U.S. Men to Play Canada for Olympic Berth - SATURDAY, 8PM - Long Beach?

U.S. Men to Play Canada for Olympic Berth - SATURDAY, 8PM - Long Beach?

Post by Volleyball.. » Mon, 14 May 2012 05:22:33

U.S. Men's Team to Play Canada for Olympic Berth
May 11, 2012

The NORCECA Olympic Qualifier is being live streamed at usavlive.com.
The gold medal match will not be streamed, and instead will be shown
on NBC Sports Network at 3-5 p.m. ET on May 13.

To purchase tickets, click here :
https://tkt.xosn.com/tickets/TicketHome.dbml?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=2350...

Finals
May 12
http://SportToday.org/%20Events/Olympic%20Qualification%20Tourna...
1 p.m. Seventh-place match - Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
3 p.m. Fifth-place match - Mexico vs. Dominican Republic
5 p.m. Third-place match - Cuba vs. Puerto Rico
8 p.m. Championship - USA vs. Canada

LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 11, 2012) The U.S. Mens National Volleyball
Team will play Canada for a berth at the 2012 Olympic Games on
Saturday after beating Cuba on Friday, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16 at
the NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Walter
Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.

The United States (4-0) will play Canada (4-0) at 8 p.m. on Saturday
at the Pyramid with the winner taking the Olympic berth. Cuba (3-2)
will play Puerto Rico (2-3) in the bronze-medal match, which begins at
5 p.m.

The U.S. block came up big against Cuba with the United States holding
a 14-5 blocking advantage. Four U.S. players finished with three
blocks each.

The U.S. also led in aces, 10-5, while Cuba held the edge in attacks,
49-46. The U.S. scored 26 points on Cuban errors while giving away
only 17.

U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all scorers
with 24 points on a match-high 17 kills (70.8 kill percent, .708
hitting efficiency), three blocks and a match-high four aces. Opposite
Clay Stanley added 13 points on seven attacks, three blocks and three
aces.

The U.S. Men kept the first set close, but were never able to take a
lead and pull away. In the next three sets, they took early leads and
pulled away from Cuba.

We didnt start off the way we wanted to, but some of that credit
goes to Cuba, U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
said. I want to give a lot of credit to our passers tonight because
(Wilfredo) Leon and (Fernando) Hernandez can put a lot of pressure on
you. I was extremely proud of that effort as the match went on, but
more importantly of the group because they stayed together and kept
focus.

I dont know what happened in the first set, Cuba put some pressure
on us, but I am really proud of my team, Stanley said. Matt Anderson
served his ***off tonight and he played great offense. Russell
Holmes did a great job. We passed the ball pretty good. As a team we
played an all-around good match.

Wilfredo Leon paced Cuba with 15 points on 13 attacks and two aces.

Among other U.S. scorers, middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.)
finished with 11 points on eight attacks and three blocks. Middle
blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) totaled 11 points on
six kills, three blocks and two aces.

Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) contributed eight points on
seven attacks and one block. Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania)
totaled two points on one kill and one block and opposite David
McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) had one point on a service ace.

Suxho set the U.S. Men to a 52.3 kill percent and a .477 hitting
efficiency. Cuba had a 45.4 kill percent and a .370 hitting
efficiency.

Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with eight digs as
was Anderson. The U.S. had 23 digs total.

Lambourne was credited with 18 receptions (56 percent positive).
Priddy led in receptions with 23 (61 percent positive).

Knipe started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Holmes and Lee at
middle blocker, Suxho at setter, Stanley at opposite and Lambourne is
the designated libero.

McKienzie, outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) and middle
blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) played as substitutes.

