USA Volleyball Features U.S. Men Happy to be...

U.S. Men Happy to be Home for World League

June 29, 2011, 7:50 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

To view the U.S. Men's 2011 FIVB World League Media Guide, click here.

To view the World League television schedule on Versus, click here.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (June 29, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team  is hoping that there really is “no place like home” on July 1-2 when it faces Puerto Rico in two FIVB World League matches at the Walter Pyramid.

The U.S. Men’s Team, the defending Olympic champion ranked No. 5 in the world, has played three World League weekends overseas and two more at U.S. arenas in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and Tulsa, Okla., away from its home base at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif.

Now it will play its final two matches approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on traffic of course) away from its home base.

“What I’m most excited about is that these will truly be home matches for us,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “We don’t have to fly.”

Many of the players on the roster have Orange County connections, either by growing up there or playing men’s college volleyball at one of the area universities.

The United States (6-4), sitting in second place in Pool A, is looking to make one more long flight from Long Beach to the World League Final Round on July 6-10 in Gdansk-Sopot, Poland. The winners of each of the four World League pools, plus the three best second-place teams and the host country, advance to the World League Final Round.

Brazil (9-2) has already secured the Pool A victory by defeating host Poland (6-5), 25-23, 18-25, 25-16, 26-24 on Wednesday.  The two teams will play again Thursday.

Poland, as the host country, is already assured a spot in the Final Round. The U.S. must defeat Puerto Rico twice if it wants to stand alone in second play in Pool A.

It must also hope that its point total, set ratio and points ratio makes it one of the three best second-place teams. Cuba, Serbia and Bulgaria are also in the running for the three second-place slots.

But the United States must not become so focused on the race for the Final Round that it forgets to prepare for Puerto Rico, ranked 16th in the world. Puerto Rico is 0-10 in Pool A so it has nothing to lose in going all-out against the United States.

“Puerto Rico is a good team and we need to be ready for them,” U.S. Team Captain Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) said. “We need to continue to improve what we are doing on our side of the net.”

The United States is coming off a 3-1 upset of Brazil on June 25. The U.S. won its two World League matches in Puerto Rico by scores of 3-1.

Puerto Rico has been paced by Hector Soto, who is 12th among all World League scorers with 148 points on 142 kills, three blocks and three aces.

Priddy leads the U.S. in scoring and is 10th overall with 152 points on 126 kills, 16 blocks and 10 aces. Priddy, at outside hitter, ranks 10th among all World League “spikers” with a success percentage of 48.09.

Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) ranks third among all blockers with an average of 0.92 blocks per set. Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) leads all servers with 0.57 aces per set.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) ranks third among all “diggers” with an average of 3.05 per set. He ranks fourth among all liberos.

Priddy ranks third among all “receivers” with an efficiency percent of 66.15. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) ranks seventh with an efficiency percent of 59.72.

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


Tickets to see the U.S. Men play Puerto Rico on July 1-2 (7 p.m. PT both nights) at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach can be purchased by visiting the Long Beach State athletics web site, by calling the ticket office at (562) 985-4949 or by visiting the box office (open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. starting June 6; the address is 1250 Bellflower Blvd.).

2011 FIVB World League
14-Player Roster for July 1-2 in Long Beach, Calif.
(12-player rosters for each match are announced shortly prior)

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10 Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
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)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Therapist/Trainer: Rob Browning
Team Doctor: William Stetson
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Technical Coordinator: Mark Presho

Pool A Standings
Team record (points)
1. Brazil 9-2 (27)
2. USA 6-4 (18)
3. Poland 6-5 (18)
4. Puerto Rico 0-10 (0)

U.S. Schedule and Results

Date: May 27-28
Opponent: Poland
Location: Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland
May 27: Poland def. USA, 25-20, 25-22, 25-19
May 28: USA def. Poland, 25-22, 25-19, 37-35

Date: June 3-4
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 3: USA def. Puerto Rico, 24-26, 29-27, 25-17, 25-17
June 4: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 25-12

Date: June 11-12
Opponent: Brazil
Location: Mineirinho in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
June 11: Brazil def. USA, 19-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21
June 12: USA def. Brazil, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 26-24

Date: June 17-18
Opponent: Poland
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
June 17: Poland def. USA, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20
June 18: USA def. Poland, 25-21, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22

Date: June 24-25 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Brazil
Location: Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa (Okla.)
June 24: Brazil def. USA, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19
June 25: USA def. Brazil, 25-20, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23

Date: July 1-2 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. - BUY TICKETS

Date: July 6-10
Opponent: Teams must qualify
Location: Gdansk-Sopot, Poland