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Cuba Can't Stop Anderson, U.S. Men at World League

July 08, 2011, 8:21 a.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Statistics * Official Match Statistics

To watch the post-match press conference, click here.

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.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 8, 2011) – Matt Anderson led all scorers with 29 points and Paul Lotman added 18 as the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team claimed a final victory in the 2011 FIVB World League, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13 on Friday in Gdansk, Poland.

The victory meant the U.S. finished third in Pool F of the final round, but it did not advance to the semifinals. The U.S. concluded World League with a 1-2 record in the Final Round and a 9-6 record overall. Cuba finished at 0-3 and 8-7.

Cuba and the United States could very well meet again at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship on Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The NORCECA Championship is a qualifier for the FIVB World Cup in November, which is the first opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) chose to leave team captain and veteran outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) along with veteran middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) off the 12-man roster for Thursday to give some of his newer players an opportunity against their key NORCECA zone rival.

”We played some guys tonight that haven’t played in the tournament. I thought they played very well. Their numbers were good, but more importantly, I thought they showed a lot of composure,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. "I thought there were some opportunities in set 4, particularly early, to make it easier on ourselves that we didn’t capitalize on."

Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who has started at outside hitter for the U.S. throughout World League, scored on a match-high 23 kills (0.625 hitting efficiency; 71.9 kill percent), four blocks and two aces. He even led the U.S. in digs with 14.

Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), who started for Priddy, added 18 points on 15 kills (0.481 hitting efficiency; 55.6 kill percent), two blocks and one ace.

The U.S. led Cuba in attacks, 62-58, and had a 0.422 hitting efficiency and a 56.9 kill percent while Cuba had a 0.339 hitting efficiency and a 53.2 kill percent. The U.S. led Cuba in blocks, 15-11 and in aces 5-3. Each team was credited with 52 digs.

Outside hitter Henry Bell paced Cuba with 21 points on 20 kill and one block. Outside hitter Wilfredo Leon, the team captain and still a month shy of his 18th birthday, had 20 points on 17 kills and three blocks. Opposite Fernando Hernandez finished with 16 points, including 12 kills, one block and three aces.

Veteran middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added 11 points for the U.S. on eight kills, two blocks and one ace while veteran opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) contributed 11 points on nine kills and two blocks.

"Ultimately, I’m pretty disappointed with our performance overall in the final eight," Lee said. "I’m glad that we beat a good team tonight. Cuba is a young team, but it is very, very good. At the same time, I think our team needs to play a little more consistent and at a higher level to really compete at this level with Brazil, with Russia, with Poland and Bulgaria."

Among other U.S. scorers, middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.), who started for Millar, scored seven points on three kills and four blocks. Middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), who substituted in the fourth set and started the fifth for Holmes, scored four points on four kills.

Setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) scored two points on one block and one ace.

Thornton was credited with 53 assists. U.S. libero Rich Lambourne was credited with 13 digs.

Knipe started Anderson and Lotman at the outsides, Lee and Holmes at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite and Thornton at setter. Lambourne was the U.S. libero.

Besides Holt substituting for Holmes, Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) played as serving substitutes. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) played as a blocking substitute.

Cuba held an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set. The U.S. got two kills from Stanley, two from Lotman and two from Anderson. With Cuba leading 12-9, the U.S. scored twice on a Holmes block and Cuba hitting error to pull to within one. Cuba came back with a kill, but two straight back-row attacks from Anderson tied the score at 13-13. The teams traded points, but a U.S. violation on a back-row attack gave Cuba the 16-15 lead at the second TTO. Lotman and Anderson connected on two straight attacks to give the U.S. its first lead of the set at 17-16. With the U.S. leading 18-17, a Leon kill and U.S. hitting error gave Cuba the lead back at 19-18 and the U.S. called timeout. The teams traded serving errors before a Lotman kill and Holmes block put the U.S. ahead 21-20 and caused Cuba to call timeout. The U.S. held a 22-21 lead when Hernandez and Leon had consecutive attacks for Cuba and the U.S. called timeout. Mesa got a block to give Cuba set point. Anderson connected from the back row, but the next U.S. attack was called out of bounds to give Cuba the set win. Cuba held an edge on blocks, 2-1 and kills, 17-16. Each team was charged with six errors. Anderson and Lotman each scored six points for the U.S. Leon and Mesa each had six for Cuba.

The U.S. opened up a 4-2 lead in the second set, as Stanley scored with a kill, Holmes added a bock and Cuba erred on the attack. Bell ended the run with a kill and the teams traded points until the U.S. led 8-6 at the first TTO. Hernandez’s right-side attack scored after the break, but Anderson responded with a kill and block to keep the U.S. up by three at 10-7. With the U.S. leading 12-10, Stanley scored with a kill from the back row and Holmes added an ace, causing Cuba to call timeout. Holmes’ next serve was out of bounds, but the teams traded points until Anderson’s kill gave the U.S. a 16-13 lead at the second TTO. With the U.S. still leading by three at 19-16, Bell attacked from the left side then added a block and the U.S. called timeout. Holmes came back with a kill to keep the U.S. ahead by two. With the U.S. leading 21-20, Cuba’s serve went in the net and Leon was called for a lift on his next attack attempts. Cuba called timeout, but a Lee block gave the U.S. set point. The next U.S. serve went long, but an Anderson kill gave the U.S. the set win. Anderson had eight points for the U.S. on seven kills and one block. The U.S. had four blocks while Cuba had one. Bell had eight points for Cuba.

