U.S. Men Sweep China, Take Pool A Lead
- U.S. Men Sweep China, Take Pool A Lead
SAN JOSE, Calif. (June 27, 2009) – The Chinese National Team played better, but the result was the same as the U.S. Men’s National Team swept a second straight match from China, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22) on Saturday before a sellout crowd of 5,000 at the San Jose State University Event Center Arena.
The victory gives the U.S. a 5-1 record in Group A and puts them in the lead. China falls to 1-5. The U.S. Men and the Chinese team will travel to Nanjing, China to play two more World League pool play matches on July 4-5.
Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) led all scorers on Saturday with 16 points on 13 kills, two blocks and one ace. Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 12 on 10 kills, one block and one ace.
China was paced by Ping Chen with 15 points on 15 kills.
But U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) singled out middle blocker and team captain David Lee (Alpine, Calif.), who had nine points on a match-high seven blocks and two kills, for special credit.
“I think the difference (between the teams) was a big dose of David Lee,” Knipe said. “With seven blocks he controlled the match and set the tempo.”
The U.S. Men out-blocked China 12-7. Team USA converted 52 percent of its hitting attempts into points (42 of 81) while China converted 49 percent (44 of 90). But China’s serve receive showed great improvement over Friday as it finished 97 percent positive and 66 percent excellent. The United States’ serve receive was 98 percent positive and 48 percent excellent.
China’s head coach Zhou Jianan said both matches provided his young team with great experience.
“Both matches helped us a lot,” he said through an interpreter. “The USA is a strong team. They play at a higher level.
Among other U.S. scorers, Brook Billings (Santa Barbara, Calif.) scored six points on five kills and one block. Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) scored five points on five kills. Clay Stanley (Honolulu, Hawai’i) scored five points on five kills.
Kevin Hansen (Newport Beach, Calif.) scored two points on two kills and David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) scored one point on one block.
Libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with five digs on 13 attempts and nine excellent service receptions on 11 attempts. Hansen was credited with 12 running sets (assists) in 56 attempts.
Knipe started Anderson and Rooney at outside hitter, Hein and Lee at middle blocker, Stanley at opposite, Hansen at setter and Lambourne at libero.
Billings substituted for Stanley in the second set and played all of the third. Smith and Scott Touzinsky (St. Louis, Mo.) played as substitutes.
China came out in the first set with renewed enthusiasm after Friday’s loss and took a 6-4 lead. It continued to lead 8-7 at the first technical timeout (TTO). The two teams remained close and the U.S. held a slim 16-15 lead at the second TTO. But Team USA scored the next three points behind Rooney’s serve on Lee’s kill and two straight blocks. A kill by Chen stopped the run, but the U.S. blockers, led by Lee who had three in the set, kept China at bay.
The United States jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second set as Hein served for three straight points and Rooney had a kill and a block. Team USA held an 8-3 lead at the first TTO. The U.S. attack continued and its lead was extended to 16-9 at the second TTO. With Team USA leading 19-11, Dawei Yu got the serve and China’s hitters rallied the team to a 19-14 deficit. Knipe called a timeout and a Billings kill helped end the rally.
Team USA reached set point at 24-19, but a China kill held off the end. Weijun Zhong took the serve and China scored two straight points on a U.S. error and a kill by Ping Chen. The U.S. called timeout, but China responded with another kill, making it 24-23. But a China serving error ended the set.
China again took an early lead in the third set and was ahead 8-5 at the first TTO. The U.S. eventually tied it at 10-10, and the two teams battled back and forth. China led 16-14 at the second TTO. With China ahead 17-14, China lost the serve on a hitting error and Touzinsky took the serve for the U.S., serving it to an 18-17 lead. China tied it at 18-18, but Team USA scored two more straight points and China never caught up.
World League Tickets: Tickets for the matches in Hoffman Estates, Ill., (July 10-11 against Italy) and Wichita, Kan., (July 17-18 against Netherlands) are on sale.
For Hoffman Estates tickets, click here.
For Wichita tickets, click here.
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