Hoffman Estates, Illinois June 25, 2010 – Urpo Sivula and Matti Hietanen helped Finland stun the USA with a 3-2 (25-22, 14-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11) victory in front of 3,500 spectators in their third Pool C 2010 FIVB World League Intercontinental Round match in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Finland improves to 2-5 in the pool while USA falls to 4-3. The two teams will play again on Saturday at 7pm local time.
Finland is a full 28 places behind the USA in the FIVB World Rankings, and at No. 30 is the lowest ranked side in the competition. Team USA is currently No. 2 in the rankings.
Sivula led all scorers with 31 points on 28 kills, two blocks and one ace. Hietanen added 17 points on 14 kills, two blocks and one ace. Antti Siltala scored 11 points on 10 kills and one ace.
Clay Stanley led the United States with 21 points on 15 kills, three blocks and three aces. David Lee added 15 points on 10 kills, four blocks and one ace.
After the two teams had picked up two sets each, USA took a 5-3 lead in the fifth set. Finland tied it at 5-5 following a U.S. serving error and Sivula kill. The teams traded points unitl the score was tied at 7-7. Finland took an 8-7 lead on Hietanen’s kill. Two straight Matti Oivanen aces gave Finland a 10-7 lead and USA couldn’t catch up. Finland reached match point at 14-10 on Sivula’s kill. A Priddy kill pulled USA to 14-11, but Sivula ended the match with a kill off the U.S. block attempt.
“It was an awesome win against the USA," Jukka Lehtonen, Finland captain said. "Sivula played well. This was an excellent game for him. Every area of the game was OK, not great.”