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U.S. Men's Update: Gophers Grab Another Coach

March 09, 2011, 3:45 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 9, 2011) – Former U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team – and current U.S. Women’s National Team – Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon has tapped another former member of the U.S. Men’s Team for his staff at the University of Minnesota.

Setter Chris Tamas (Santa Barbara, Calif.) was named an assistant coach for the Minnesota women’s volleyball team on March 7.  McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has said he will take the reins at Minnesota following the 2012 Olympic Games, on Sept. 1, 2012.

McCutcheon has also tapped libero Alfee Reft (Oxnard, Calif.) to serve as an assistant coach for the Gophers.

Following his collegiate career at University of the Pacific, Tamas was selected for the 2003 World University Games team, which won the bronze medal in Daegue, South Korea.

He went on to cap the 2005 season as a member of the USA squad that captured the silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in November in Japan. He also helped the U.S. Men win the inaugural Pan American Cup in 2006.

Most recently, Tamas has served as an assistant coach at UC Riverside under former U.S. Men's Assistant Coach Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.).

He is married to U.S. Women’s National Team player Jen Joines Tamas.


Marmi Lanza Verona, including U.S. middle blocker Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), took a major victory on March 6 when it beat league-leading Itas Diatec Trentino, 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17), ending Trentino’s 21-match winning streak.

Brunner started all four sets of the Italian Serie A league match and scored 10 points on eight kills (0.73 hitting percentage) and two blocks. Lotman started the first and fourth sets while substituting in the third and scored six points on five kills and one ace.

To view video highlights from the match, click here.

To view photos from the match, click here.

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia defeated RPA-LuigiBacchi.It San Giustino, 3-1 (21-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-23) on March 6.

Anderson scored 17 points on 14 kills (0.30 hitting percentage), two blocks and one ace. He was also credited with 35 receptions, 83 percent positive and 60 percent excellent.

U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and his Italian team Copra Morpho Piacenza fell to Lube Banca Marche Macerata, 3-2 (25-23, 25-15, 25-27, 23-25, 15-12) on March 6.

Holt scored nine points on five kills and four blocks.

U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and his team Acqua Paradiso Monza Brianza fell to Yoga Forlì, 3-2 (25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 21-25, 15-7) on March 6. Rooney finished with 12 points on 11 kills and one block (0.43 hitting percentage).

U.S. opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and his Italian Serie A2 league team Sir Safety Perugia fell to Geotec Isernia, 25-23, 25-22, 26-24 on March 6. Gardner led his team with 13 points on eight kills and five blocks.


Although Zenit Kazan, the Russian Super League team of U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), lost its second CEV Champions League playoff match of the six-team round against Poland’s Skra Belchatow, it will advance to the semifinals thanks to winning the “golden set.”

Belchatow defeated host Kazan 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 25-19) on March 9. Priddy finished with 14 points on 10 kills (0.48 hitting percentage), three blocks and one ace. Ball did not score and set the team to a 0.36 hitting percentage.

Because the two teams had split the two matches, they played a golden set at the end of the second match, which Kazan won 15-11.

Italy’s Trentino BetClic and Jastrzebski Wegiel of Poland have also advanced to the semifinals, scheduled for March 26-27 in Bolzano, Italy.

To view video of the match between Kazan and Belchatow, click here.

Clay Stanley led all scorers with 19 points as his Russian Super League team Ural Ufa defeated Dynamo-Yantar Kaliningrad, 25-10, 25-15, 25-21 on March 5.

Stanley scored on 12 kills (0.40 hitting percentage), two blocks and five aces.

U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his team Kuzbass Kemerovo fell to Lokomotiv-Belogorie Belgorod, 25-15, 25-20, 25-23 on March 5. Lee started the first set and scored one point on an ace.


Iraklis, including U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and outside hitter Ryan Owens (Evanston, Ill.), moved back into first place in the Hellenic league after defeating ESOP Epikouros, 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20) on March 6.

Billings led all scorers with 23 points on 20 kills (0.57 hitting percentage), two blocks and one ace. He was named one of the most valuable players of the 18th round. Owens added 14 points on 11 kills (0.33 hitting percentage), two blocks and one ace. Owens was credited with 13 receptions, 46 percent positive and 31 percent excellent.

To read Billings’ blog about the match, click here.

To view video of the unruly PAOK fans following last week’s Greek Cup match between PAOK and Iraklis, click here.

U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and PAOK are in third place in the Hellenic league after defeating Panathinaikos, 25-20, 25-17, 25-20, on March 7.

Winder finished with two points on two kills and set his team to a 0.42 hitting percentage.

U.S. outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Olympiacos is in fourth place and fell to EA Patron Lux, 29-27, 26-24, 26-24 on March 5. Jablonsky started the first two sets and scored six points on five kills and one block. He was credited with 18 receptions, 67 percent positive and 33 percent excellent.

U.S. opposite Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) and GS Lamia fell to Apollon Kalamarias, 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22) on March 5. Price led his team with 21 points on 19 kills (0.27 hitting percentage), one block and one ace.


In the battle for seventh-10th place in the Polish league, Fart Kielce, including U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) defeated Indykpol AZS UWM Olsztyn, 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 27-25) on March 5.

Lambourne played all four sets and was credited with 16 receptions, 69 percent positive and 25 percent excellent. To view photos from the match, click here.


Unicaja Almeria, the Spanish league team of U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas), swept Uorsa Vigo, 25-20, 25-15, 25-19 on March 5.

Smith started all four sets and scored 14 points on nine kills (0.53 hitting percentage) and five blocks. Salmon started the third set and scored three points on three kills (0.43 hitting percentage). He was also credited with eight receptions, 50 percent positive and 38 percent excellent.


U.S. opposite Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led his Korean league team Korean Air to a sweep of LIG, 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 on March 6.

Patak led all scorers with 22 points on 21 kills and one block. KAL continues to lead the league.


U.S. setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) and outside hitter Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) led their French B league team Chaumont to a 3-2 (24-26, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-12) win over Cambrai on March 5.

Vance led all scorers with 35 points on a match-high 34 kills (0.68 kill percentage) and one ace. Thornton added two points, including an ace, and set the team to a 0.40 kill percentage.