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U.S. Men Come Back with World League Win

June 14, 2009, 11:57 a.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 14, 2009) – It wasn’t always pretty, but the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team came back from a 0-3 defeat on Saturday to beat Netherlands 3-2 (25-16, 30-32, 25-17, 20-25, 15-6) on Sunday and take a split of their first two 2009 FIVB World League matches.

Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) was the United States’ lead scorer with 22 points on 17 kills, one block and four aces. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added 20 points on 19 kills and one block. Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) scored 17 points on 14 kills, two blocks and one ace and Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) totaled 10 points on six kills, three blocks and one ace.

The U.S. Men out-blocked Netherlands 9-7 and had eight aces as compared to three for the Dutch. The U.S. Men converted 52 percent of their attack attempts while the Dutch were held to 47 percent.

“Yesterday we did not expect to lose, 3-0,” U.S. setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) said. “We have changed our tactics and played with more aggression.”

U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) started Anderson and Rooney at outside hitter, David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Hein at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Suxho at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.

Middle blockers David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) all substituted for the U.S. Men.

Lee scored six points on four kills and two aces. Suxho had two points on one kill and one block and Smith had one point on one block.

Suxho was credited with 19 running sets (assists). Lambourne was credited with 15 “excellent” service receptions and 22 digs on 25 attempts.

The Netherlands’ Robert Horstink led all scorers with 23 points on 22 kills and one block. But Netherlands did not get enough scoring from other players.

“We reacted very well after the match of yesterday,” Lee said. “Today it was a real match. We have gained a lot of experience playing against a good team and in a great atmosphere.”

The U.S. Men showed right away that Sunday would be different as they jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first set, including three points from Anderson’s serves. Dutch Head Coach Peter Blangé called timeout, but things did not improve and he took another with his team trailing 6-11.  Trailing 7-13, Blangé substituted setter Yannick van Harskamp for Roland Rademaker, but the U.S. Men led 16-8 at the second technical timeout (TTO) and went on to win the set 25-16.

Rooney and Patak kept up the scoring pressure in the second set and the U.S. took an early 6-4 lead. But the Dutch held an 8-7 advantage at the first TTO and a 16-14 edge on the second. A Patak ace gave the U.S. Men a 22-21 lead. But Netherlands reached set point first at 24-23. Anderson scored two points for Team USA as it took a 25-24 set point, but Netherlands held it off. At 31-30 the Dutch team had its sixth set-point. Jeroen Rauwerdink scored the winning set point for Netherlands.

The U.S. Men roared back in the third set and took a 6-2 lead. Holland did not have an answer for the pipe attacks of Suxho and Anderson. The gap increased to 16-10 despite attacks from left-handed opposite Niels Klapwijk who replaced 7-footer Kay van Dijk. Hein finished out the set with a block and a kill for the 25-17 U.S. set victory.

The Netherlands jumped to an 8-4 lead in the fourth set. Hein and Rooney helped keep the score close, but the Netherlands led 16-14 at the second TTO. The Americans even came back to tie it at 16-16. This woke the Dutch up and they accelerated to the 22-18 lead on the service of Klapwijk. Netherlands went on to win 25-20.
The U.S. Men quickly took control of the tiebreaker behind Rooney and Netherlands never recovered. Team USA won the set 15-6.

The U.S. Men will now travel to Italy for matches on June 19 and 21.

Read team leader Rob Browning’s blog at http://usavolleyball.org/blog/blog/125.

World League Tickets: Tickets for the World League matches in San Jose, Calif., (June 26-27 against China), Hoffman Estates, Ill., (July 10-11 against Italy) and Wichita, Kan., (July 17-18 against Netherlands) are on sale.

For San Jose tickets, click here.

For Hoffman Estates tickets, click here.

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.

2009 U.S. World League Roster for June 13-14

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 David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
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)
11 Brook Billings (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., USC)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
16 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
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
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato
Assistant Coach:
John Hawks
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson
Team Doctor:
Michael Terry
Medical Support: Aaron Brock

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

Date: June 26-27 (7 p.m. both days)
Opponent: China
Location: San Jose State University Event Center Arena in San Jose, Calif.

Date: July 4-5
Opponent: China
Location: Nanjing

Date: July 10-11 (7 p.m. both days)
Opponent: Italy
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Date: July 17-18 (7 p.m. both days)
Opponent: Netherlands
Location: Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan.

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