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While the U.S. men's volleyball team hasn't yet secured a trip to London, no one is panicking. The men, who have gone to seven straight Olympics, are confident as the defending gold medal winners going into their upcoming continental qualification tournament. But the team has added reason for the self-assurance: The event is being played on home soil. Eight teams will vie for a spot in the London Games at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament, starting Monday at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. It is the first time that the United States has hosted the event.

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''I really hope the fans come out in big numbers, and are • Man sentenced in Olympic boxer's death super patriotic, excited and loud. Really make it a home • Warren Buffett's prodigy makes Olympics court,'' coach Alan Knipe said. ''Because other than the World League a couple of weekends a year, we rarely get to play in the United States. We play the majority of our schedule on foreign soil. So the opportunity to play here - obviously with a lot riding on the tournament - is a wonderful thing.'' The men missed out on an early chance to punch a ticket to London, finishing off the podium at the 2011 World Cup. After that event many of the players scattered across the globe to play for professional teams. The group reassembled last week for training at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. Over the weekend, the team hosted a pair of exhibition matches against Argentina, winning both. ''Training is by far the most important thing for this team right now, just getting back on the same page with each other,'' Knipe said. ''But the competition mode is something that's very difficult to replicate in a gym, so these exhibitions are obviously valuable.'' The other teams competing in Long Beach are Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

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Cuba is currently ranked fifth in the FIVB world rankings, a spot ahead of the U.S. men.

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''This is the first time this event is being held so close to the Olympics, or so late in the year,'' USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. ''So that puts a little more tension in the event, a little more anxiety in the air for the teams.''

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The U.S. men have qualified for the past three Olympics at the NORCECA qualification tournament. In 1996, the men won an automatic bid to the Atlanta Games as the host country.

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The men were undefeated at the Beijing Olympics, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match. Coach Hugh McCutcheon guided the team despite personal tragedy: His father-in-law was murdered at a Chinese landmark a day before the opening ceremonies.

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KEISSER: U.S. finally together under 1 Pyramid By Bob Keisser, Sports Colum nist Posted: 05/01/2012 10:35:01 PM PD T U pdated: 05/01/2012 11:49:44 PM PD T

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Long Beach will host the NORCECA men's volleyball Olympic qualifying tournament next week at the Walter Pyramid, the first such Olympic qualifier in town since the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, and it is a good thing that the USA men's team will enjoy a home-court advantage. They just wish the event had been in January, when it is usually played, and not in May, less than three months before the start of the 2012 Olympic Games.

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The qualifying process for teams in men's volleyball has changed over the years, much as volleyball uniforms have gone from short shorts to Lycra to baggy shorts. Once upon a quadrennial, the defending champ from the previous Olympics was guaranteed a berth in the tournament. The International Olympic Committee did away with that after the 1996 Olympics, sort of; some sports' governing bodies got exemptions for a brief period. Men's volleyball wasn't one of them. So after winning the 2008 gold medal in Beijing, the U.S. team was sent back into the pool of qualifying events for 2012, which leads us to the Pyramid. Unable to secure one of three automatic bids from the last World Cup, the U.S. now must win its regional tournament, the NORCECA Championships (featuring teams from NORth America, CEntral America and the CAribbean), to earn a bid. If they whiff in Long Beach, they'll have one last shot at a last-chance qualifying tournament. "It was an IOC decision, and I can see both sides," USA

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Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. "There were years when I liked it, like when we were champs, and years I didn't. There have been years when the defending champ was a shell of the team that won the previous Olympics." It's not unusual for the U.S. to earn its way into the Olympics via NORCECA. "This is the way we qualified for the tournament in 2000, 2004 and 2008," said USA men's coach Alan Knipe, the Long Beach State head coach who took a threeyear leave of absence so he could coach the Olympic year. "But the FIVB decided it wanted to delineate the international and club seasons, so they moved the tournament from January to May."

Someone might shrug that off until they're reminded that "club season" means "pro season" and most of the best players in the world play for international clubs in Europe. Knipe basically saw his entire national team head for Europe. This isn't the preferred way to build team cohesiveness. It's hard to practice passing when your libero is in Switzerland and your setter is in Poland. The 25-man roster at the moment just regrouped less than two weeks ago, and Knipe and USA Volleyball had to appeal to the FIVB to force two clubs in the midst of their playoffs to let two of his players leave for training camp on an agreed-upon date. "I would love to have a 6-to-8 week training block going into this tournament," Knipe said. "So all we can do is take advantage of those things we have - our recent wins against Argentina (two of them), playing the NORCECA on a home court for the first time ever, and having U.S. fans there to provide us support."

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KEISSER: U.S. finally together under 1 Pyramid - Press-Telegram

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Knipe kept contact with his players as much as possible. He checked the results of their club teams to see who was playing, kept in contact with players to check their health, and watched games live on the Internet when he could. He even used Skype to talk to players. Nice tech advantages, but it's not like having all your players in the same gym. One team in the eight-team tournament will have that advantage. Who said there's no upside to living in a communist country? While the top players for all national teams play professionally, Cuba does not. "Cuba gets the publicity when we talk about this, because they're ranked right with us in the world and they've had some nice finishes in the World League," Knipe said. Cuba is ranked fifth, the U.S. sixth, in the most recent rankings. "All of the old philosophies of having a team that spends 11 months a year together are in their favor.

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"But the region has changed. Canada is playing well. Mexico has its best team in many years, and they just went five sets with Cuba at the Pan Am Games. Puerto Rico beat us in the worlds and hurt our chance at qualifying there." The U.S. secret weapon may be Long Beach. Two FIVB World League matches last year against Puerto Rico drew big crowds at the pointy palace, and USA Volleyball likes the intimacy of the facility. "If I had just one thing to say to the fans who come out," Knipe said, "is that they come excited and ready to cheer. They don't have to be polite and sit on their hands. If you knew what we see sometimes in other countries, the wild crowds, you'd understand." For now, Knipe is just happy to have his team together, and not spread out around the globe. Long Beach is an international city, after all. Seems like a nice place to win an Olympic bid. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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U.S. men’s volleyball preps for qualifying - Sports News from USA Today

