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Apr 01 U.S. Men's Update: Holmes Nears Brazilian Finals

April 01, 2011, 12:45 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 1, 2011) – It’s another week of updates on U.S. Men’s National and A2 Team players competing around the world.

BRAZIL

U.S. middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and his Brazilian Superleague team Vivo/Minas won their first playoff semifinal match over Sesi-SP, 16-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 15-11.

Holmes started the first four sets and scored three points.

Vivo/Minas advanced to the semifinals with a 32-30, 24-26, 25-20, 22-25, 15-12 victory over BMG/Montes Claros on March 24 in their second match of the best-of-three quarterfinals.

Holmes scored 11 points, including four blocks.

Vivo/Minas will play Sesi-SP in the second semifinal match on April 2.

RUSSIA

Zenit Kazan, the Russian Super League team of U.S. setter Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), made it to the final of the CEV Champions League, but fell to Italy’s Trentino BetClic, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20 on March 27 in Bolzano, Italy.

In the final, Priddy scored 10 points on nine kills and one block. He was credited with 20 receptions, 45 percent positive and 30 percent excellent. Ball scored three points on two kills and one ace. He set the team to a 0.30 hitting percentage. Ball was named the tournament’s best setter.

To view photos from the match, click here. To view match video, click here.

Kazan advanced to the final with a 26-24, 25-20, 25-21 victory over Super League foe Dinamo Moscow on March 26. Priddy scored 13 points on 11 kills (0.67 hitting percentage), one block and one ace. He was also credited with 10 receptions, 40 percent positive and 30 percent excellent. Ball scored four points on one kill and three blocks and set the team to a 0.46 hitting percentage.

To view photos from the match, click here. To view match video, click here.

The Russian Super League began best-of-five playoff series on March 30. Kazan won its first playoff match over Yaroslavich Yaroslavl, 25-18, 25-19, 35-33.

Priddy scored 12 points on 10 kills (0.56 hitting percentage) and two blocks. He was credited with 13 receptions, 77 percent positive and 23 percent excellent. Ball added six points on one kill and five blocks. He set the team to a 0.52 hitting percentage.

U.S. middle blocker Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) substituted in the second set and started the third for Yaroslavl, scoring two points on two kills.

U.S. setter Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Fakel Novy Urengoi fell to Dinamo Moscow, 25-20, 19-25, 26-24, 25-19. Hansen scored two points on one kill and one ace. He set the team to a 0.30 hitting percentage. To view photos from the match, click here.

Playout series among the bottom four teams in the league, which includes Ural Ufa, the Russian team of U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii), and U.S. middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) and his team Kuzbass Kemerovo, will begin April 1.

GREECE

U.S. setter Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) and PAOK won their ninth straight Hellenic league match on March 26 with a 25-17, 20-25, 19-25, 25-22, 15-13 victory over league-leading Iraklis, including U.S. opposite Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and outside hitter Ryan Owens (Evanston, Ill.).

Winder started the first three sets and did not score. He helped set the team to a 0.36 hitting percentage. Billings led all scorers with 25 points on 20 kills (0.47 hitting percentage) and five blocks. Owens added 12 points on eight kills, three blocks and one ace. He was credited with 19 receptions, 47 percent positive and 21 percent excellent.

To view photos from the match, click here.

Only a few people were allowed to watch the match due to unruly fans who threw objects on the court during the previous match between the two clubs.

With the victory, PAOK shares second place in the league with Olympiacos and Panathinaikos heading into next week’s final round of regular season matches. Iraklis will need one more point against Ethnikos Alexandroupolis at home on April 2, to secure home advantage in the playoffs for the title. The top four teams will compete in the playoffs.

Outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Olympiacos defeated Panellinios Athens, 25-23, 25-23, 25-20. Fans from this match also had to be removed for throwing things onto the court.

Jablonsky scored 11 points, including 10 kills.

Led by U.S. opposite Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) who had 20 points, GS Lamia defeated Ethnikos Alexandroupolis, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15 on March 26. Price scored on 16 kills, one block and three aces.

POLAND

In the playoff for first-sixth place in the Polish league, U.S. middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) and his Polish league team Asseco Resovia Rzeszów fell to ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19 on March 26.

Millar scored 11 points on 10 kills and one block.

Asseco Resovia Rzeszów lost again, this time to Tytan AZS Częstochowa, 25-22, 22-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-10, on March 30, but Millar did not play.

In the battle for seventh-10th place in the Polish league, Fart Kielce, including U.S. libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) lost its second straight match to Indykpol AZS UWM Olsztyn, 25-19, 21-15, 25-21, 34-32.

Lambourne was credited with 18 receptions, 72 percent positive and 44 percent excellent.

ITALY

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all scorers with 21 points, but it wasn’t enough as his Italian Serie A league team Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia fell to Acqua Paradiso Monza Brianza, including U.S. outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.), 25-11, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, on March 27.

Anderson scored on 19 kills (0.36 hitting percentage) and two aces. He was credited with 37 receptions, 73 percent positive and 32 percent excellent. Rooney led his team with 16 points on 14 kills (0.46 hitting percentage), one block and one ace. He was credited with 36 receptions, 64 percent positive and 22 percent excellent.

Marmi Lanza Verona, including U.S. middle blocker Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and U.S. outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) defeated Casa Modena, 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 23-25, 16-14 on March 27.

Lotman scored 14 points on 11 kills (0.53 hitting percentage) and three aces. He was also credited with 26 receptions, 54 percent positive and 35 percent excellent. Brunner added 10 points on seven kills and three blocks.

U.S. middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and his Italian team Copra Morpho Piacenza, which have been struggling this season, got an upset victory over Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo, the second-place team in the league, 25-18, 25-15, 22-25, 18-25, 15-11.

Holt scored 11 points on six kills, one block and a match-high four aces.

The final round of Serie A matches will be played April 3.

U.S. opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) and his Italian Serie A2 league team Sir Safety Perugia defeated Canadiens Mantova, 27-25, 25-18, 25-19 on March 27.

Gardner scored 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace.

GERMANY

U.S. outside hitter Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) and his German league team SCC Berlin defeated VfB Friedrichshafen, 27-25, 25-20, 14-25, 25-21 on March 26.

Touzinsky scored eight points on seven kills (0.78 hitting percentage) and one block.

U.S. middle blocker Matt Denmark (Edmond, Okla.) substituted in the second set and started the third and fourth for VfB Friedrichshafen. He scored four points on one kill and three blocks.

To view photos from the match, click here.

SPAIN

Unicaja Almeria, the Spanish league team of U.S. middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) and outside hitter Riley Salmon (League City, Texas), advanced to the gold medal match of the Spanish Cup tournament, where it fell to CAI Voleibol Teruel, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23 on March 26.

Smith scored seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. Salmon played as a substitute and scored one point on one kill.

Smith had his best match of the Cup tournament in the semifinals when Almeria defeated Palma Volley, 25-16, 25-19, 29-27. He scored 10 points on three kills, five blocks and two aces.

The team announced on March 30 that Salmon was leaving for personal reasons. The playoffs will begin on April 2.

FRANCE

U.S. setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) and outside hitter Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) and their French B league team Chaumont defeated Narbonne, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23, 25-21 on March 26.

Vance scored 18 points on 15 kills and three blocks. Thornton scored two points on two aces and set the team to a 0.57 kill percentage.

Nils Nielsen (Fallbrook, Calif.) and his French A league team Tours defeated Tourcoing, 25-14, 25-19, 28-26. Nielsen scored five points.

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