B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
CHICAGO, Ill. (June 16, 2007) - Showing better composure and consistency than on Friday, it took the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team just one hour, 27 minutes to defeat a primarily rookie Italian squad 3-0 (25-19, 30-28, 25-23) for an FIVB World League victory on Saturday in front of 3,720 at the Convocation Center at Chicago State University.
The win improved the United States' World League record to 6-2 as it strengthened its hold on the lead in Pool B. Italy fell to 2-4. Host France defeated Japan on Saturday, 3-0 (25-19, 25-22 25-20), to maintain second place in the pool at 4-3.
Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai'i) paced Team USA with 22 points on 19 kills, two blocks and one ace. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added 14 points on 11 kills, two blocks and one ace.
Italy was led by Cristian Savani with 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks and Mauro Gavotto with 10 points on kills.
Italy, which has four starters injured, suffered another blow on Saturday when starting libero Cristian Casoli fell ill shortly before the match. He was replaced by Alessandro Paparoni, who had been one of the team's leading scorers on Friday.
Italy was already struggling with four rookies playing in place of starters, and the libero situation seemed to add to the team's miscommunication.
Nevertheless, the Italian team never gave up and battled to the end of each set.
"There are two things to notice," Italy's head coach Gianpaolo Montali said. "The players are inexperienced, but they are very persistent. This is a good step."
U.S. Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) saw improvement from both teams, and was pleased with his starting lineup, which was once again different form the night before.
"I thought the match was played at a consistently higher level on both sides of the net," he said.
The United States started Priddy and Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) at outside hitter, Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) and Illinois native Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite and Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) at setter. Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) started at libero.
Although Italy never gave up and continued to battle, especially in the second set, the team was hurt as much by its own miscues as by Team USA.
Italy's attack percentage was just 33, while the United States finished at 44. Team USA also had more digs, 14-9 and the United State has four aces while Italy had none.
Italy only managed four points on blocks while the United States had 10.
The United States controlled the first set, leading 8-6 at the first technical timeout and 16-13 at the second. However, with the U.S. leading 17-14, Italy used kills from Luca Tencati and Lorenzo Perazzolo to pull back to within one at 17-16. Italy maintained the one-point deficit at 18-17 when Stanley's tip increased the U.S. lead to 19-17. Priddy then got the serve and served for the next four points, including an ace, to put the set out of Italy's reach at 23-17.
Italy held set point at 24-22 in the second set, but Cisolla served into the net and Italy followed with a hitting error to make it 24-24. Italy held set point again at 25-24, but Stanley had a kill to tie the score again. And when Italy held set point at 26-25, Savani and Paparoni let Priddy's hit fall between them for a kill. Italy could not regain the set point and the United States finally converted its own opportunity at 29-28 with a kill from Stanley.
The third set was another battle with Italy holding leads at 13-10 and 15-12. But two aces in a row from Salmon tied the score at 15-15. Italy regained the lead at 17-15 on a block and a U.S. error, but Priddy came back with two kills in a row to tie the score again.
Finally, with Italy leading 19-17, Priddy got another kill to make it 19-18. Then the U.S. had two blocks in a row to take a 20-19 lead and did not trail again.
The U.S. Men will travel to Kumamoto, Japan next weekend to play on June 23-24. Then they will play Italy on June 29 and July 1. Italy plays France in France next weekend.
All U.S. matches and the World League finals are scheduled to be shown on ESPNU.
The U.S. World League home matches are presented by GL7, the Official Sports Drink of USA Volleyball.
Results, statistics and photos are available on the FIVB World League Web Site at www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2007.
The USA Volleyball FIVB World League web site is www.usavolleyball.org/national/wl07.asp.
The 2007 U.S. Men's media kit is available at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/us_men_mediakit07.pdf (please note that this is a large .pdf file).
The FIVB media kit for Chicago is available at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/07WL_Media_Kit_Chicago1.pdf (please note that this is a large .pdf file).
2007 FIVB World League
June 16 in Chicago, Ill.
Standings (as of June 16, 2007)
1 Brazil 8-0
2 Finland 5-3
3 Korea 2-6
4 Canada 1-7
1 USA 6-2
2 France 4-3
3 Italy 2-4
4 Japan 1-4
1 Russia 6-1
2 Cuba 4-3
3 Serbia 4-3
4 Egypt 0-7
1 Bulgaria 7-0
2 Poland 6-0
3 China 0-7
4 Argentina 0-6
Twelve-man rosters for FIVB World League matches June 15-16 in Chicago:
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 Sean Rooney (OH, 6-9, Wheaton, Ill., Pepperdine)
3 Jim Polster (OH, 6-6, Laguna Niguel, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 Brandon Taliaferro (S, 6-5, San Clemente, Calif., UCLA)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, 6-3, Tustin, Calif., BYU)
6 Phil Eatherton (MB, 6-9, Glencoe, Mo., Ball State)
7 David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Palmdale, Calif., BYU)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, 6-8, Park Ridge, Ill., Long Beach State)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Gabe Gardner (OH, 6-9, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
4 Marco Nuti (S, 6-3, Pontedera)
5 Gieordano Mattera (S, 6-6, Civitavecchia)
6 Alessandro Farina (L, 6-0, Parma)
7 Alessandro Paparoni (OH, 6-3, San Severino Marche)
8 Alberto Cisolla (OH, 6-6, Treviso)
9 Christian Savani (OH, 6-4, Castiglione delle Stiviere)
10 Luca Tencati (MB, 6-7, Cremona)
11 Mauro Gavotto (OPP, 6-7, Cuneo)
12 Matteo Martino (OH, 6-6, Novi Ligure)
13 Lorenzo Perazzolo (OH, 6-5, Mantova)
17 Andrea Sala (MB, 6-7, Gallarate)
19 Cosimo Marco Piscopo (MB, 6-9, Gagliano del Capo)
U.S. World League Schedule
Date: May 26-27
Location: Portland, Ore. - The Chiles Center Arena
Match 1: France def. USA, 3-2 (13-25, 25-19, 25-17, 24-26, 15-13)
Match 2: USA def. France, 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20)
Date: June 1-2
Location: Green Bay, Wis. - The Resch Center
Match 1: USA def. Japan, 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 27-25, 25-19)
Match 2: USA def. Japan, 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-18)
Date: June 8-9
Location: Lyon, France - Palais des Gerland
Match 1: France def. USA, 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 38-36, 25-18)
Match 2: USA def. France, 3-1 (22-25, 29-27, 25-23, 25-21)
Date: June 15-16
Location: Chicago, Ill. - The Convocation Center
Match 1: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 25-27, 29-27)
Match 2: USA def. Italy, 3-0 (25-19, 30-28, 25-23)
Date: June 23-24
Location: Kumamoto - Kumamoto Prefectural Gymnasium
Date: June 29
Location: Napoli - PalaBarbuto
Date: July 1
Location: Avelino - Pal Del Mauro
World League Final
Date: July 11-15
Location: Katowice, Poland