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Source: USA TODAY While the U.S. men’s volleyball team hasn’t yet secured a trip to London, no one is panicking. The men, who have gone to seven straight Olympics, are confident as the defending gold medal winners going into their continental qualification tournament. But the team has added reason for the self-assurance: The event is being played on home soil. Eight teams will vie for a spot in the London Games at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament, starting Monday at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. It is the first time the United States has hosted the event. “I really hope the fans come out in big numbers and are super patriotic, excited and loud. Really make it a home court,” coach Alan Knipe said. “Because other than the World League a couple of weekends a year, we rarely get to play in the United States. We play the majority of our schedule on foreign soil. So the opportunity to play here — obviously with a lot riding on the tournament — is a wonderful thing.” The men missed out on an early chance to punch a ticket to London, finishing off the podium at the 2011 World Cup. After that event, many players scattered across the globe to play for professional teams. The group reassembled last week for training at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. Over the weekend, the team hosted a pair of exhibition matches against Argentina, winning both. “Training is by far the most important thing for this team right now, just getting back on the same page with each other,” Knipe said. “But the competition mode is something that’s very difficult to replicate in a gym, so these exhibitions are obviously valuable.” The other teams competing in Long Beach are Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Cuba is fifth in the FIVB world rankings, one spot ahead of the U.S. men. “This is the first time this event is being held so close to the Olympics, or so late in the year,” USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. “So that puts a little more tension in the event, a little more anxiety in the air for the teams.” The U.S. men have qualified for the past three Olympics at the NORCECA qualification tournament. In 1996, the men got an automatic bid to the Atlanta Games as the host country. The men were undefeated at the Beijing Olympics, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match. Coach Hugh McCutcheon guided the team despite personal tragedy: His father-in-law was murdered at a Chinese landmark a day before the opening ceremonies. After the Olympics, McCutcheon shifted over to the U.S. women’s national team, which won the silver medal in Beijing. The women are ranked No. 1 in the world and have secured a spot in London. Knipe took leave from his job as the head coach at Long Beach State to take over the men’s national team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-sports/2012/05/01/u-s-mens-volleyball-preps-for-qualifyi... 5/4/2012


U.S. men’s volleyball preps for qualifying - Sports News from USA Today

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Twelve men’s teams will play in the London Olympics. Great Britain has a berth as host, and Russia, Poland and Brazil qualified with the top finishes in last year’s FIVB World Cup. The U.S. men have won three Olympic volleyball gold medals, at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, the Seoul Games in 1988 and in Beijing. If the team does not qualify, it is likely to have another chance. The FIVB, the international governing body for volleyball, will hold three four-team qualification tournaments in Japan, Italy and Germany in June. Invitations to the events are based on world ranking. Copyright © 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. More in TC Sports Network: Darian Williams to Grand Canyon Read It » This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 at 4:20 pm and is filed under USA Today Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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U.S. men's volleyball team preps for London qualifying Updated 3d ago

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While the U.S. men's volleyball team hasn't yet secured a trip to London, no one is panicking.

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The men, who have gone to seven straight Olympics, are confident as the defending gold medal winners going into their continental qualification tournament. But the team has added

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NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament, starting Monday at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. It is the first time The U.S. men's volleyball team went undefeated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, upsetting topranked Brazil in the gold-medal match.

the United States has hosted the event.

coach Alan Knipe said. "Because other than the World League a couple of weekends a year, we rarely get to play in the

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Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. Over the weekend, the team hosted a pair of exhibition matches against Argentina, winning

both. "Training is by far the most important thing for this team right now, just getting back on the same page with each other," Knipe said. "But the competition mode is something that's very difficult to replicate in a gym, so these exhibitions are obviously valuable." The other teams competing in Long Beach are Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Cuba is fifth in the FIVB world rankings, one spot ahead of the U.S. men. "This is the first time this event is being held so close to the Olympics, or so late in the year," USA

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/london/volleyball/story/2012-05-01/usa-mens-volleyball-olympic-qualifying/54670404/1[5/4/2012 5:44:10 PM]

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U.S. men's volleyball team preps for London qualifying – USATODAY.com

Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. "So that puts a little more tension in the event, a little more anxiety in the air for the teams." The U.S. men have qualified for the past three Olympics at the NORCECA qualification tournament. In 1996, the men got an automatic bid to the Atlanta Games as the host country. The men were undefeated at the Beijing Olympics, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match. Coach Hugh McCutcheon guided the team despite personal tragedy: His father-in-law was murdered at a Chinese landmark a day before the opening ceremonies. After the Olympics, McCutcheon shifted over to the U.S. women's national team, which won the silver medal in Beijing. The women are ranked No. 1 in the world and have secured a spot in London. Knipe took leave from his job as the head coach at Long Beach State to take over the men's national team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial. Twelve men's teams will play in the London Olympics. Great Britain has a berth as host, and Russia, Poland and Brazil qualified with the top finishes in last year's FIVB World Cup. The U.S. men have won three Olympic volleyball gold medals, at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, the Seoul Games in 1988 and in Beijing. If the team does not qualify, it is likely to have another chance. The FIVB, the international governing body for volleyball, will hold three four-team qualification tournaments in Japan, Italy and Germany in June. Invitations to the events are based on world ranking.

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By Associated Press, Published: May 1

While the U.S. men’s volleyball team hasn’t yet secured a trip to London, no one is panicking. The men, who have gone to seven straight Olympics, are confident as the defending gold medal winners going into their upcoming continental qualification tournament. But the team has added reason for the self-assurance: The event is being played on home soil.

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Eight teams will vie for a spot in the London Games at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament, starting Monday at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. It is the first time that the United States has hosted the event.

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“I really hope the fans come out in big numbers, and are super patriotic, excited and loud. Really make it a home court,” coach Alan Knipe said. “Because other than the World League a couple of weekends a year, we rarely get to play in the United States. We play the majority of our schedule on foreign soil. So the opportunity to play here — obviously with a lot riding on the tournament — is a wonderful thing.” The men missed out on an early chance to punch a ticket to London, finishing off the podium at the 2011 World Cup. After that event many of the players scattered across the globe to play for professional teams.

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The group reassembled last week for training at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. Over the weekend, the team hosted a pair of exhibition matches against Argentina,

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winning both. “Training is by far the most important thing for this team right now, just getting back on the same page with each other,” Knipe said. “But the competition mode is something that’s very difficult to replicate in a gym, so these exhibitions are obviously valuable.”

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The other teams competing in Long Beach are Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

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Cuba is currently ranked fifth in the FIVB world rankings, a spot ahead of the U.S. men. “This is the first time this event is being held so close to the Olympics, or so late in the year,” USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. “So that puts a little more tension in the event, a little more anxiety in the air for the teams.” The U.S. men have qualified for the past three Olympics at the NORCECA qualification tournament. In 1996, the men won an automatic bid to the Atlanta Games as the host country. The men were undefeated at the Beijing Olympics, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match. Coach Hugh McCutcheon guided the team despite personal tragedy: His father-inlaw was murdered at a Chinese landmark a day before the opening ceremonies. After the Olympics, McCutcheon shifted over to the U.S. women’s national team, which won the silver medal in Beijing. The women are currently ranked No. 1 in the world and have already secured a spot in London. Knipe took leave from his job as the head coach at Long Beach State to take over the national team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial. Twelve men’s teams will play in the London Olympics. Great Britain has already earned a berth as host, while Russia, Poland and Brazil qualified with the top finishes in last year’s FIVB World Cup.

