U.S. Men Fall to Germany to Open Final Round
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
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SOFIA, Bulgaria (July 5, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team opened the FIVB World League Final Round with a five-set loss to Germany, 25-20, 25-21, 21-25, 25-20. 16-14 on Thursday in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The U.S. Men (0-1) will play Bulgaria (1-0) on Friday at 10:45 a.m. PT to try to advance to the semifinals. Germany completed Final Round pool play at 1-1.
The U.S. led Germany in kills, 66-60 and blocks, 17-15, while the two teams tied in aces 4-4. However Germany scored on 28 U.S. team errors while committing 18.
“It was frustrating. If you look at the stats, in a lot of areas we had an edge,” U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) “But in receptions, we didn’t and in the most important area, the final score, we didn’t. It was a struggle to maintain a high standard of consistency.”
U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu) led all scorers with 22 points on a match-high 18 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 20 points on 19 attacks and one block.
“We had a pretty good blocking defense, but for us it was more running our offense,” Stanley said. “We had trouble with reception of their float serves. I think that was a bigger point in the match.”
Among other U.S. scorers, middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) scored 11 points on seven attacks, two blocks and two aces. Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) added 11 points on seven kills and four blocks.
Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) totaled nine points on four attacks and a match-high five blocks. Outside hitter Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) added eight points on seven kills and one block.
Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) contributed five points on three attacks, one block and one ace. Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania) scored a point on an attack.
Knipe started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Holmes and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Suxho at setter and Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) at libero.
Smith replaced Holmes in the third set and started the fourth. Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) took over for Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) in the fourth set and started the fifth. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and David McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) played as substitutes.
“David Smith generally can give us a spark,” Knipe said. “He brings some energy. He has a different serve, a jump serve as a middle blocker. He gave us a spark right away.”
The U.S. took an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO), getting points off a kill and block from Anderson and an attack and block by Priddy along with a Lee kill. Coming out of the break, the U.S. scored three straight points on a Lee attack, German violation and Holmes block to lead 11-7 and Germany called timeout. Germany came back with two points. The teams traded scores until the U.S. led 13-11 and scored on two straight Stanley strikes to lead 15-11. The U.S. led 16-12 at the second TTO. Coming out of the break, Germany went on a 4-1 run to pull to within one point at 17-16 and the U.S. called timeout. Anderson responded with a kill and Holmes had a block, followed by a Germany lift call to put the U.S. back up 20-16. Germany never got any closer and the U.S. Men went on to the 25-20 victory. The U.S. led in kills, 13-9 and in blocks, 4-1.
The teams were tied at 5-5 in the second set when Germany scored on an attack and an ace to take the two-point lead. Holmes answered with a quick kill, but Germany’s Denys Kaliberda scored from the left side to give Germany an 8-6 lead at the first TTO. Germany increased its lead to five at 13-8 before the U.S. came back with a 5-2 run to pull to within two at 15-13. Germany’s Gyorgy Grozer scored to give his team the 16-13 lead at the second TTO. Germany used a 3-1 run coming out of the break to lead 19-14 and the U.S. called timeout. But the North American side couldn’t put together enough of a rally and Germany took a 25-21 set win. Germany led the set in attacks, 18-16 and aces, 2-0. The U.S. led 2-1 in blocks.
The U.S. led 6-5 in the third set when Germany scored on three straight strikes from Grozer to lead 8-6 at the first TTO. Germany still led by two at 12-10 when Knipe substituted Smith for Holmes and Smith scored with a quick kill and then an ace. Germany hit the next ball out of bounds, giving the U.S. a 13-12 lead. The teams traded points until the score was tied 16-16. Priddy scored with a kill and Lee took the serve and had an ace. Germany called timeout, but the U.S. came back with two straight Smith blocks to lead 20-16. Germany used its second timeout. With the U.S. leading 23-18, Germany scored on an attack from Kaliberda and a U.S. violation to pull to within three at 23-20. But Germany’s next serve went into the net. The U.S. had its own serve error before winning the set on an Anderson strike.
Germany opened the fourth set with a 5-1 lead and the U.S. Men called timeout. Germany came back with two straight blocks and a kill to lead 8-1 at the first TTO. With Germany leading 10-4, Team USA scored on two straight kills from Anderson to pull to within four. Germany still led by four at 13-8 when it served in the net and the U.S. scored on a Stanley block and Rooney attack to pull to within two at 13-11. Germany came back to score and led by three at the second TTO, 16-13. With Germany leading 17-15 Grozer scored on an attack and Max Gunthor took the serve and helped Germany score three more straight points to lead 21-15. Germany led 23-17 when the U.S. got three straight points on attacks from Smith and Rooney and a German violation. But the next U.S. serve went out of bounds for set point and Gunther won it for Germany with a block.
Germany took a 4-1 lead in the tie-breaker on two blocks and a kill. The U.S. pulled to within two at 5-3 and 6-4, but Germany came back for an 8-5 lead at the side change. With Germany leading 10-5, Lee scored for the U.S. on a quick kill down the middle. Stanley followed with two attacks and Rooney provided a block to pull the U.S. to within one at 10-9. Germany called timeout and came back with an attack from Grozer. Germany reached match point at 14-11 on an ace by Grozer. But Germany was called for a violation and the U.S. came back with attacks from Rooney and Stanley to tie the score at 14-14. But the next U.S. serve went long and Kaliberda gave Germany the victory with a kill.
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, 6-4, 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 Round Schedule and 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 vs. Bulgaria (10:45 a.m. PT)
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 vs. Cuba (7:30 a.m. PT)
July 7: F1 vs. E2 (7:30 a.m. PT)
July 7: E1 vs. F2 (10:45 a.m. PT)
July 8: Bronze medal (7:30 a.m. PT)
July 8: Gold medal (10:45 a.m. PT)