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 Match info | Description
USA beat Puerto Rico to qualify for Final Round

USA's defence proved formidable
Long Beach, USA, July 2, 2011 – The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team wasted no time in punching its ticket to Poland and the FIVB World League Final Round with a 25-13, 25-22, 25-19 sweep of Puerto Rico on Saturday at the Walter Pyramid.

The result left the U.S. with an 8-4 record after the Intercontinental Round, good enough for second place in Pool A behind Brazil (10-2), who the U.S. defeated twice. The four World League pool winners along with Poland, as the host country, and the three best second-place teams advance to the Final Round and a chance to win $1 million.

U.S. outside hitter Reid Priddy led all scorers with 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace. Opposite Clay Stanley added 12 points on six kills, four blocks and two aces. Puerto Rico, playing without leading scorer and team captain Hector Soto, were led by Carlos Ortiz with 12 points on eight kills and four blocks. The U.S. out-attacked Puerto Rico 35-30 and Puerto Rico were hurt by eight hitting errors as compared to four for the U.S. The United States out-blocked Puerto Rico 16-8 and had four aces while Puerto Rico had none.

Stanley helped the U.S. get off to a fast start in the first set with two straight aces in serving the team to a 6-1 lead. Stanley scored one more time on a cross-court attack as the U.S. led 8-3 at the first technical timeout. Coming out of the break, the U.S. scored on two straight Anderson attacks and Puerto Rico called timeout trailing 10-3. The U.S. were 16-8 ahead at the second TTO and were soon 18-8 up. Puerto Rico’s only run of points came at 21-10 when they scored on two straight U.S. errors to make it 21-12. Priddy ended the run with a roll shot. Ortiz came back with a kill for Puerto Rico, but it would be the last point that PR scored as the U.S. scored the final three points on Puerto Rico’s serving error, and a block and kill from Millar. The U.S. had 13 kills and no hitting errors in the set. They also had two aces, both from Stanley who led all scorers with six points.

The U.S. momentum did not carry into the second set as Puerto Rico jumped out to a 5-0 lead, scoring on a kill and block by Rivera and a kill and block by Ortiz. The U.S. called timeout, but Ortiz put up another block for Puerto Rico to increase their lead to 6-0. Priddy put the U.S. on the board with a back-row attack. A Figueroa strike gave Puerto Rico an 8-4 lead at the first TTO. Another Ortiz kill made it 9-4. The U.S. scored twice on Puerto Rico’s serving error and Lee’s block to pull to within three at 9-6, but a U.S. hitting error kept the Puerto Rico lead at four. Puerto Rico still led by four at 14-10 when the U.S. scored on kills by Lee and Stanley. Puerto Rico called timeout, but Priddy came back with another kill to tie the score at 14-14. The teams were still tied at 16-16 when a Stanley strike and Priddy ace put the U.S. ahead by two at 18-16, a lead they never relinquished. With the U.S. leading 20-17, Puerto Rico pulled to within one on a kill by Steven Morales and a U.S. hitting error, but Priddy held them off with a back-row strike. The U.S. reached setpoint at 24-22 on Anderson’s block and won the set on a double block by Priddy and Lee. Priddy had eight points in the set for the U.S. Ortiz had seven for PR.

The teams opened the third set even at 3-3 when the U.S. scored three straight points on a Puerto Rico error, a tip from Thornton and block by Lee. Puerto Rico called timeout and scored on Fernando Morales’ tip. A U.S. hitting error and block by Morales tied the score at 6-6 and Rivera gave PR the lead with a kill off the U.S. triple block. The U.S. came back with kills from Lee and Stanley to take an 8-7 lead at the first TTO. The U.S. increased their lead to 9-7 on Puerto Rico’s hitting error and later took a three-point lead at 12-9 on two straight kills on the left side by Anderson. But Puerto Rico did not give up and scored twice on kills from Ortiz and Figueroa. They tied the score at 13-13 on a U.S. serving error and Ortiz block and were still tied at 15-15 when a Puerto Rico serve hit the net. After the second TTO, the U.S. scored again on Stanley’s kill and a block by Stanley and Lee to lead 18-15. Puerto Rico could not put together another run of points and the U.S. surged to the set and match victory. Long Beach State University alumnus Scott Touzinsky served for the final U.S. point, which came when Puerto Rico hit out of bounds.   

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