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The U.S. men have won three Olympic volleyball gold medals, at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, the Seoul Games in 1988 and in Beijing. If the team does not qualify, they’ll likely have another chance. The FIVB, the international governing body for volleyball, will hold three four-team qualification tournaments in Japan, Italy and Germany in June. Invitations to the events are based on world ranking.

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OLYMPICS: Former 49er trio converge for shot at London Lotman, McKenzie and Lee lead U.S. team at NORCECA tourney. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/02/2012 10:35:45 PM PD T U pdated: 05/02/2012 11:00:09 PM PD T

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The Olympic paths of David Lee, Dave McKienzie and Paul Lotman all began at Long Beach State, staggered over time and barely overlapping at all. You could fit four Olympics into the 15year window that framed the three former 49ers. McKienzie was a 49er from 1998 to 2001, earning All-American status three times and leading the '99 team to the NCAA title game. Lee was a 49er from 2001 to 2004 and an All-American on the '04 team that played BYU in one of the most memorable and longest NCAA title matches ever.

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Lotman was a 49er from 2005 to 2008, co-player of the year in 2008, and helped the 49ers to the Final Four in his senior season. It's not lost on these three former 49ers from different eras that their current Olympic road has them playing together, in Long Beach, with a trip to the Olympics at stake, and with an extra juxtaposition, for their former 49er coach Alan Knipe, head coach of the 2012 national team. The trio is on the USA Volleyball men's team that is seeking to win the NORCECA regional tournament, and the automatic bid to the 2012 London Games that goes with it, at the Walter Pyramid beginning Monday. It's the first time the NORCECA event has ever been held in the United States, and the first time a U.S. Olympic team has ever had the chance to earn a bid on home soil. "It's really exciting to have a chance to qualify in front of family and friends," Lee, the one Olympic veteran of the trip, a member of the

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2008 gold medal team, said. "I think it's amazing that we have this opportunity." "I think we all figured we would go to Puerto Rico, so it wasn't something we were expecting," Lotman said. "When I heard the news, it was just a thrill." With the thrill is a large scale expectation to win this bid at home. The 2008 gold medal win raised the bar even higher for the 2012 team - but not so high that they can't see themselves winning a bid here and parlaying it into more medal in London.

The three 49ers on the NORCECA roster (two other former 49ers, Robert Tarr and Scott Touzinsky, are on the 25-man national team roster) all took different routes from Long Beach and back. McKienzie was a member of the USA Junior national team as a college freshman in 1998 and played on the national team from 2005 to 2007, including the 2006 World Championships and two FIVB World League seasons. He left the national team after he wasn't part of the 2008 national and Olympic team, playing professionally in Europe until he returned to the unit in 2011. McKienzie was a fierce, intense and vocal player at Long Beach State - as was his sister, former 49er setter Joe McKienzie who helped the 1993 49ers to the NCAA title - who brings that kind of intensity to the court. "I kind of hold things to a higher standard," said the opposite hitter who is getting regular playing time at the position along with Gabe Gardner and Clay Stanley. "And I kind of think this is the

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McKienzie said he didn't think he had national team talent four years ago, and didn't take things seriously enough. "Before, I would be interested in social things and wasn't giving everything I had to the game," he said, "I'm more mature now. I'm not shooting myself in the foot any more. "I try and put all of my energy into the sport, which means giving 100 percent for all three hours of practice and whatever role I'm asked to fill." Lee joined the national program right out of college and by 2006 was playing for the U.S. in all of the major events. He was a backup in 2006 but began to share time at the position in 2007 and in 2008 became one of the heroes of the gold medal team with timely blocks and kills. The 6-8 middle blocker overwhelmed opponents that didn't expect to see a blocker so easily transition to other angles and hit like an outside hitter.

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"I came to Long Beach State to win a national championship and we played for one, one of the legendary games in college volleyball history," he said of the 2004 finals showdown with BYU, a five-set match that came down to a controversial call late in the fifth set. "I split time in 2007, which is when the 2008 team really came together," Lee continued. "We lost a match to Serbia in pool play (at the World Championships) and had to turn a game around against Poland to stay alive. But that game is when we became a team. We beat Brazil in the semifinals and then that same Serbia team in the finals. "No one else thought much of the number five seed winning the Olympic Games, but by then we were a very experienced team." Lotman, a prep star at Los Alamitos High, had no post-college volleyball plans. He played on the Under-21 national team in 2007 but didn't set out to find a pro team in Europe. In 2009, he was invited to try out for the national team by Knipe. "Alan created an opportunity for me," said the outside hitter. "I played better in 2010 and really became comfortable last season. I see myself as someone who can come off the bench and change the game, whether it's as a serve specialist or passing-oriented hitter. I try to be consistent." "They all bring different things to the team," Knipe said. They all bring the ability to make their unique Long Beach-to-Long Beach odyssey a very special Olympic success story. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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USA volleyball: Anderson’s loyalty skin deep | anderson, team, michael - Sports - The Orange County Register

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BY SCOTT M. REID / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER ANAHEIM -- He's been gone for more than two years now, two years since the heart that always seemed so big gave out, and yet Michael Anderson still follows his youngest child around the world.

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He was with Matt Anderson as he made the sometimes difficult transition from college superstar at Penn State to rising star on a veteran Team USA, the defending Olympic champions. He was there as his son emerged as one of the top players in the Italian league, the world's top pro circuit. And should the Anaheimbased U.S. squad qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games at next week's NORCECA Olympic qualifying in Long Beach, he'll be in London this summer as well. Michael Anderson has been gone since January 2010 and yet he's still ever present at his son's side. After a recent U.S. practice at the American Sports Center, Anderson lifted up his T-shirt revealing a tattoo on his right ribcage of the Anderson family crest, his father's initials and "816-52" and "1-23-10," the dates of Michael's birth and death. It is not a reminder of a death but a tribute to a life and the lives it still shapes. "I don't need a tattoo to remember my Dad," Anderson said pulling his shirt back down. Besides, Michael Anderson left a mark on his http://www.ocregister.com/sports/anderson-352562-team-michael.html[5/4/2012 5:36:55 PM]

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USA volleyball: Anderson’s loyalty skin deep | anderson, team, michael - Sports - The Orange County Register

USA volleyball player Matt Anderson is the new, young star on a team of veterans, who are also the reigning Olympic champions. He is also dealing with the loss of his father and got a tattoo in memory of his dad on the side of his right rib cage. MICHAEL GOULDING, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER MORE PHOTOS »

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youngest and his three sisters and brother a long time ago. "He was a pretty big rock," said Anderson, a 24year-old, 6-foot-9 outside hitter. "A rock for a lot of people. It was tough. When you're 22, 23 you still have a lot of questions to ask your Dad. I guess silly things. Questions like how do you know what girl to ask out? What's the right car to buy? Is this house the right investment?" Matt Anderson was still a work in progress when his father died. He led Penn State to the 2008 national title, picking up national player of the year and NCAA tournament MVP honors along the way, and then stunned the sport by giving up his senior season in Happy Valley for a lucrative contract with a Korean team sponsored by Hyundai. To some in the sport he was immature, had been given too much too soon. It was soon apparent to Anderson that among of those feeling that way were some of his new U.S. teammates. Anderson only seemed to validate the skepticism when he struggled in his first two seasons with Team USA, the first campaign, 2009, interrupted by a bout with pneumonia that left him hospitalized for 14 days. Anderson felt a different kind of chill when he rejoined Team USA.

