U.S. Men Open World League Play Against Poland
ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 12, 2006) - After a five-year absence, the U.S.
Men's National Team returns to play in the FIVB World League this
weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a lot of e***ment and a little
Clay Stanley prepares to serve Team USA goes into its matches against
Poland on Friday and Saturday (July 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. MDT both days)
at the "E" Center ranked fifth in the world and ready to see if it can
live up to the ranking in one of the toughest and most grueling
competitions in men's volleyball.
"We can go to as many Pan Am Cups and international tours as you
like," said U.S. middle blocker Ryan Millar (Palmdale, Calif.). "But
to improve, we really need to play teams like Serbia & Montenegro,
which is ranked third in the world, and Poland, which is eighth. These
are important matches to get ready for the World Championships (in
2006), the World Cup next year and the Olympics in 2008."
The Salt Lake City matches will be a homecoming of sorts for Millar,
who played at Brigham Young University from 1996-99 and still has
family members and a house in nearby Provo. U.S. libero Rich Lambourne
(Tustin, Calif.) also played at BYU from 1997-99.
Following the matches against Poland in Salt Lake City, the U.S. men's
team will play two World League matches every weekend from July
21-Aug. 19 in the United States and in the other countries. Japan and
Serbia & Montenegro are also in Pool A with the United States and
Poland. Japan will host Serbia & Montenegro on July 15-16 in the other
Pool A match-up. All matches played in the United States will be shown
live on CSTV.
The winner from each of the four pools will advance to the finals on
Sep. 22-28 in Russia.
"One of the great things about World League is you get six weekends of
competitive matches to focus your team," said U.S. Head Coach Hugh
McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand). "That's very exciting for us.
A couple weekends into this thing, we will start hitting our stride."
After moving their training base from Colorado Springs, Colo., to
Anaheim, Calif., in April, the U.S. men opened the season by winning
the inaugural NORCECA Pan American Cup in Mexico. Team USA won four
straight matches against Panama, Cuba, Canada and the Dominican
Republic and only lost three sets throughout the event.
On June 19-29, the U.S. men's team traveled to Argentina for a
best-of-five series against Argentina's men's national team, which was
also preparing for FIVB World League play. After losing the first
match 1-3, the U.S. team came back to win the next four matches and
dropped only one more set.
The U.S. team achieved these victories without two of its top players:
middle blocker Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.) and opposite Clay Stanley
(Honolulu, Hawaii), both of whom were playing for the Iraklis club
team in Greece. The two did not get back with the team until June.
"We have had a staggered formation of our group, mainly due to the
length of some of the European seasons," McCutcheon said. "We finally
have all of our guys, but we haven't had a lot of time to play
together. I think we're playing well. But we're not playing as well as
we are capable of."
The United States hopes playing in its home country to open World
League will be an advantage as it knows Poland is a top contender.
Poland reached the semifinals of the 2005 World League, but ended up
finishing fourth after losing in five sets each to Serbia & Montenegro
"We know they are a good volleyball team and we expect them to play us
hard," McCutcheon said. "They are a very good serving and attacking
And there will be no rest for the weary after Saturday's match. The
U.S. men will return to Anaheim on Sunday morning and leave again on
Wednesday for their matches in Hiroshima, Japan.
For more U.S. World League information, go to
The FIVB World League web site is
Poland at USA
July 14-15, 2006 Salt Lake City, Utah
(Twelve-man rosters can be updated between World League weekends)
2 Pieter Olree (OH, Reading, Pa.)
3 Jim Polster (OH, Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
5 Rich Lambourne (L, Tustin, Calif.)
6 Phil Eatherton (MB, Glencoe, Mo.)
7 Donald Suxho (S, Korce, Albania)
8 Reid Priddy (OH, Richmond, Va.)
9 Ryan Millar (MB, Palmdale, Calif.)
11 Brook Billings (OPP, Santa Barbara, Calif.)
12 Tom Hoff (MB, State Park Ridge, Ill.)
13 Clay Stanley (OPP, Honolulu, Hawaii)
14 Kevin Hansen (S, Newport Beach, Calif.)
15 Gabe Gardner (OH, San Clemente, Calif.)
U.S. World League Schedule
Date: July 14-15
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah - The "E" Center
Date: July 22-23
Location: Hiroshima Green Arena
Date: July 29-30
Location: Minneapolis, Minn. - Target Center
Date: Aug. 4-5
Opponent: Serbia & Montenegro
Location: Spokane, Wash. - Spokane Memorial Arena
Date: Aug. 12-13
Location: Katowice - Spodek
Date: Aug. 18-19
Opponent: Serbia & Montenegro
Location: Beograd - Hall Pionir
World League Final
Date: Sept. 22-28
2006 World League Pools
Pool A-Japan, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, USA
Pool B-Argentina, Brazil, Finland, Portugal
Pool C-China, France, Italy, Russia
Pool D-Bulgaria, Cuba, Egypt, Korea
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