US Men's VB Beats Egypt

Reports From U.S.A. Volleyball & B.J. Hoeptner Evans

U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Alan Knipe put a group of Olympic gold medalists on the floor in the fourth set to put away Egypt, 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 11-25, 25-14) in an FIVB World League match at Cabarrus Arena.

Team USA improved its World League Record to 4-2 at the League’s halfway point and secured its hold on second place in Pool C. Egypt fell to 5-1. Egypt will return home for its next six World League matches. The U.S. Men move on to Hoffman Estates, Ill., to play Finland on June 25-26.

The United States was led by 2008 Olympic MVP Clay Stanley with 14 points on eight kills, two blocks and a match-high four aces. Sean Rooney added 11 points on 10 kills and one block. Matt Anderson scored 10 points on nine kills and one ace.

Egypt was paced by Mohamed El Daabousi with 18 points on a match-high 16 kills and two aces.

Team USA had seven aces to Egypt’s six and 13 blocks to Egypt’s 11. Team USA scored on 28 Egypt team errors while committing only 22.

After losing the third set in an 11-25 meltdown, Knipe started the fourth set with 2008 Olympic gold medalists, Rooney, Salmon, Stanley, David Lee, Ryan Millar, Kevin Hansen and Rich Lambourne. The veteran team made quick work of Egypt with a 25-14 fourth-set victory.

The first set started tight as Egypt held a slim 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO). Team USA scored on three kills from Anderson, one from Rooney and a Millar block. Egypt’s Rashad Atia extended the lead to 9-7 with an ace out of the break, but a service error gave the ball back to Team USA. The teams traded points until Egypt’s lead was 11-9. Team USA got two straight points on an Egypt service error and Millar block to tie the score at 11-11, then grabbed the lead on a Rooney block. Team USA still led by one at the second TTO, 16-15. Anderson took the serve after the break and led with an ace off the foot of one of Egypt’s players. That started a 3-0 run that included a powerful block by Lee and ended with Team USA leading 19-15. But Egypt wasn’t done and came back behind Ahmed Abdelhay, who served for three straight points, including an ace, to bring Egypt back to within one at 20-19. Knipe called timeout and Anderson responded with a kill down the middle to keep Team USA on top. A block by Millar and Stanley ace put the United States ahead 23-19. A kill by Mohamed El Daabousi gave Egypt another point, but his service error gave Team USA set point and Millar ended the set with a kill.

The second set was again close and Team USA led 8-7 at the first TTO, getting points on a block and kill by Stanley and a kill by Anderson. The teams traded points, with Egypt gaining an edge when it scored two points in a row on two kills to go ahead 11-10. After Egypt’s service error Team USA came back with two Anderson kills in a row to lead 13-11. Egypt called timeout and scored on the next play to end the run. With the U.S. ahead 14-12, Egypt got a kill to pull within one, then scored two more points behind Atia’s serving to lead 15-14. Egypt continued to lead by one at the second TTO, 16-15. Coming out of the break, Egypt scored on a kill from Abdelhay, which sparked a four-point run that put Egypt ahead 20-15. Lee ended the run with a block and then took the serve. Team USA scored the next six points, including an Anderson kill, and blocks from Millar and Rooney to go ahead 22-20. Lee finally served long to end the rally. But Team USA held a one-point lead at 23-22 when a Millar kill put it at set point and Lotman ended the set with a kill.

Egypt found momentum in the third set and held an 8-3 lead at the first TTO, including two kills and a block from Ahmed Abdel Fattah. The U.S. offense stalled and by the second TTO, Egypt had extended its lead to 16-6, with Abdel Fattah scoring on an ace and Mahmoud Abd El Kader and Abdel Latife Ahmed dominating with blocks at the net. Team USA did not help itself with hitting and service errors. Coming out of the break, Egypt used a 9-3 run to reach set point at 24-9. Team USA reached double digits with a Rooney kill and a Salmon spike followed to hold off set point one more time. But Egypt took the set with a block by Fattah and Ahmed Abdalla.

Knipe put a team of Olympic gold medalists in the fourth set and it seemed like old times as Team USA took an 8-4 lead at the first TTO, scoring on double blocks by Lee and Stanley along with Lee and Salmon, a Millar ace and a Stanley kill. After Egypt scored on a kill, Stanley returned the favor with a spike of his own, then took the serve and sparked a 5-0 run that included three aces. Egypt finally scored on a service error. With Team USA leading 15-6, Egypt got the serve on a U.S. service error and scored three straight points, including an ace by Abdalla Ahmed. A Rooney kill gave Team USA a 16-9 lead at the second TTO. After the break, Egypt’s Ahmed Abdel used a kill to bring his team to 16-10 and then served for two more points. Knipe called timeout and Lee ended the run with a kill. Hansen got the serve and helped the U.S. score the next three points, including a Lee block, to lead 19-12. Giacobbe called timeout and cooled off Hansen who served into the net.  But the U.S. Men came back with a Rooney kill. Knipe substituted Patak for Rooney to serve, and Patak opened with an ace. Team USA scored two more points on kills from Stanley and Salmon before Patak served into the net. But the U.S. Men were anxious to get the match over with and a kill gave them match point at 24-14 followed by a Stanley spike to end the match.

For the U.S. Men's World League Media Guide, click here.

To view U.S. World League photo galleries, click here.

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