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U.S. Men Power Past Host Italy in World League

June 21, 2009, 2:44 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 21, 2009) – The lights may have gone out at the PalaCatania in Catania, Italy on Sunday, but there was no power outage when it came to the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, which defeated Italy 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-20) in an FIVB World League match.

The U.S. Men will return to the United States with a 3-1 record and will get ready to face China on June 26-27 in San Jose, Calif. (Buy Tickets) Italy falls to 1-3 and will travel to Netherlands next weekend.

Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led all scorers with 21 points on 18 kills, one block and a match-high three aces. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added 20 points on 17 kills and three blocks. Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) scored 12 points on 11 kills and one ace.

Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) scored nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored seven points on three kills, two blocks and one ace. Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) scored two points on two kills.

Mauro Gavotto led Italy with 16 points on 15 kills and one block. Cristian Savani added 15 points on 14 kills and one block.

Italy out-blocked the United States 16-6. But the U.S. Men led in aces, 6-1 and kills, 59-51.

“I am happy for the match our young players played,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said in an FIVB press release. “What good receiving and great distribution; I think we won there.”

The U.S. Men were credited with 46 receptions and 24 “excellent” receptions on 72 attempts. Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 16 receptions and eight “excellent” on 24 attempts. Lambourne also had 18 digs and two faults in 20 attempts.

Suxho was credited with 17 running sets (assists) and one fault in 83 attempts.

Knipe started Anderson and Rooney at outside hitter, Lee and Hein at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Suxho at setter and Lambourne at libero. David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.), Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) all saw playing time as substitutes.

With the U.S. Men leading 6-4 in the first set, the lights went out at the PalaCatania and the match was delayed for about 20 minutes. The U.S. Men did not let it kill the momentum as they led 6-4 at the first technical timeout (TTO) and 16-13 at the second. With Team USA leading 20-14, Italy made a 3-0 run, but a Hein kill brought it to an end and the United States went on to scored the next three points to make the score 23-17. Italy picked up a couple more points on U.S. errors, but Team USA took the set victory.

Italy’s defense improved in the second set as its blockers targeted the U.S. hitters and Matej Cernic’s receiving improved. Italy took the set 25-18.
The U.S. Men led 16-14 at the second TTO of the third set and stretched the lead to 22-18. Italy used a 4-1 run to pull to within one point at 23-22, but a Rooney kill gave the United States set point and the U.S. Men pulled out the victory.

Team USA led 8-7 at the first TTO of the fourth set and expanded the lead to 10-7 before Italy began its comeback and tied the score at 10-10. The U.S. Men responded with a 4-0 run to lead 14-10. Although Italy scored the next three points, it never gained the lead and the U.S. Men took the match victory.

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

View Rob Browning’s videos from Italy on YouTube.

Read assistant coach John Hawks’ blog at http://usavolleyball.org/blog/blog/388.

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
June 19: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-21, 30-28, 21-25, 25-21)
June 20: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-20)

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