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U.S. Men Finish Pool Play in Wichita

July 16, 2009, 1:34 p.m. (ET)

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

WICHITA, Kan. (July 16, 2009) - U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe knows that his team must win at least one match against Netherlands in FIVB World League play this weekend in Wichita, Kan., to secure first place in Pool A and advance to the final round in Belgrade, Serbia.

But Knipe does not feel any pressure being in the driver's seat.

"What you want (in the last weekend of World League) is to have something to play for and have it in your control," Knipe said. "Our job is to take care of the things we can control."

The United States will do its best to keep things in its control when it plays Netherlands on July 17-18 (7 p.m. CT both nights) at Charles Koch Arena on the campus of Wichita State University. The United States leads Pool A with a 7-3 record. Netherlands is in third place at 4-6.

The United States is the defending World League champion.

While Netherlands cannot catch the U.S., it could play spoiler if it won both matches and Italy, which is in second at 6-4, wins both of its matches in China. The United States has a record of 22-31 against Netherlands since 1981.

Team USA opened World League by playing Netherlands in Rotterdam and fell in the first match, 0-3 (22-25, 19-25, 24-26). However, the U.S. came back to win the second match, 3-2 (25-16, 30-32, 25-17, 20-25, 15-6).

"First off, they played really well against us, especially on Night 1," Knipe said. "I thought we played a lot better Night 2. They have some guys who have some experience."

The Netherlands is led in scoring by 6-10 opposite Kay van Dijk who has 128 points on 116 kills, eight blocks and four aces. Outside hitter Robert Horstink is second with 110 points on 95 kills, six blocks and nine aces. Horstink is sixth among all spikers in World League.

Netherlands' Rob Bontje is seventh among all blockers with an average of 0.64 per set.

Team USA is being paced by outside hitter Sean Rooney who is fifth among all scorers with 158 points on 142 kills, 13 blocks and three aces.  He is seventh among all spikers.

U.S. middle blocker David Lee is fourth among all blockers with an average of 0.74 per set.

The U.S. Men's Team will welcome captain and 2008 Olympian Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) back to the team in Wichita. Setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) will travel with the team to Wichita for his first World League weekend.

Team USA will still be without the services of outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) who is recovering from illness. Outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) will not be with the team in Wichita as he is getting married this weekend.

Most members of the 2008 U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball Team attended the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night, although the team was not nominated for an award. The show will be broadcast on ESPN on July 19.

World League Tickets: Tickets for the matches in Wichita are on sale.

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.

For the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide, click here.

For the FIVB Media Guide for Wichita, click here.

U.S. Men's Team Roster for July 17-18

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, 611, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
9 Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
10 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 C Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
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
Team Manager: Jeff Stork
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson
Therapist/Trainer: John Hawks
Medical Support: Aaron Brock
Doctor: Andrew Gregory

Pool A Standings (as of July 16)

1 USA 7-3 (21 points)
2 ITA 6-4 (17 points)
3 NED 4-6 (13 points)
4 CHN 3-7 (6 points)

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
Opponent: China
Location: San Jose State University Event Center Arena in San Jose, Calif.
June 26: USA def. China, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-21)
June 27: USA def. China, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22)

Date: July 4-5
Opponent: China
Location: Nanjing
July 4: China def. USA, 3-2 (25-19, 27-29, 18-25, 26-24, 15-12)
July 5: USA def. China, 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 25-12)

Date: July 10-11
Opponent: Italy
Location: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
July 10: Italy def. USA, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 26-24)
July 11: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21)

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