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"Guys had been playing with the team for at least eight years and I was the new guy, the young guy," Anderson recalled. "There were a lot of snide remarks. Stuff like 'Oh, the young guy on the team.' They acted like they were joking but it still didn't sit right with me. I didn't want to be that guy. I didn't want to be the 'young guy.' I started turning it into a healthy rage to come into the gym with the attitude, 'Yeah, I might be young but there's a reason I'm here. I'm not just here because I'm lucky. I deserve to be here.'" Driven by that rage, Anderson in 2011 went from being the new kid to Team USA's top player, indeed one of the best volleyball players in the world, a potential break out personality at the London Games. "A vital piece of the puzzle," U.S. libero Rich Lambourne said. Anderson led the U.S. national team in both sets played and scoring last season. He dominated a recent fourset exhibition match victory against Argentina from both the front and back lines, pounding out 16 points, with a 47.8 kill percentage and serving a pair of critical momentum changing aces. ADVERTISEMENT

"He battled his way onto the court," U.S. coach Alan Knipe said of Anderson's emergence as an international star. "The last two years he's had some really big matches. He's got a world of talent and he's an incredibly hard-working kid." "He's become just a much stronger person not just a better volleyball player," said his sister Amy. Anderson's work-ethic comes from Michael and his wife Nancy and the family's Buffalo, N.Y., area roots. The tight-knit family grew ever closer as it traveled around the country to volleyball tournaments first for Joelle, who would go onto play for NCAA Division II College of Saint Rose, and Amy, who played at Division III Hilbert College, and then Matt. Matt and his sisters came to appreciate early on the sacrifice their parents made so they could pursue their sport. "We weren't poor but we definitely weren't the wealthiest family," Anderson said. "And when you're traveling http://www.ocregister.com/sports/anderson-352562-team-michael.html[5/4/2012 5:36:55 PM]


USA volleyball: Anderson’s loyalty skin deep | anderson, team, michael - Sports - The Orange County Register

around to all these volleyball tournaments you think about what it's costing. It wasn't putting us in a bind but it wasn't letting us be as comfortable as we could be." Some parents saw the early sacrifices as an investment in the future, counting on the return of a college scholarship or Olympic glory. Not Michael and Nancy Anderson. "My dad said, 'You don't have to do this to make us proud,'" Anderson recalled. "'You being happy makes us happy. If you wanted to quit tomorrow you could ... if you quit for the right season." In the summer of 2009, Michael's youngest child was anything but happy. "Things just didn't seem to work out (with the national team)," Anderson said. "I wasn't very mentally tough. I wasn't very strong physically." An already rough transition into Team USA hit a dead-end when Anderson came down with pneumonia during World League play in June 2009. He spent two weeks in a San Jose area hospital, two tubes in his chest. Before he was released 7.5 liters of fluid had been drained out of his lungs. "I don't know what hit me," he said, "but it hit me hard." Seven months later he was blindsided again. Michael Anderson's health problems began when he fell off the roof of a family summer house. Suffering a compound fracture of both his fibula and tibia, Anderson developed blood clots. Subsequent tests revealed that he had kidney cancer. The kidney was removed and doctors were optimistic that they had caught the cancer early. Anderson was recovering and in good spirits when died in his sleep on Jan. 23, 2010, the victim of a massive heart attack. Matt Anderson turned his grief into his game and the rage he already felt. "It worked," he said. "It gave me a healthy confidence to trust myself to play my game." Michaels' death also brought an already close family even closer. Joelle, who even while in college would call home each morning to make sure her youngest sibling got on the school bus, talks to Matt every other day via Skype when he's in Italy. That is when he's not on the phone with Amy or his other sister Jennifer or brother Joshua. "I talk to him every day," Amy said. "He's still my best friend." The day Matt got his tattoo in Huntington Beach, Joshua had a similar one put on him in Baltimore. Amy was beside Matt in Orange County as an artist drew a cross and her father's initials on her back. "I still miss talking to my dad," Anderson said. "I guess the hardest part is knowing that my kids don't get to meet him. He was a great guy." Those children will, however, hear him in the voices of their parents and aunts and uncles. "Now we're trying to pass on to our children what my parents taught us, it's up to us," Joelle said. "My dad was the person we always talked to about everything. Now if we have a question, we call each other." Or maybe Michael Anderson taught his children on those long car rides to and from a childhood full of volleyball tournaments that some of life's most important answers are found within. Maybe what Matt Anderson learned in the two often trying years since his father's death that his father was locked to his side long before the bookends of his life were engraved on his ribs. http://www.ocregister.com/sports/anderson-352562-team-michael.html[5/4/2012 5:36:55 PM]


USA volleyball: Anderson’s loyalty skin deep | anderson, team, michael - Sports - The Orange County Register Anderson at a young age was placed by his father on a road out of Buffalo into a world full of possibilities. As a young man he now realizes his father's lessons are his compass. "I'm finding my way," he said. "I'm finding my way on my own now." Contact the writer: sreid@ocregister.com

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Add a Reply...   Patricia J. Starr Mike Anderson was the proverbial "Nicest Guy in the World." Though we've lost years with him due to his shockingly early death, he gave Nancy B. & his kids a hundred lifetimes Of love & guidance. We all miss him, but know he's still with us. "Andy" was One in a million. Good luck & God BlessCousin Patti Reply · Like

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U.S. men's volleyball team has inside track on Olympic berth, but NORCECA tourney is ... Page 1 of 2

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U.S. men's volleyball team has inside track on Olympic berth, but NORCECA tourney is no cakewalk Next week's event at Long Beach State shapes up as a U.S. vs. Cuba Invitational, but don't discount Puerto Rico and others. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/04/2012 04:00:23 AM PD T U pdated: 05/04/2012 04:02:08 AM PD T

