U.S. Men Rally to Beat Mexico at World Championship
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
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For the U.S. Men's 2010 World Championships Media Guide, click here.
NOTE: The semifinals and finals of the FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship on Oct. 8-10 are scheduled to be shown live from Rome on Universal Sports.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 25, 2010) – The U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team fought hard and rallied from an 0-2 deficit to defeat Mexico 3-2 (22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-11) on Saturday in the opening match of the 2010 FIVB World Championship in Reggio Calabria, Italy.
The U.S. Men open play in Pool D at 1-0 and will face Venezuela at noon PT on Sunday. Venezuela fell to Argentina in Saturday's other Pool D match, 25-23, 25-17, 25-18.
Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) led the U.S. Men with 22 points on 15 kills (0.33) hitting percentage, four blocks and a match-high three aces. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added 18 points on 17 kills (0.47 hitting percentage) and one block. Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) totaled 12 points on eight spikes (0.40 hitting percentage), three blocks and one ace.
"I'm happy to win such a great match in the beginning," U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said in an FIVB press release. "I want to underline the great game of Mexico. In the first two sets they played better than us. In the third set, our team increased the level of play and with the help of Stanley we were able to win. We never underestimated Mexico. We have great respect for them."
The U.S. Men had a hitting percentage of 0.27 (55 kills on 120 attempts and 22 errors) while Mexico's was 0.32 (65 kills on 127 attempts with 24 errors). The U.S. had six aces and 10 service errors while Mexico had two aces and 18 service errors. Both teams finished with nine blocks, but the U.S. was charged with 34 blocking faults while Mexico had 15.
The U.S. was credited with 56 excellent service receptions and two faults on 83 attempts. Mexico was credited with 52 excellent service receptions and five faults on 91 attempts. Mexico was credited with 37 digs. The United States had 32.
Gerardo Contreras led Mexico with 22 points on 19 kills and three blocks. Carlos Guerra added 21 points on a match-high 21 kills.
Among other U.S. players, outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) scored six points on five attacks (0.14 hitting percentage) and one ace. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) finished with five points on four kills (0.22 hitting percentage) and one block. Outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) totaled three points on three spikes. Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) had two points on two kills and setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) totaled two points on one kill and one ace.
Lambourne was credited with 17 excellent receptions and no faults on 26 attempts and 11 digs and three faults on 16 attempts. Rooney was credited with 19 excellent receptions and one fault on 25 attempts along with 10 digs and no faults on 10 attempts.
U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe started Anderson and Rooney at outside hitter, Lee and Holmes at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Hansen at setter and Lambourne at libero. Salmon replaced Anderson at outside hitter in the second set and started the third and fourth. Lotman substituted for Salmon in the fourth set and started the fifth.
Setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) also played as a substitute.
The teams were tied 7-7 in the tiebreaker when Stanley came from the back row to put down a kill on the right side to give the U.S. an 8-7 lead. Lee followed that with a quick kill to put the United States ahead by two. Mexico tooled the U.S. block to make it 9-8, but then lost the serve on a service error and followed that with a hitting error to give the U.S. an 11-8 lead. Mexico called timeout and the U.S. came back with its own hitting error to make it 11-9. A Lee quick kill followed by a Mexico attack made it 12-10. Stanley gave Team USA match point with two straight kills. It looked like Stanley would end the match with an ace, but Mexico dug the ball and got it back over where the U.S. was not prepare and let it drop. The next play saw Holmes and Lotman playing aggressively at the net against Mexico, which was charged with a setting error to give Team USA the victory.
