The United States (0-1) and Poland (1-0) will play again on Saturday at 8 a.m. PT in their second match of the Continental (pool play) Round. The match will be shown live at laola1.tv/en/int/fivb/video/203—.html.
The U.S. led Poland in aces 3-1, but Poland out-hit the U.S. Men, 47-33. The United States’ hitting efficiency was .185 and its kill percent was 35.9. Poland’s hitting efficiency was .350 and its kill percent was 48.5.
Poland also out-blocked the U.S., 11-6.
Poland was credited with 55 digs and 14 errors while the United States had 31 digs and 13 errors. Poland was credited with 24 excellent receptions on 54 attempts with three errors. The U.S. Men were credited with 22 excellent receptions and two errors on 63 attempts.
„This is certainly not how we wanted to start this tournament,” U.S. Team Captain Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.), who was also the team’s leading scorer. „We made a lot of errors, while Poland played well. It is always very difficult to win the game on this level with these two things happening.”
Priddy paced the U.S. Men with 16 points on 13 kills, one block and a match-high two aces. Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 10 points on eight kills, one block and one ace.
Poland’s Bartosz Kurek led all scorers with 23 points on a match-high 20 kills and a match-high three blocks. Zbigniew Bartman added 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace.
„We were obviously disappointed in the outcome of the match tonight,” U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. „We were beaten in every major statistical category. The great thing about World League is we have the opportunity to come back tomorrow night and compete at the level we hold ourselves to.”
Among other U.S. scorers, outside hitter Matt Anderson scored five points on four kills and one block. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) totaled four points on three kills and one block. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), who substituted for Anderson in the third set, scored four points on four kills.
Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) scored two points on one kill and one block. Setter Donald Suxho (Korce, Albania), who was pulled in the third set for Brian Thornton (San Clement, Calif.) score one point with a block.
Suxho was credited with 21 running sets and no errors on 49 attempts. Thornton was credited with eight running sets and no errors on 21 attempts.
Libero Rich Lambourne was credited with nine digs and two faults on 20 attempts. He also had eight excellent receptions and one fault on 22 attempts. Priddy was credited with eight digs and two faults on 15 attempts. He also finished with eight excellent receptions and no faults on 16 attempts.
U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) started Anderson and Priddy at outside hitter, Lee and Millar at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Suxho at setter and Lambourne at libero.
Lotman started the third set for Anderson and Thornton replace Suxho early in the third set. Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and opposite Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) also played as substitutes.
Trailing 2-1, Poland’s Michal Ruciak took the serve and took his team into the first technical timeout (TTO) with an 8-2 lead, including kills from Bartman and Kurek.
The U.S. Men got the serve back on Poland’s service error, but could not put together a run of points until Priddy took the serve with the U.S. down 15-7. Priddy opened with an ace and served for two more points scored on kills from Anderson and Stanley. However another Poland kill gave it a 16-12 lead at the second TTO. With Poland leading 17-12, the U.S. Men scored twice on a Poland service error and Anderson block to pull to within three at 17-14. Poland still led by three at 21-18 when Poland took the serve on Bartman’s kill and scored the next two straight points on a kill and block, causing Knipe to call timeout. The United States got a point coming out of the timeout, but Poland reached set point with a kill. Anderson held off the loss with a kill, but Poland won the set with yet another successful strike.
The U.S. Men came into the second set looking calmer and took a 3-0 lead out of the gate with Stanley serving, including a Priddy block. It continued to hold a three-point lead at the first TTO, 8-5, with the U.S. scoring on kills from Stanley, two from Priddy and one from Lee along the way. The U.S. extended the lead to four at 10-6 on Poland’s hitting error, The U.S. lead was 11-7 when Kurek scored a kill off the U.S. block, which sparked a three-point run. The run ended on Poland’s hitting error, but it came back with two straight kills by Grzegorz Kosok and Kurek to tie the score at 12-12. Stanley kept the U.S. ahead with a kill and a Priddy block made it 14-12, but Poland came back to tie the score at 14-14 and then took its first lead of the match on Bartman’s block.
The match continued with the teams exchanging the lead and then tying the score until the score was tied at 18-18. Poland scored on two straight kills from Ruciak and Kurek to lead 20-18. Knipe called timeout and Priddy responded with a kill to make it 20-19 Poland. But Kurek came back with a kill to keep Poland’s lead at two. Poland’s service error followed by a Millar block tied the score at 21-21. But the U.S. Men followed with a hitting error and Kurek extended Poland’s lead to 23-21 with a kill. Knipe called timeout, but Poland answered with a block to reach set point. Priddy scored one more time with a back-row kill before Poland ended the set.
Poland opened the third set with a 4-0 lead, scoring on three U.S. errors and a kill by Bartman. Knipe called timeout and iced Ruciak’s serve. Priddy followed with a kill, but a service error made Poland’s lead 5-2. A U.S. hitting error made it 6-2 and caused Knipe to pull Suxho for Thornton. A Polish hitting error made it 7-3 and Kurek kill gave Poland an 8-3 lead at the first TTO. With Poland leading 11-5, a service error gave the U.S. the serve and Priddy scored with a block to help the U.S. pull to within four at 11-7. The teams exchanged points and Poland’s lead was 16-11 at the second TTO. After the break, Poland increased its lead to six at 18-12, but two straight Lotman kills and a Lee block brought the U.S. back to within three at 18-15, but a kill from Kurek ended the run. With Poland leading 20-16, two straight kills by Lee and Stanley caused Poland coach Andrea Anastasi to call timeout. But a kill by Piotr Nowakowski ended the run and pretty much dashed U.S. hopes of a comeback. The United States scored one more point on a Lotman kill to make it 22-19. But Poland scored the next three points to end the match.
B.J. Hoeptner Evans – Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Photos courtesy FIVB