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With the ultimate home team in the field, the U.S. national team is obviously the team to beat in the NORCECA men's volleyball tournament, which will send its winner to the Olympic Games, when it begins Monday at the Walter Pyramid. And with Cuba always something of a stealth entrant since information doesn't exactly flow from Fidel Castro's communist island, volleyball experts may be inclined to rename it the U.S.-Cuba Invitational. But the one truism about international volleyball is that the number of quality teams has increased dramatically from the days when you could easily guess the Olympic field by naming the top six teams in Europe, the U.S., Cuba and either Japan or China. "There's a lot more depth now," U.S. coach Alan Knipe, the former Long Beach State All-American and on-leave head coach, said this week after a practice at the Pyramid for next week's tourney. "We're seeing a lot of change at the top in Europe, and the teams from Mexico and Puerto Rico have improved a great deal. We've been in situations (at the World Championships and FIVB World League play) where there have been upsets. There are few teams we can overlook." As an example of the concept of "change," Italy is ranked third in the world but has not yet secured a spot in the field for the London Olympics. It was unable to earn a spot at the World Championships and its last chance comes when it hosts one of the last qualifying tournaments. Germany

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(ranked 13th) and Japan (15th) are also on the outside looking in - just like everyone in the NORCECA field. The U.S. roster boosts 10 players from the 2008 Olympic team that won a rousing gold medal, the kind of experience that comes in handy in tournaments like this. Cuba also has a deep roster - but there's no way of knowing who will be on that roster when the team arrives. The Cubans finished second at the 2010 World Championships, then arrived for 2011 FIVB World League play with three veterans left off the roster, and finished 11th.

One report said they were taken off the team as punishment for asking for permission to play in the professional European leagues; another said it was simply a case of Cuba being worried that its top players would defect. A quick look at the seven other teams in the NORCECA Tournament:

Pool A Cuba: The country is currently ranked fifth in the world, but it is nowhere near as powerful as it once was. Cuba hasn't qualified for the Olympics since 2000 and it has been far down the final standings in the last three World Championships. It did finish fourth in the 2010 World Cup. Robertlandy Simon is one of the best players on the team, although wunderkind Wilfredo Leon, just 19, is the player who will make a difference.

http://www.presstelegram.com/moresports/ci_20545563/olympics-last-call-london

5/4/2012


U.S. men's volleyball team has inside track on Olympic berth, but NORCECA tourney is ... Page 2 of 2

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Puerto Rico: Ranked 17th in the world, the team played very well in two World League matches held in Long Beach last year and finished tied for 13th at the 2010 world championships. When it qualified for the 2006 worlds, it was Puerto Rico's first trip in two decades, and in 2007 it finished sixth at the FIVB World Cup and won its first-ever medal at the NORCECA event. Hector Soto and Jose Rivera are the top players on a team not to be overlooked. Canada: The Canadians tied for 19th at the 2010 World Championships and have a veteran team built around Gavin Schmidt and Steve Brinkman that believes it's on the verge. The Canadians last played in the Olympics in 1992. Dominican Republic: A great country for baseball players, the Dominicans have the lowest world ranking (46) of the eight teams.

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Mexico: Ranked 23rd in the world, Mexico tied for 13th at the 2010 World Championships and beat the U.S. in pool play. Gerardo Ivan Contreras is 38, but still imposing and teams with the younger Tomas Aguilera on the attack. Trinidad and Tobago: The lone entry from the Caribbean, the country is ranked 33rd in the world. Costa Rica: Ranked 43rd in the world, its program is considered one that is slowly emerging as a future contender regionally. After pool play, which runs Monday to Wednesday, the top team in each pool will be given a bye into Friday's semifinals. The second- and third-place teams will crossover for quarterfinal matches (Pool A two vs. Pool B three, and vice versa) Thursday and a spot in the semifinals. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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U.S. men's volleyball hopes home-court advantage leads to Olympics - SI.com - Olympics

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Posted: Friday May 4, 2012 12:05PM ; Updated: Friday May 4, 2012 12:05PM

Men's volleyball hopes home-court advantage leads them to London

Story Highlights U.S. men's volleyball team will attempt to qualify for Games at a Calif. tournament Team doesn't have much experience playing together and lineup is still unsettled ‌ ‌ but Team USA overcame adversity at 2008 Games, and returns 10 of 12 players

By Beverly Oden, Special to SI.com

Just two weeks ago, the U.S. men's volleyball players emerged one by one from their various international flights. For the last several months, each of the defending gold medalists has been competing on separate professional teams all over the globe. On Monday, they begin the most important event of the quadrennial: Olympic qualifying. "I don't think the normal sports fan could even relate," said head coach Alan Knipe. "Imagine if the NBA never took any time off. These guys finished their long club seasons and they went right into the gym. But there's no time to worry about that. We have a few days to train and we have to get after it." For the first time in history, the team will have the chance to qualify for the Games on its own soil. Due to a scheduling conflict, Puerto Rico gave up its hosting duties and USA Volleyball stepped in with a proposal to host the event in Long Beach, Calif., just a few miles from the team's training facility in Anaheim. The NORCECA event pits the best teams from a zone that includes North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and only the winning team earns an Olympic berth. Team USA hopes the home-court advantage will offset Lloy Ball is one two players from the 2008 their limited preparation time. The situation is not ideal, team who won't be returning in 2012. Robert Beck/SI but when foreign contracts became ultra-lucrative back in 2000, top volleyball players began spending more time overseas than at home, heading back only for important national team tournaments such as the world championships, world league and World Cup. "That's just the way the game is now, we don't get to spend a lot of time together," said three-time Olympian Ryan Millar. "The way you make a living is to play in Europe. I would imagine as a head coach it is probably a little frustrating to know that you're only going to have two weeks to try to qualify and really put your best foot forward. But it is the nature of the beast, it is just something that you have to deal with." Dealing with adversity is something that this team knows all too well. At the Beijing Olympics, they faced an unthinkable tragedy the day after the Opening Ceremony. Then head coach Hugh McCutcheon's fatherin-law was killed and his mother-in-law was seriously injured while sightseeing in China. A man with a knife stabbed them both before killing himself. McCutcheon left the team to support his wife and family, missing the first several matches. In his absence the team had to find a way to put aside their grief and

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/olympics/05/04/us-mens-volleyball/index.html[5/4/2012 5:37:56 PM]

