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U.S. Men Qualify for Worlds with Defeat of Dominican

Aug. 18, 2009, 1:04 a.m. (ET)

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

IRVINE, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2009) – The United States qualified for the 2010 FIVB World Championship in Italy with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-15) victory over Dominican Republic on Monday at the Bren Center on the campus of UC Irvine.

Team USA finished the tournament with a 3-0 record. Dominican Republic finished 2-1 and will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico later this month for another qualifying tournament.

“Obviously the No. 1 goal was to qualify for the World Championship,” said U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.). “But I thought along the way we played some really good volleyball.”

The United States’ Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) was named the tournament Most Valuable Player and Best Server. Jose Caceres of the Dominican Republic won the Best Scorer award. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) of the United States was named Best Spiker. Team USA’s David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) was named the Best Blocker. Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) took Best Libero, Digger and Receiver. Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) was named Best Setter.

Patak led all scorers on Monday with 16 points on 10 kills, a match-high five aces and one block. Rooney added 15 points on 12 kills and three aces. David Lee scored 12 points on eight kills, a match-high three blocks and one ace.

Caceres led Dominican Republic with 14 points on a match-high 13 kills and one block. Elvis Contreras added six points on four kills and two blocks.

Team USA out-served DR, with an 11-2 ace advantage. The United States had seven blocks to DR’s three. The United States also completed 38 of 65 kill attempts with four errors. The Dominican Republic completed 27 of 58 with seven errors.

“Obviously we had some trouble with serving,” said Dominican Team Captain Victor Batista. “We only came together a couple of weeks ago. We will go train in Mexico for a week before the next qualifier.”

Among other U.S. scorers, Smith had four points on two kills, on block and one ace. Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) added four points on four kills. Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) totaled two points on one kill and one block. Suxho finished with two points on one kill and one block and Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) scored one point on an ace.

Suxho was credited with 12 running sets and no faults on 54 attempts. Lambourne had four digs and two faults on 11 attempts and six excellent receptions with no faults on seven attempts. Rooney had eight excellent receptions and no faults on 14 attempts.

Knipe started Rooney and Jablonsky at outside hitter, Lee and Smith at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Suxho at setter and Lambourne at libero. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and Stanley played as substitutes.

Team USA took an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO), scoring on two kills each from Patak and Rooney and one from Smith. The Dominican scored on two kills by Caceres and one from Contreras. Later, with the U.S. leading 9-6, a Dominican serve went long and Lee had a kill to put the United States ahead 11-6. Team USA held a 16-10 advantage at the second TTO. With Team USA leading 19-14, Lee used a back row kill to get the serve and scored two more points on a Dominican error and an ace to help Team USA take a 22-14 lead. DR scored two more points, but Team USA took a 25-16 set victory. Patak scored five points on five kills in the set. Caceres led DR with seven points on seven kills.

The second set started close with the Dominican Republic taking an 8-7 lead at the first TTO on a double block by Caceres and Lopez. Patak came out of the break and scored on a kill from the left, then took the serve and scored on two straight aces to give Team USA the 10-8 lead. DR took a timeout and scored on a Batista kill. But the U.S. got the serve back on DR’s service error and scored two more points on a block and a Dominican error to take a 13-9 lead. The Dominican Republic later scored on a Contreras kill and a triple block to pull to within two at 14-12. Team USA led 16-13 at the second TTO. With the U.S. leading 18-16, it scored two straight points on a Rooney kill and Dominican error to go up by four. Rooney later sealed the set victory with two straight aces and Team USA went on to win 25-19. Rooney scored 10 points in the set on seven kills and three aces. Caceres and Lopez each scored four points for DR.

The United States held an 8-5 lead at the first TTO of the third set. The Dominican scored on Batista’s kill, but Team USA scored the next three points to go ahead 11-6. Team USA held a 16-8 advantage at the next TTO and rolled on to a 25-15 set victory.

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

Final Standings

1. USA
2. Dominican Republic
3. Panama
4. Guatemala

Match Results

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
Panama def. Guatemala, 25-22, 25-19, 25-11
USA def. Dominican Republic, 25-16, 25-19, 25-15