The teams were tied 5-5 to open the third set as the U.S. had two kills from Anderson on the left side and two kills by Holmes. Cuba opened up a two-point lead on a kill from Hernandez and Leon block. Cuba’s next serve went out of bounds and Holmes scored with an ace. Stanley’s roll shot gave the U.S. the 8-7 lead at the first TTO. Cuba tied it with a kill. Anderson answered with a back-row attack and Cuba’s next attack went out of bounds. A Lotman ace gave the U.S. the 11-8 lead and Cuba called timeout to bring in a new setter, Leandro Macias. Cuba’s next attack went out of bounds and the U.S. added a block to go ahead 13-8 before Bell could connect from the back row for Cuba. A U.S. hitting error and Hernandez ace pulled Cuba to within two and Knipe called timeout. Lee stopped the run with a strike in transition, but Cuba came back with a Hernandez kill and Roberto Camejo block to pull to within one at 14-13. With the U.S. leading 15-14, Bell tied the score with a kill from the left side. Anderson responded with an attack and then took the serve. He would serve for the next five points, including two aces. Lee and Lotman also added blocks in the run. The U.S. lead was 21-15 when Anderson’s run ended with a serving error. Lotman came right back with a kill off the block. The teams traded points until the U.S. reached set point at 24-17 on a Lotman kill off a set from Stanley as Patak had substituted at server for Thornton. Patak’s next serve went out of bounds, but Lotman ended the set with a kill from the right side. Anderson had seven points for the U.S. and Lotman added six.

The U.S. opened a 3-1 lead in the fourth set, scoring on two kills from Anderson and a Holmes block. But a miscommunication between Lotman and Thornton resulted in a setting error and Cuba eventually tied the score at 5-5. The U.S. held an 8-7 lead at the first TTO, thanks to a Lee kill. Neither team gained much of an advantage until the score was tied at 11-11 and Leon scored with a left-side strike and Hernandez followed with an ace to go ahead 13-11. Knipe called timeout and Hernandez’s next serve went out of bounds. The next U.S. serve went out too, but then Lee scored with a kill and Cuba was called for being over the 3-meter line on a back-row attack and the score was tied at 14-14. A Hernandez kill and U.S. hitting error put Cuba ahead 16-14 at the second TTO. With Cuba leading 17-15, the U.S. tied it again on kills by Stanley and Holt, who had replaced Holmes at the TTO. With the score tied 19-19, a Leon kill and Hernandez ace put Cuba ahead 21-19 and Knipe called timeout, but the U.S. could not catch up again. A block by Yassel Perdomo put Cuba up by three at 23-20. Anderson scored on a back-row quick, but a Cuba kill and block gave the Caribbean team the set victory. The U.S. was hurt by nine team errors in the set while Cuba had five.

The teams opened the tie-breaker even at 5-5. The U.S. got two kills from Anderson and one from Lotman. At 5-5, Lee ended a long rally with a big block and Stanley followed with a one-on-one block to give the U.S. a 7-5 lead and cause Cuba to call timeout. Bell came back with a strike, but Cuba’s next serve went in the net. Lee scored on an ace and Anderson followed with a kill to give the U.S. a 10-6 lead and Cuba called timeout again. Cuba came back with two straight kills and a block to pull to within one and Knipe called timeout. Anderson came through with a kill and a block, but Cuba scored on Bell’s attack and a bad U.S. return on Cuba’s next serve and the U.S. called timeout again, leading 12-11. Lotman came out of the break with a kill, but then the U.S. served out of bounds. Holt scored with a quick kill to give the U.S. game point, but Cuba scored on another U.S. serving error. Lee finally ended the match with a kill.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 6, 2011)
2011 FIVB World League
12-Player Roster for July 8 in Gdansk, Poland
(12-player rosters for each match are announced shortly prior to the match)

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
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)
6 Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
10 Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-7, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13 Clay Stanley (Opp, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Therapist/Trainer: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

World League Final Round Schedule (All times PT)

Pool F Standings
Team record (points)
1. Russia 3-0 (9)
2. Brazil 2-1 (5)
3. USA 1-2 (2)
4. Cuba 0-3 (2)

Pool F
July 6: Russia def. USA, 29-31, 25-16, 25-21, 25-22
July 6: Brazil def. Cuba, 18-25, 21-25, 25-16, 30-28, 15-12
July 7: Russia def. Cuba, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20
July 7: Brazil def. USA, 15-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-15
July 8: USA def. Cuba, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13
July 8: Russia def. Brazil, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17

Pool E Standings
Team record (points)
Argentina 2-0 (6)
Italy 1-1 (3)
Poland 1-1 (2)
Bulgaria 0-2 (1)

Pool E
July 6: Argentina def. Italy, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22
July 6: Poland def. Bulgaria, 25-20, 23-25, 14-25, 25-22, 15-13
July 7: Argentina def. Bulgaria, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22
July 7: Italy def. Poland, 25-15, 25-20, 25-20
July 8 at 8:15 a.m.: Italy vs. Bulgaria
July 8 at 11 a.m.: Poland vs. Argentina

Pool A Standings
Team record (points)
1. Brazil 10-2 (30)
2. USA 8-4 (23)
3. Poland 6-6 (18)
4. Puerto Rico 0-12 (1)

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.
July 1: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-27, 25-22, 25-12, 25-27, 15-8
July 2: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-13, 25-22, 25-19