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focus on what needed to be done. "Some of the older guys on the team like Tom Hoff and Lloy Ball took over leadership positions and helped us younger guys," said Kevin Hansen, a member of the Beijing team. "They said, 'This is the Olympic Games. This isn't normal what happened, but we're going to overcome this together. Don't let this tragedy ruin all of what we worked for.'" After a shaky first match against a lesser team they regrouped and came back strong for the rest of the tournament, winning gold by beating Brazil, the No. 1 team in the world. Somehow, the tragedy helped them raise their level of play. "What it really did was make us look at each other and say, 'We know what we're doing and we know we can rely on each other. So let's just go out there and play the best volleyball that we can play and see what happens,'" said Millar. "It just so happened that the best volleyball that we could play was some of the best volleyball that has ever been played. It was a pretty magical experience." Ten of the 12 members of that gold medal team have returned to try to qualify for London, but one of the two missing players left a very large hole in the American starting lineup. Lloy Ball, arguably the best setter in the world, retired from the national team after Beijing. Since his departure, the U.S. men have fallen from No. 1 in the world to No. 6. Coach Knipe spent the last three years searching for Ball's replacement. He has rotated a number of players through the position trying to find the right fit. Setter is one of the most important positions on the court, so the constant changes have been difficult on both the setters and the hitters who have struggled to find their offensive rhythm. Three players are still battling for the starting spot -- Hansen, Donald Suxho and Brian Thornton. Being this close to the Olympics without knowing the team's starting setter is much like an NFL team going into the Super Bowl without knowing who the quarterback will be. With less than 90 days to go before the start of the London games, Knipe says he will make his decision swiftly and get the chosen setter as much time with the hitters as possible. "It has definitely been a challenge," said Suxho, a 2004 Olympian who missed Beijing due to injury. "It hasn't been easy for anybody, especially the hitters, to have different setters. If I want to make this team I have to play well, I have to keep a rhythm. But I think the competition makes us better players." For Millar, a middle hitter who relies on quick sets that require extreme accuracy, the uncertainty has been frustrating. "A lot of issues with the offense are usually dictated by the flow that the setter creates," he said. "Having that constantly change has been a struggle for us. I like the setters that we have in the gym right now, but we've got three setters ready and willing to fill two spots, so one of those guys isn't going to London. One of those guys who has been putting in a lot of time in the gym is not going to be on that team. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out." The U.S. men drew a favorable pool in the qualifying tournament so they probably won't face the toughest teams until the semifinals on May 11. They'll use the first few matches to work out the kinks and to hone their connection with the setter Knipe chooses. In order to win the tournament, they'll need to play at a high level. Their toughest competition is the No. 5 Cubans, but both Puerto Rico and Canada are dangerous teams. When this tournament ends the team will have a rare training block before they head to into summer competition. Should they not qualify at the NORCECA event, there will be one more last-ditch opportunity, but it is not something the coaches or players are thinking about. They are singularly focused on winning this tournament and then training for the Olympics. "I think what I've learned is how incredibly valuable our training time is, how precious every single contact with the ball is," said Knipe. "The fact that we get to try to qualify in Southern California is great for us. We have to go out and play the games, but I think with hosting this competition we've put our guys in a pretty good position to be successful."

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The U.S. men's volleyball team will be trying to secure a late spot in the London Olympics through the NORCECA tournament, which begins May 7. There will be 12 teams in the Olympic tournament. Great Britain is in as the host country. Russia, Poland, and Brazil are in by virtue of finishing first, second, and third in last summer's World Cup.

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After the zones, there will be three last-minute tournaments in June, but the best way to get to London at this point for the United States is to win the NORCECA. Following is the complete schedule. The event will be played in Long Beach, Calif. All times are Pacific. Pool A

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Tuesday, May 8 Cuba vs. Dominican Republic, 1 p.m. Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 3 p.m. Canada vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m. United States vs. Costa Rica, 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic, 1 p.m. Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 3 p.m. Cuba vs. Canada, 6 p.m. United States vs. Mexico, 8 p.m. Quarterfinals, Thursday, May 10 2nd place B vs. 3rd place A, 6 p.m. 2nd place A vs. 3rd place B, 8 p.m. Classification 5-8, Friday, May 11 4th place A vs. quarterfinal loser, 1 p.m. 4th place B vs. quarterfinal loser 3 p.m. Semifinals, Saturday, Friday, May 11 1st place B vs. quarterfinal winner, 6 p.m. 1st place A vs. quarterfinal winner, 8 p.m. Finals, Sunday, May 12 Seventh place match, 1 p.m. Fifth place match, 3 p.m. Third place match, 6 p.m. Championship match, 8 p.m.

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KEISSER: Knipe's job is enviable, but tough - Press-Telegram

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KEISSER: Knipe's job is enviable, but tough La Mirada vs. Warren High School softball

By Bob Keisser Sports Colum nist Posted: 05/06/2012 10:26:52 PM PD T U pdated: 05/06/2012 10:59:25 PM PD T

The consensus when UCLA's John Wooden was nearing the end of his coaching career was that every coach with hopes and ambitions wanted to replace him someday as the Bruins coach. Downey Baseball vs. Paramount

But no one really wanted to be the first. Too many wins, too much history, expectations higher than the peak of the tallest mountain on the planet. Who possibly could take the baton - or in this case, a rolled up game program - from Wooden and not suffer from sweaty palms and a bad case of the shakes?

Lakewood vs. Millikan Softball

No one, it turned out. Gene Bartow and Gary Cunningham couldn't do it even when they had good teams in the first four seasons of the post-Wooden era. Alan Knipe, the former 49ers volleyball All-American and on-leave 49ers coach isn't in exactly the same position, but it's in the same sphere of expectations.

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Knipe began working for USA Volleyball in 1999 with its development program and has been building toward the opportunity to coach the national team and, hopefully, the Olympic team. That goal became a reality in 2009 when he was named head coach, and he is back in Long Beach today to coach the U.S. in the week-long NORCECA regional tournament at the Pyramid, with a bid to the London Olympics available to the winner. It was a great personal achievement for Knipe, but against a gold backdrop. He was stepping in a year after the 2008 men's team won the gold medal, the first since 1988. It was a year after head coach Hugh McCutcheon, a straight

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talking Australian, molded disparate talents on the team into a squad that surprised everyone except themselves. And he was replacing McCutcheon, whose coaching in 2008 came under duress when his father-inlaw was killed on the first day of the Olympics.

