 16
Dominican Republic def. Guatemala, 25-17, 25-21, 27-25
USA def. Panama, 25-12, 25-14, 25-11
Aug. 17
5 p.m.: Guatemala vs. Panama
7:30 p.m.: USA vs. Dominican Republic

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