Manager, Media Relations and Publications
ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 26, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team assured itself its best FIVB World League finish ever when it swept host Brazil, 25-23, 25-22, 27-25, the No. 1 team in the world, before 11,615 fans on Saturday at Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro.
Team USA will face a rematch with Serbia in Sunday’s gold-medal contest (8:30 a.m. PDT). Serbia defeated Russia (25-19, 25-19, 25-23) in Saturday’s other semifinal. Serbia swept the U.S. Men on Wednesday in the first Final Round pool play match.
The U.S. Men, ranked third in the world, ended Brazil’s string of five World League titles in a row and advanced to the gold medal match for the first time since the competition began in 1990. The United States won World League bronze medals in 1992 and 2007.
Brazil is also the defending Olympic, World Cup and World Championship gold medalist.
“Our goal for this match was to play better volleyball than we did against Poland,” U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “I thought we played a good match. Our focus, intensity, and execution were good - especially in serve and defense. We did not play perfectly, but we were able to deal with the adversity that comes with playing Brazil here in Rio and made some good plays at the end of all three sets.”
Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) led the U.S. Men with 16 points on 11 kills, two blocks and three aces. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) added 11 points on 11 kills.
Brazil’s Dante Guimaraes Amaral led all scorers with 17 points on 12 kills, three blocks and two aces.
Although Brazil out-blocked the U.S. Men 10-7, they also had 21 blocking errors as opposed to 10 for the United States. The U.S. Men converted 50 percent of their attack attempts as opposed to 43 percent for Brazil.
Among other U.S. scorers, Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.) scored eight points on seven kills and one block. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added six points on four kills and two blocks. Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) scored one point on an ace.
U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was credited with 26 running sets and 38 still sets with one fault on 65 attempts for an average of 8.67 running sets per set.
Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 16 “excellent” service receptions and three faults on 33 attempts and eight digs on 16 attempts.
McCutcheon started Priddy and Salmon at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Ball at setter and Lambourne at libero.
Touzinsky and Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) substituted in all three sets.
The first set started close with Brazil leading by one point at the first technical timeout (TTO) and by two points at the second.
With the score tied 22-22, a kill by Salmon gave the U.S. Men the lead and a Brazil attack error put them at set point. Brazil scored on a U.S. service error, but Priddy put the set away with a kill.
The United States held an 8-6 lead at the first TTO of the second set, thanks in part a kill and two blocks by Stanley and a block and kill from Priddy. Brazil’s Dante came out of the TTO with a kill to draw his team closer, but Team USA went on a 3-0 run to go up by four.
Brazil Head Coach Bernardo Rezende tried to bolster his team by substituting Samuel Fuchs for Andre Heller, Rodrigo Santana for Gustavo Endres and Bruno Rezende for Marcelo Elgarten, but it did not help.
The United States took its biggest lead of the set at 21-16 when Touzinsky, brought in as a serving substitute for Millar, scored on an ace. Brazil was able to draw closer at 23-21, but then made a serving error to help the United States reach set point. Brazil scored one more point on a U.S. error before a Stanley kill put the set away.
Brazil held a lead of 13-10 in the third set, but the United States went on a 3-1 run, including two kills by Salmon and a block by Millar, to tie the score at 14-14. A kill by Priddy put the United States up 15-14 and caused Rezende to call timeout and replace Samuel Fuchs with Anderson Rodrigues.
Stanley served three aces in a row to put the United States ahead 18-14, but Brazil came back and tied the score at 22-22.
Brazil reached set point first at 24-23, but a Stanley kill tied the score. Stanley’s serving error gave Brazil another set point, but three straight errors by Brazil won the match for the United States.
View the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide at www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/08WL_MNTMediaGuide.pdf.
The U.S. World League site is www.usavolleyball.org/national/08WL.asp.
The FIVB World League site is www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2008.
2008 FIVB World League Final Round
U.S. Men's Roster
1 Lloy Ball (S, 6-8, Woodburn, Ind., Indiana-Purdue, Fort Wayne)
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)
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 C 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 (Opp, 6-9, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
18 Scott Touzinsky (OH, 6-6, St. Louis, Mo., Long Beach State)
Results and Schedule (all times PDT)
July 23: Brazil def. Russia, 25-23, 25-18, 25-15
July 24: Russia def. Japan, 25-14, 26-24, 25-18
July 25: Brazil def. Japan, 25-16 25-23 25-15
July 23: Serbia def. USA, 25-23, 25-29, 25-17
July 24: USA def. Poland, 25-18, 23-25, 27-25, 18-25, 16-14
July 25: Serbia def. Poland, 25-16, 25-18, 25-21
Semifinals – July 26
9:15 a.m.: USA def. Brazil, 25-23, 25-22, 27-25
6 a.m.: Serbia def. Russia, 25-19, 25-19, 25-23
Finals – July 27
5:30 a.m.: Brazil vs. Russia
8:30 a.m.: USA vs. Serbia