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"Anyone else stepping into the job would be facing the same thing, so it's not a unique situation even if it is mine," he said. "Every coach comes in knowing there is a lot of talent in the U.S. and they are expected to win under any circumstances. "The expectations are just higher now. The 2008 team was one of the best the U.S. has ever had, and we have 10 guys back from that Olympics. We're a significantly better team than we would have been if we needed to rebuild the team from scratch." What the 2008 team didn't have was pre-Olympic hype or expectations, unlike others. The gold medal team in 1984 featured Karch Kiraly, Craig Buck, Dusty Dvorak, Chris Marlowe, Paul Sunderland and Steve Timmons, a veritable who's who of American volleyball illuminaries. Likewise, the 1988 team repeated as gold medalists with Kiraly, Buck, Timmons, Jeff Stork and Wilson High's Bob Ctvrtlik on the squad. Going into 2008, the U.S. was coming off a ninth-place finish in the 1996 Olympics, 11th place in 2000 and fourth in 2004. Beyond Lloy Ball, former Long Beach State star Tom Hoff, and Ryan Millar - all in their third Olympics - there was an unknown quality about the team. Even with 10 Olympic veterans on the current team, there were a lot of moving pieces from 2008 to 2012.

http://www.presstelegram.com/sports/ci_20564211/u-s-volleyball-knipes-job-is-enviable-but

5/7/2012


KEISSER: Knipe's job is enviable, but tough - Press-Telegram

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Hoff, a starting middle blocker, chose to retire and spend more time with his family. Ball, an intense setter and team leader, retired from national team play although he is still playing professionally. Millar, Reid Priddy and Riley Salmon chose to sit out the 2009 season. So for the major events of 2009 and part of 2010, Knipe was missing two starting middle blockers, his returning setter and libero, and an outside hitter. "In the World League that year, we played with different outside hitters in almost every match," Knipe said. "We were missing a lot of guys for the world championship qualifier." And with each year comes the four-month period when the top volleyball players in the world compete professionally in Europe. So the actual amount of time Knipe has had to spend tailoring and preparing his team has been a lot less than what one would anticipate. "I like where we're at, because it's a tight-knit group," he said. "Most of these guys have been playing together for a long time. They all returned from their European seasons with a good work ethic." Knipe is scheduled to return to Long Beach State for the 2013 season; that was the deal he made with school president Dr. F. King Alexander and athletic director Vic Cegles. Win an Olympic gold medal, of course, and perhaps he's asked to stay on. Regardless, Knipe says he's a better coach today than he was when he took the job.

KEISSER: Knipe's job is enviable, but tough AREA ROUNDUP: Cerritos can't keep up with Southwestern LBSU ROUNDUP: One more close win for Dirtbags LAKERS 92, DENVER 88: L.A. roles its way to victory, commanding series lead over Nuggets VOLLEYBALL: U.S. hopes to use home-court edge KINGS 3, ST. LOUIS 1: L.A. makes playoff history in Quick fashion LBSU BASEBALL: Dirtbags' discipline at plate yields victory PREP BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Warren is top seed in Division III KEISSER: Knipe's job is enviable, but tough VOLLEYBALL: U.S. hopes to use home-court edge LBSU ROUNDUP: One more close win for Dirtbags AREA ROUNDUP: Cerritos can't keep up with Southwestern LAKERS 92, DENVER 88: L.A. roles its way to victory, commanding series lead over Nuggets KINGS 3, ST. LOUIS 1: L.A. makes playoff history in Quick fashion PREP BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Warren is top seed in Division III LBSU BASEBALL: Dirtbags' discipline at plate yields victory

"The best comparison I can make is that I feel like the coach of the Lakers, with the best players in the country on the team," he said. "It's made me a better coach learning how to make use of all this talent and to have been around the best volleyball players in the world. "When you're coaching in college, your pie is divided. You put maybe 60 percent of your time to coaching and the rest goes to recruiting, paperwork, compliance, academics and community involvement. "I've had time to spend a lot of time on the craft, and I think I'm a better coach." Winning a gold medal is always the objective in the Olympics. But it's tough enough to do without being reminded all the time that it's more of an expectation than objective. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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5/7/2012


Big week for U.S. volleyball squad - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Obituaries

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The Associated Press Few probably know -- or care yet -- but we're less than 100 days to the opening ceremonies and the United States men's volleyball team still hasn't qualified for the London Games. No one is panicking, but this is the defending Olympic gold medalist we're talking about.

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The next best chance for the U.S. men begins Monday in Long Beach, Calif., where eight so-far-nonqualifiers begin Related Media: the weeklong NORECA qualification tournament with one Former Rochester sprinter Lauryn automatic bid available. The other teams competing in Williams again dreaming of Olympics Long Beach are Cuba, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Cuba is ranked fifth in the FIVB world rankings, one spot ahead of the United States. "This is the first time this event is being held so close to the Olympics, or so late in the year," USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. "So that puts a little more tension in the event, a little more anxiety in the air for the teams." The U.S. team has been back together for almost two weeks and last weekend defeated Argentina in a pair of exhibition matches. Twelve teams will play in London. Four spots are already locked up: Russia, Poland and Brazil qualified with the top finishes in last year's World Cup, and Great Britain received one as the host country.

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Still, despite the fact time is growing short, it is not win-or-else this week. Login

If the team does not qualify, the FIVB will hold three four-team qualification tournaments in Japan, Italy and Germany in June.

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It's not war A series of test events -- the last before the start of the Games -- were held in London Saturday. About 75,000 spectators attended including 40,000 for the official opening of the Olympic stadium. The events were scheduled not only to see how the venues functioned ahead of the start of the games but to test security measures. It comes on the heels of the British military's series of operations to test Olympic security, including flights over London by fighter http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/olympics/big-week-for-us-volleyball-squad-634635/[5/5/2012 10:42:55 PM]

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Story Created: May 6, 2012 at 10:50 PM ECT (Story Updated: May 6, 2012 at 10:50 PM ECT )

TWO days after Trinidad and Tobago finished seventh in the women's equivalent competition, this country will be involved again when the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Men's Continental Olympic Qualification Volleyball Tournament serves off today in California, USA. The Caribbean champions will tackle the hosts at 8 p.m. in the final of four matches. The tournament gets going at 1 p.m. with Canada doing battle against Dominican Republic, whose women will be competing in the Olympic Games in London, England, in August after being crowned champs last Saturday night. The winners of this tournament this Saturday night will also qualify for the Olympics. The United States and T&T are in Group A along with Costa Rica and Mexico. This country's men will tackle Mexico at 3 p.m. tomorrow and conclude their round-robin campaign against Costa Rica at the same time on Tuesday. Cuba and Puerto Rico are drawn alongside Canada and Dominican Republic in Group B.

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The group winners will advance directly into Friday night's semi-finals, while the second and thirdplaced team will play in the quarter-finals the night before. As has been the case for the last few years, T&T will be led by Nolan Tash and the prolific striker will again by accompanied by the likes of Sean Morrison, Saleem Ali and Marc Honore. Gideon Dickson has been coaching the team for several years and the former top player will be in charge again.