The U.S. Men pulled out to a 6-4 lead in the first set, but Cuba tied
it at 6-6 on two kills off the block, then went ahead 7-6 on an ace.
Anderson tied it with a kill and an ace by Holmes gave the U.S. an 8-7
lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). The score was tied at 10-10
when Cuba scored three straight points, including two kills, to lead
13-10. The U.S. called timeout and Stanley scored with an attack. The
teams went back and forth until Cuba led 16-13 at the second TTO. With
Cuba leading 19-16, Anderson scored with a kill and Cuba had a passing
error to cut Cubas lead to one. The lead was still one at 21-20 when
Rolando Cepeda connected on an attack and then had an ace to give Cuba
a 23-20 lead. The U.S. called timeout and Cubas next serve went in
the net. Cuba called timeout and Leon responded with a kill. Cuba won
the set on a block.

The U.S. Men took the momentum back in the second set. With Cuba
leading 2-1, it served out of bounds. Anderson took the serve for the
U.S. and the U.S. scored on a Lee block, Anderson ace and Lee attack
to lead 5-2. Cuba called timeout and Anderson served long on his next
attempt. Cuba tied the score on a U.S. hitting error and Leon ace. But
Leons next serve hit the net and the U.S. stopped Cuba with two
straight blocks by Holmes to lead 8-5. After the break, the U.S. got
two more aces from Holmes and Priddy to lead 10-5. Priddys next
attack attempt went out of bounds, but he made up for it on his next
attempt and then combined with Holmes on a block to lead 12-6. With
the U.S. leading 13-9, Anderson killed an overpass. Cuba was called
for a net violation and Anderson scored on another attack to give the
U.S. a 16-9 lead at the second TTO. Cuba came out of the break with a
kill off the block and a U.S. hitting error made it 16-11. With the
U.S. leading 17-11, it served into the net giving the serve to
Hernandez, who launched a 4-0 run as Cuba began to tool the U.S.
block. Anderson ended the run with his own kill off the block and
added an ace to give the U.S. a 19-15 lead. With the U.S. leading
20-17, Holmes connected on a quick attack giving the serve to Stanley.
After a U.S. block, Stanley scored with two straight aces to give the
U.S. a 23-17 lead. The U.S. reached set point at 24-18 and won the set
when Cubas hit went out.

The U.S. took an 8-5 lead at the first TTO of the third set, scoring
on two kills each from Holmes and Anderson along with a block and ace
by Stanley. Anderson scored on a solo block after the break to give
the U.S. the 9-5 edge. The U.S. lead was 11-7 when Stanley connected
on a kill and Anderson added and ace. Cubas tip went out of bounds
and it trailed 14-7. Cuba called timeout and scored on two kills to
make it 14-9. The teams traded points to give the U.S. a 16-10
advantage at the second TTO. Cuba pulled to within four at 17-13, but
Holmes responded with an attack and then added an ace to put the U.S.
back up by six. Cuba did not threaten again. With the U.S. leading
21-16, Cuba had an error on a Lee hit. Anderson took the serve and Lee
scored on a quick kill, followed by an Anderson ace to give the U.S.
set point at 24-16. Leon scored on a kill before Lee ended the set
with final attack.

The U.S. Men took a 3-0 lead in the third set on an Anderson kill and
kill and block from Lee. The U.S. Men led 8-4 at the first TTO and
extended it to 12-6. The two teams traded points until the U.S. led
16-8 at the second TTO.  With the U.S. Men leading 20-12, Lee and
Anderson combined for a block, followed by a Cuba error and an ace
from serving substitute McKienzie to put the U.S. Men ahead 23-12. The
U.S. reached match point at 24-13 on an Anderson attack. Cuba scored
three points on a block and two U.S. errors before Cuba misplayed a
Stanley kill to end the match.

2012 NORCECA Mens Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1. Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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, 6-5, Richmond, Va., Loyola Marymount)
9. Ryan Millar (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Utah, BYU)
10. Riley Salmon (OH, 6-6, League City, Texas, Pierce College)
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)
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: Gary Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen (Lafayette, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Medical Support: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

2012 NORCECA Mens Olympic Games Qualification Tournament Schedule
(All times PT)

Quarterfinals
May 10
Cuba def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-18, 25-13, 25-16
Puerto Rico def. Mexico, 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 25-19

Classification 5-8
May 11
Mexico def. Costa Rica, 25-19, 25-19, 25-16
Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-21, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19