Team USA held an 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set, scoring on a kill and an ace from Anderson along with spikes from Rooney, Stanley and Holmes. The teams battled back and forth until it was tied 12-12. The United States went ahead by two on two straight attacks from Stanley and Anderson. Mexico called timeout and responded with a kill, but the U.S. Men led 16-14 at the second TTO. Mexico came out of the break and scored on a kill and an ace to tie things at 16-all. With the scored still tied at 17-17, Team USA used a 4-1 run, including kills from Rooney and Anderson and a Holmes ace, to lead 21-18 and seemed to have the set in hand. But Mexico scored on two straight attacks to pull to within one. The U.S. scored on Mexico's serving error to lead 22-20, but Mexico scored three straight points on a kill and two blocks to take a 23-22 lead. Knipe called timeout, but final Contreras attack and a U.S. hitting error sealed the win for Mexico.
Mexico used its momentum and a series of U.S. errors to take an 8-5 lead at the first TTO of the second set. Team USA came back with a Lee kill, Stanley block and Mexico error to tie the score at 8-all. The teams battled back and forth until the score was tied at 15-15. Two straight kills from Contreras and Guerra put Mexico up by two. Team USA came back with a block by Stanley, but Mexico scored twice more with two attacks. Knipe called timeout and brought Salmon in for Anderson. Holmes got a block to make it 19-17, but it was the last "real" point Team USA would score in the set as its final two points came on Mexico's errors. Mexico turned on the heat at the net and score its final four points on two blocks and two kills to win the set, 25-19.
Trailing 4-2 in the third set, the U.S. Men scored four straight points on kills from Salmon and Rooney, a block by Holmes and an ace from Stanley to lead 6-4. Two straight U.S. errors tied the score at 6-6, but Team USA held an 8-7 lead at the first TTO and extended it to 11-8 as Rooney and Stanley both attacked the net. Mexico came back behind Guerra and Samuel Cordova to pull to within one at 12-11 and 13-12. That's when Stanley came up big with a kill and two straight aces followed by Mexico's hitting error and a Holmes block to give the U.S. Men an 18-12 lead. Mexico called timeout and got the serve back with a kill, but then the teams traded points until the U.S. led 23-16. Mexico scored twice on a U.S. error and a block to cut the lead to five, but Team USA ended it with a Lee kill and Holmes block.
The U.S. Men held an 8-5 lead at the first TTO of the fourth set, scoring on two attacks from Salmon, two by Rooney and one by Holmes. Tomas Aguilera had two quick attacks for Mexico to pull to within one, but the United States came back with two points on Mexico errors. Later, trailing 12-9, Mexico reeled off four straight points including a block and kill by Contreras, to grab a 13-12 lead. Knipe called timeout and Mexico had a service error. Stanley followed with a block and the U.S. lead was 14-13. The two teams traded the lead back and forth. With Mexico leading 17-16, the United States scored three straight points on a Stanley kill, Mexico error and Rooney attack to lead 19-17. Mexico called timeout and came back with a Guerra strike. But Team USA increased its lead to 22-19 on a Stanley strike and Hansen ace. The United States reached set point first at 24-20 on a Lotman kill. Mexico scored twice on a kill and U.S. service error before a Lee kill gave Team USA the set victory and forced the tie-breaker.
To reach the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship page, click here.
To read U.S. Men's Team Leader Greg Vernovage's blog from the World Championship, click here.
To view a photo gallery of this match, click here.
2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship
Sept. 25-Oct. 10 in Italy
U.S. Roster for Sept. 25
(12 players are chosen from the 14-man roster prior to each match)
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
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 Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
10 Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, 6-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford)
15 Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
16 Carson Clark (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17 Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
Head Coach: Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Team Leader: Greg Vernovage (Susquehanna, Pa.)
Assistant Coach: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Trainer: Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Team Doctors: Andrew Gregory (Nashville, Tenn.) and Keith Feder (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Pool D First Round Schedule (all times PT) and Results
Sept. 25: Argentina def. Venezuela, 25-23, 25-17, 25-18
Sept: 25: USA def. Mexico, 22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-11
Sept. 26: Argentina vs. Mexico, 8 a.m.
Sept. 26: USA vs. Venezuela, noon
Sept. 27: Venezuela vs. Mexico, 8 a.m.
Sept. 27: USA vs. Argentina, noon