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Jun 01 U.S. Men to Face Familiar Foe in Puerto Rico

June 01, 2011, 6:52 p.m. (ET)

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

To view the U.S. Men's 2011 FIVB World League Media Guide, click here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 1, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team is hoping for a more consistent 2011 FIVB World League performance this weekend when it faces its fellow NORCECA member Puerto Rico on June 3-4 (each match is at 5:30 p.m. PT) at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan.

The weekend will be the second of six in the World League Continental (pool play) Round. Brazil (2-0) leads Pool A, followed by Poland (1-1), the United States (1-1) and Puerto Rico (0-2).

The U.S. Men opened the 2011 World League with a three-set loss to Poland on May 27 in Lodz, 25-20, 25-22, 25-19. They came back and won the second match on May 28, 25-22, 25-19, 37-35.

“I am definitely much happier than last night,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe said following the second match. “I think the biggest difference was the energy. I have a tremendous amount of pride in our players. We've made some technical changes, but most of all, our players accepted the challenge of giving themselves to the game.”

The United States, ranked fifth in the world, last faced Puerto Rico, ranked 16th, at the 2009 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship, where the U.S. Men defeated the island nation in three sets. The U.S. Men have a 22-1 record against Puerto Rico since 1981. This is Puerto Rico’s first year in World League.

“They’re a good team and have played together a long time,” U.S. Team Captain Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) said on his Internet radio show The NET Live. “This will be the first measuring stick against them for Olympic qualifying.”

The U.S. Men will most likely face Puerto Rico again this year at the 2011 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship where both teams will be fighting to qualify for the 2011 World Cup, which provides the first opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In its first two World League matches on May 27-28, host Puerto Rico fell to Brazil 25-15, 25-19, 25-16 and 25-19, 31-29, 25-23.

“We made some key errors but overall we raised the quality of our game, playing with more precision,” Puerto Rico Head Coach Carlos Cordona said. “It helped that Brazil was erratic today, very different than yesterday. We couldn’t close the last two sets but we are growing up.”

Puerto Rico was led in scoring by its opposite, Hector Soto, who scored 29 points on 28 kills and one block. Soto played college volleyball at IPFW.

Outside hitter Jose Rivera is second on the team in scoring with 20 points on 16 kills and four blocks. Rivera played college volleyball for Ohio State University.

The United States has not made any changes to its 14-man traveling roster between Poland and Puerto Rico and several of its players rank among the World League leaders.

Outside hitter and team captain Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) is fourth among all “spikers” with 28 kills and seven faults on 50 attempts for a success percentage of 56.0. Priddy is the United States’ leading scorer and eighth overall with 33 points on 28 kills, one block and four aces. His four aces (and six faults) put him fourth among servers while opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) is second among servers with four aces and four faults  in 30 attempts. Both Stanley and Priddy are averaging 0.67 aces per set.

U.S. middle blockers David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) are sixth and seventh respectively among blockers. Lee has six blocks with 11 faults on 25 attempts while Millar has six blocks and 18 faults on 38 attempts. Each player is averaging one block per set.

U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) is second among diggers with 26 digs and five faults on 42 attempts and an average of 4.33 digs per set. Priddy is third overall with 21 digs and five faults on 36 attempts and an average of 3.5 digs per set. Lambourne also ranks fifth among liberos.

Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) is second overall at his position with 53 running sets and one fault on 114 attempts and an average of 8.83 digs per set.

To visit the USA Volleyball World League web site, click here.

To visit the FIVB World League web site, click here.

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE

Tickets to see the U.S. Men play Poland at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates are available at the Sears Centre Arena Box Office (5333 Prairie Stone Parkway), online at SearsCentre.com or by calling (888) SEARSTIX (732-7784).

Tickets to see the U.S. Men take on world No. 1 Brazil in Tulsa at the Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa are available online at TulsaHurricane.com. Tickets are available at the box office (800 South Tucker Drive) by calling (918) 631-4688 or in person (office hours 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday-Friday).

Tickets to see the U.S. Men play Puerto Rico on July 1-2 (7 p.m. PT both nights) at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach can be purchased by visiting the Long Beach State athletics web site, by calling the ticket office at (562) 985-4949 or by visiting the box office (open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. starting June 6; the address is 1250 Bellflower Blvd.).

For more information, visit the USA Volleyball World League web site.

2011 FIVB World League
14-Player Roster for June 3-4 in San Juan, Puerto Rico
(12-player rosters for each night are announced shortly before the matches)

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10 Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawaii)
15 Gabe Gardner (Opp, 6-8, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)

Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader: Rob Browning(Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach:
Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Medical Doctor: Keith Feder (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Trainer: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

Pool A Standings
Team record (points)
1. Brazil 2-0 (6)
2. Poland 1-1 (3)
3. USA 1-1 (3)
4. Puerto Rico 0-2 (0)

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

Date: June 11-12
Opponent: Brazil
Location:
Mineirinho in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Date: June 17-18 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Poland
Location: 
Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. - BUY TICKETS

Date: June 24-25 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Brazil
Location: 
Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa (Okla.)  - BUY TICKETS

Date: July 1-2 (7 p.m. both nights)
Opponent: Puerto Rico
Location: Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. - BUY TICKETS

Date: July 6-10
Opponent: Teams must qualify
Location: Gdansk-Sopot, Poland

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