U.S. Men Take World League Silver Medal
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
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SOFIA, Bulgaria (July 8, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team was awarded the 2012 FIVB World League silver medal on Sunday after falling to Poland in the championship match, 25-17, 26-24, 25-20.
The U.S. Men completed the World League Final Round with a record of 2-2 and completed the 2012 World League with an overall record of 11-5. It is the best World League finish for the U.S. Men since they won the title in 2008 and the first silver medal for the team, which won bronze in 1992 and 2007.
The U.S. won $500,000 for the second-place finish.
U.S. opposite and team captain Clay Stanley (Honolulu) was named the Best Server of the World League Final Round, finishing with nine aces, including three on Sunday, for an average of .64 per set. Stanley also finished second among all Final Round scorers with 62 points on 49 attacks, four blocks and nine aces.
“In the beginning of World League, I didn’t think we’d be in this position,” Stanley said. “I thought our team improved each weekend. We did a lot of great things to get to this final, although I’m disappointed in how we showed up to play tonight.”
It is the first time that the U.S. Men have medaled in World League in the same year that the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team has medaled in the FIVB Grand Prix. The U.S. Women won the Grand Prix on July 1.
“I’m disappointed in the way we played tonight,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “But a lot of really good things have come out in the last few weeks. These were important matches for us. We wanted to reach the final and experience these matches and build toward the Olympic Games.”
On Sunday, Poland led the overall statistics in kills (42-32), blocks (11-7) and aces (7-3). The U.S. Men led in digs, 18-13.
Stanley (Honolulu) led the U.S. with 15 points on a team-high 12 attacks and three aces. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added eight points on six kills and two blocks.
Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) finished with seven points on four attacks and a team-high three blocks. Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added five points on four attacks and one block.
Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) tallied four points on three attacks and one block. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) totaled two points on two kills. Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) had one point with a kill.
Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) was credited with 13 assists. Setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.), who substituted for Suxho in the third set, had one.
The two combined to set the U.S. Men to a 41.0 kill percent and a .218 hitting efficiency. Poland had a 54.0 kill percent and a .421 hitting efficiency.
Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with five excellent receptions and three digs. Stanley led the team in digs with five. Rooney led the team in excellent receptions with six.
Poland’s Zbigniew Bartman, who was named Best Spiker, led all scorers with 16 points on 14 attacks, one block and one ace. Bartosz Kurek, who was named the Final Round Most Valuable Player, added 15 points on 11 attacks, one block and three aces.
Cuba defeated Bulgaria, 25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12 to win the bronze medal.
U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) started Anderson and Rooney at outside hitter, Holmes and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Suxho at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.
Priddy substituted for Rooney in the second set and started the third. Thornton took over for Suxho in the third set. Lotman took over for Anderson in the third. David McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) also played as a substitute.
Next up for the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will be the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The team will leave its training headquarters in Anaheim, Calif., on July 19 and will begin competition on July
Poland took an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) as the U.S. got points from a Holmes block and two kills, and Anderson spike and a Stanley ace. The U.S. tied the score at 9-9, including blocks from Anderson and Lee. But with the score tied 11-11, Poland scored three straight points and went on to lead 16-13 at the second TTO. Poland still led by three at 19-16 when it used a 4-0 run to lead 23-16 and went on to win the set, 25-17. Poland led the set in kills, 13-8, blocks, 5-3 and aces, 3-1.
The U.S. Men took an 8-7 lead at the first TTO of the second set, getting points on kills by Lee, Holmes, Rooney and Anderson along with four Poland errors. Poland regained the lead at 13-12, but served into the net. Stanley countered with two straight aces to give the U.S. a 15-13 lead. A Poland kill ended the run, but Priddy, who had substituted for Rooney, gave the U.S. the 16-14 lead at the second TTO with an attack of his own. After the break, Priddy scored with a back-row attack and Poland called timeout. Poland came back to tie the score at 20-20. Poland took set point at 24-22, but the U.S. scored on a Priddy kill and Holmes block to tie the score. Poland took a second set point on Michal Winiarski’s spike off the block and Bartman won the set for Poland with a kill off the block.
The score stayed close to open the third set with Poland leading 8-7 at the first TTO on a block from Grzegorz Kosok. With the score tied 8-8, Poland scored twice on an attack and U.S. violation. It later extended the lead to 14-10 and the U.S. called timeout. Poland came back with an ace and kill by Bartman to lead 16-10 at the second TTO.
U.S. Men’s Roster for 2012 World League Final Round
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
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)
11. 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)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. David McKienzie (Opp, 6-4, Littleton, Colo., Long Beach State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Manager: Rob Browning (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
World League Final Results
July 4: Bulgaria def. Germany, 26-28, 25-19, 29-27, 25-19
July 5: Germany def. USA, 20-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-20, 16-14
July 6: USA def. Bulgaria, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17
July 4: Cuba def. Brazil, 25-19, 26-24, 25-22
July 5: Poland def. Brazil, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 15-10
July 6: Poland def. Cuba, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23
July 7: USA def. Cuba, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23
July 7: Poland def. Bulgaria, 25-23, 25-20, 25-18
July 8: Cuba def. Bulgaria, 25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-12
July 8: Poland def. USA, 25-17, 26-24, 25-20
Final Standing: 1. Poland, 2. USA, 3. Cuba, 4. Bulgaria, 5. Germany, 6. Brazil, 7. France, 8. Russia, 9. Serbia, 10. Argentina, 11. Italy, 12. Canada, 13 Finland, 14. Korea, 15. Japan, 16. Portugal