Concord, USA, June 15, 2010 – After two weeks of travel in Europe, the United States will be happy to be on home soil on June 18-19 for two 2010 FIVB World League matches against Egypt at Cabarrus Arena in Concord.
The U.S. 2010 World League campaign got off to an inauspicious start as they dropped two straight matches to Russia. However the side came back to win two matches in Finland and improve its ranking to second place in Pool C with a 2-2 record.
But the U.S. team cannot relax against Egypt, despite its 1-3 Pool C record. The African zone champion split two matches with host Finland on June 5-6. On June 11-12, host Russia needed four sets and then five sets to overcome Egypt.
“We expect Egypt to give us all we can handle,” said U.S. middle blocker Ryan Millar, who served as team captain for the United States’ first two World League weekends while Reid Priddy dealt with a family emergency.
“Our goal is to improve with every match and so far we have done that,” U.S. coach Alan Knipe said. “We will need to continue to do that if we hope to defeat Egypt, which has some young athletes who are playing well.”
USA has nine gold medalists from the 2008 Olympic Team on its 2010 World League roster and it plans to have at least seven of them on its roster for the match in North Carolina. The U.S. has another Olympian in setter Donald Suxho, who did not play in 2008, but was a member of the 2004 team that finished fourth in Athens.
Middle blocker David Lee leads all World League players in blocking after a 15-block performance in the two matches in Finland. He also leads the U.S. in scoring with 44 points on 21 kills, 20 blocks and three aces. Outside hitters Matt Anderson and Sean Rooney are close behind with 43 points each.
Egypt is led by outside hitter Ahmed Abdelhay, who leads all World League scorers with 76 points on 66 kills, five blocks and five aces. Middle blocker Abdel Latif Ahmed has 47 points. Setter Abadala Ahmed leads all servers with an average of 0.61 per set.