Semifinals
May 11
Canada def. Puerto Rico, 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11
USA def. Cuba, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17

Finals
May 12
1 p.m. Seventh-place match - Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago
3 p.m. Fifth-place match - Mexico vs. Dominican Republic
5 p.m. Third-place match - Cuba vs. Puerto Rico
8 p.m. Championship - USA vs. Canada

Match Quotes

Clay Stanley: Thanks for coming out. I dont know what happened in the
first set, Cuba put some pressure on us, but I am really proud of my
team. Matt Anderson served his ***off tonight and he played great
offense. Russell Holmes did a great job. We passed the ball pretty
good. As a team we played an all-around good match. I wish Cuba the
best.

On Canada
I think they are playing pretty good. They have a bunch of great
players on their team. We have to go back get some rest, wake up and
have a game plan from our coaches. We have to start out better than we
did today and play hard in all sets and I think we will win that game.

Alan Knipe: First I would like to congratulate Cuba on another great
match. It seems as though every time we meet its a tough match and
tonight was no different. We didnt start off the way we wanted to,
but some of that credit goes to Cuba. I want to give a lot of credit
to our passers tonight because Leon and Hernandez can put a lot of
pressure on you. I was extremely proud of that effort as the match
went on but more importantly of the group because they stayed together
and kept focus. I am looking forward to the staff getting together to
discuss Canada and getting our team the rest they need.

On Russell Holmes performance
In particular, Russell did have a really nice match. It isnt
surprising to any of us who are around him because he puts so much
work into his game. He got up early and was able to be super offensive
for us. He was able to block well and give us some point. As you have
seen sometimes it only takes one block and then it seems contagious
and Russell started that for us.

On keeping the same game plan throughout the tournament
I thought we served better as the match went on which caused problems
for Cuba. I thought they passed and received our serve well, but once
we got them in trouble we didnt do a whole lot different we just
started to do things better.

On Holmes playing so much
Throughout this tournament we have been rotating our middles. They are
all good and each bring something different. Right now he [Russell] is
playing so well it was hard to leave him off. That has nothing to do
with Ryan [Millar], we just felt it was a nice match up tonight.

On the youth of Matt Anderson
When you bring youth and that type of athleticism it takes a load off
some of our players.  I think it takes a little pressure off of them.
It is about what he has done from the end line serving and a lot of
teams like to serve him which he is fine with, he holds up for us. He
is big, rangy and he jumps real well, he is a complete player and fits
in well here.

On Donald Suxhos performance
I thought Suxho was fabulous tonight. We had a game plan and he stuck
to it. We didnt have a lot of success in beginning but he stuck to
the plan and set quick at a right time. He sets some really good tempo
balls to the pins, kept everyone involved, making a lot of options
open for us and keeping our offense hard to defend. k

On Canadas style
Canadas style is similar to ours. They have some good outside hitters
who have high tempo, which is very similar to us. As you saw two
nights ago, they played really well against Cuba and we expect them to
play really well.

On Clay Stanleys recovery
Clays doing great. He was off of surgery after the world cup. I think
someone should have come and done a documentary on how hard he worked
to get back in shape and in better shape. His stamina and his strength
are getting better and for someone who hasnt played as much
volleyball he is doing great.

Cuba Captain Wilfredo Leon: As we were expecting it was a very intense
game. It was a very difficult game, United States has a lot of
experience, we have played them before and we knew what we were up
against. The game is a game and what happened, happened. We hope to
play our best and we wish the best to the United States. Thank you.

Cuba Coach Samuels Orlando: First of all we would like to congratulate
the U.S. on their victory and a very well played match. I wish them
the best and hope they qualify for the Olympics. I think the story of
the match was a match of a young team against a very experienced team.
The team from USA includes many who have played in the Olympics and
those who were in high national competitions. Our team is young and it
showed in the high number of errors. It is difficult to play a team
who dominates every aspect of the game. In all cases they deserved the
victory; we lost some players and had to improvise but hats off to
USA.

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