LONG BEACH, Calif. (June 3, 2014) – The good news for the United States is that it gets to play its second FIVB World League weekend – against defending champion Russia – at home. The bad news is that the team will have to play without three-time Olympian Reid Priddy.
Priddy injured his knee on May 24 during the United States’ second World League match against Bulgaria in Varna. He will need to have surgery and is not expected to return to the team this season.
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“It’s been an important week for us because we needed to evaluate who would be replacing Reid,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “He was playing at a really high level and was good for us.
“I think we’ve had a nice time to train, which we didn’t have before Bulgaria, so we were able to work on some things we needed to work on. I think we’ve improved. I’m still not entirely sure what we are going to do. We’re continuing to evaluate. The nice part is we have some depth and we have some options.”
- June 6-7 USA vs Russia at Long Beach, Calif.: longbeachstate.com/WL, Phone: 562-985-4949
- June 13-14 USA vs Serbia at Chicago: ticketmaster.com, Phone: 800-745-3000
- June 20-21 USA vs Bulgaria at Hoffman Estates, Ill.: searscentre.com, Phone: 888-SEARS-TIX
- Group Ticket Discounts for Serbia and Bulgaria matches: Call 847-649-2368
Despite the injury, the U.S. Men left Bulgaria with a 2-0 record and are hoping to improve on that against Russia on June 6-7 at the Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., a short distance from the team’s training site in Anaheim. Russia enters the weekend at 0-2 after losing twice to Serbia on May 30-31.
“Russia is as deep as they get,” Speraw said. “A lot of the players that they brought have experience, like Khtey. We’ve seen him on the other side of the net in previous Olympics.”
The last time the United States, ranked No. 4 in the world, played No. 2 Russia was Nov. 24 in the final match of the FIVB Grand Champions Cup as the U.S. fell 3-0. The last time the U.S. defeated Russia was during pool play of the 2010 World League when they took a 3-0 win in Wichita, Kan.
Perhaps the most important victory Team USA has taken over the European side was in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Olympic Games when the U.S. pulled out a 3-2 (25-22, 25-21, 25-27, 22-25, 15-13) victory.
Matt Anderson, playing at opposite, led Team USA in scoring in Bulgaria with 44 points on 38 kills, four blocks and two aces. Young outside hitter Taylor Sander was second with 32 points on 25 kills, four blocks and three aces.
Outside hitter Denis Briukov led Russia against Serbia with 36 points on 31 kills, two blocks and three aces. Middle blocker Artem Volvich added 25 points on 11 kills, 10 blocks and four aces.
U.S. Men’s Roster for World League Matches in Long Beach, Calif.
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Sean Rooney (OH, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
Russia Roster for World League Matches in Long Beach, Calif.
1. Dmitry Kovalev
4. Taras Khtey
5. Sergey Grankin
7. Nikolay Pavlov
8. Denis Biriukov
10. Sergey Savin
11. Alexey Ostapenko
12. Artem Smoliar
14. Artem Volvich
18. Alexey Rodichev
21. Valentin Golubev
22. Denis Zemchenok
U.S. Men's Schedule for the 2014 FIVB World League
May 24: USA def Bulgaria, 19-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 15-12
May 25: USA def Bulgaria, 19-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-17
June 6-7: Russia at U.S. Men at Long Beach, Calif. (Walter Pryamid)
Tickets: longbeachstate.com/WL, Phone: 562-985-4949
June 13-14: Serbia at U.S. Men in Chicago (UIC Pavilion)
Tickets: ticketmaster.com, Phone: 800-745-3000
June 20-21: Bulgaria at U.S. Men in Hoffman Estates (Sears Centre Arena)
Tickets: searscentre.com, Phone: 888-SEARS-TIX
June 27-28: U.S. Men at Kaliningrad, Russia (Yantarny)
July 4: U.S. Men at Novi Sad, Serbia (SPC Vojvodina)
July 6: U.S. Men at Beograd, Serbia (Hala Pionir)
Final Round (must qualify): July 16-20 in Florence, Italy