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5/7/2012


Canada starts off with a win at Olympic men's volleyball qualifier

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — With an Olympic berth on the line, Canada opened the men’s NORCECA volleyball qualifying tournament Monday with a convincing 25-21, 25-13, 25 -15 win over the Dominican Republic. Coach Glenn Hoag said the Canadian team performed well, although Gord Perrin from Creston, B.C., hurt his back and his status for the next few games is uncertain. “I thought the guys played a good match,” Hoag said after the win. “The Dominican Republic is a weaker team and usually it’s difficult to keep

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wants to qualify for the London Games. “We started slowly but we picked up our pace and set up our block defence and it looked good,” said Hoag. “We need to work on our serving a little and our setter-hitter relationship, but that’s mainly due to spatial orientation in this big, big gym.” Saskatoon’s Gavin Schmitt scored 12 points for Canada against the

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USA Volleyball Trying To Qualify For Olympics This Week - Gazettes.com: Lbsu

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Posted: Monday,

May 7, 2012 8:45 pm

Mike Guardabascio | The USA Olympic Men’s Volleyball team hasn’t punched their ticket for London yet. The red, white, and blue, defending gold medalists, want to be one of the twelve teams competing at this year’s Olympics, and a big performance in Long Beach State’s Walter Pyramid this week would take care of it. The NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament is taking place this week, beginning Monday May 7th and running until Saturday, May 12th. The United States will compete against teams including Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, with the tournament’s championship team qualifying for London to represent the NORCECA (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) Confederation. This is America’s first time hosting the tournament, and obviously Long Beach’s too. The US Men’s National Volleyball team features a number of local greats, including head coach Alan Knipe, currently on leave from Long Beach State and a Hall of Fame athlete and coach at that university. In addition to Knipe, five former 49ers are currently on the roster: David Lee, Paul Lotman, Scott Touzinsky, Robert Tarr, and David McKenzie. In an interview conducted shortly after the site was announced, Knipe said, “We’re hoping a lot of local fans come out. It’s exciting for us, and exciting for Long Beach, too.” How the Americans qualify through pool play Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week (all games at 8pm) will determine where they start in the quarterfinals, which will be held the evening of Thursday, May 10th. The semifinals will be May 11th and the championship match at 8pm on Saturday. You can check GazettesSports.com each night to track their progress and see when the next day’s game is.

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OLYMPICS: U.S. shows readiness at the Pyramid - Press-Telegram

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OLYMPICS: U.S. shows readiness at the Pyramid Americans blitz Trinidad & Tobago at Olympic qualifier. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/07/2012 10:32:26 PM PD T U pdated: 05/07/2012 10:43:42 PM PD T

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For a group that has spent the last four months playing from Moscow to Kuwait and places in between, the U.S. men's national volleyball team didn't look anything like a team built on the fly Monday night at the Pyramid. It won its first Pool A match against Trinidad and Tobago in the NOECECA Olympic qualifying tournament in three games 25-9, 25-10, 25-14.

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In a varied team effort, former Long Beach State standout David Lee had eight kills, the team had 12 service aces and forced 22 attack errors by the opponent. The U.S. team can earn a bid to the 2012 London Olympics with a win in this tournament.

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"The majority of the team is just back from Europe, and it's hard to come back together quickly because volleyball is a team and rhythm sport," opposite hitter Clay Stanley said after the sweep. "We're trying to put it all together and mesh in a week. We have the rest of the week to dial it in." It's hard to say how dialed in they were Monday. Trinidad had a serious size disadvantage at the net and was mistake-prone in all three games. Head coach Alan Knipe, the former 49ers All-American, set out to just make sure his team approached the game the right way. "For an opening match, it was important to play the game with the right mentality and a sense of urgency," he said, "with a goal of approaching every contact we have as important." The U.S. used its height advantage at the net and a terrific run of points

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off Matt Anderson serves to coast to a 25-9 win in the first game. A service ace by Reid Priddy, block by setter Donald Suxho and kill by middle blocker Ryan Millar gave the U.S. a 9-4 lead. It was 14-7 when Anderson, the former Penn State star, dazzled the crowd and frustrated the opponent with a variety of sinking and curving serves. He had two aces and a back-row kill during his 7-0 run that included a kill and two blocks by Lee. Game two was more of the same, a 25-10 win in which the U.S. scored 12 of the last 15 points. Opposite hitter Clay Stanley had three of his six kills on the evening.

Former 49er Paul Lotman subbed in for the third game and showed off a variety of skills, playing stout defense with three kills and two service aces, including a kill on the game winner. "I like our group," Knipe said, referencing the game's starters as the team he's going with hopefully through London. "They bring things to our lineup that work well together. We have other guys who are just as capable and will play roles for us if needed." That includes Lotman, who Knipe said can play either outside hitter spot, is a fine server and defensive player. In the day's Pool B games, Cuba beat Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-18, 25-18, and Canada swept the Dominican Republic 25-21, 25-13, 25-15 .

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OLYMPICS: U.S. shows readiness at the Pyramid - Press-Telegram

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In the other Pool A match, Daniel Vargas had 10 kills and Mexico 17 service aces in a sweep of Costa Rica 25-17, 25-18, 25-20. 9.

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Long Beach—Team USA's straight-sets sweep of Trinidad & Tobago in the reigning Olympic champions' opening-round match in the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament Monday night wasn't so much a numbers game as it was a chemistry experiment.

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"We're trying to build some chemistry that we don't have," U.S. coach Alan Knipe said. Team USA's current lack of chemistry is the product of logistics, not personality conflicts.

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With team members playing professionally in Italy, Spain, Germany, Russia and France among other countries, Knipe has had just a matter of days to put together a team for a tournament where the winner advances to the 2012 Olympic Games. "A majority of guys just got back from Europe," U.S. captain Clay Stanley said. "And volleyball is such a rhythm sport. To have guys doing a hundred different things and then have to put it all together. We're trying to mesh as a team and we have the rest of the week to dial it all in and try and qualify." Knipe's work in progress certainly showed signs of coming together in Monday night's 25-9, 25-10, 25-14 victory against Trinidad and Tobago at the Walter Pyramid. The U.S. returns to action tonight at 8 against Costa Rica. "I told the guys earlier in the week it felt like they were horses at the gate," Knipe said. "They wanted to play someone." U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson went on a serving run to break the first set open, and the Americans were never really threatened the rest of the way. Anderson had a similar run in the second set before Reid Priddy finished off Trinidad and Tobago.

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"Anderson got a few nice runs for us," Stanley said. While Knipe singled out the play of Stanley and David Lee, he was most pleased with the little things that point to the larger picture. "The big thing for our team right now is trying to play as a team," Knipe said. "What I really liked tonight was the team dynamic."

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5/8/2012


Canada cruises past Puerto Rico at Olympic volleyball qualifier

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Canada cruises past Puerto Rico at Olympic volleyball qualifier The Canadian Press

Posted: May 8, 2012 11:44 PM ET Last Updated: May 8, 2012 11:43 PM ET 0

Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers, Man., scored a game high 16 points Tuesday as Canada dumped Puerto Rico in straight sets at the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament in men's volleyball. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-13. Canada improved its record to 2-0 in round-robin play and will face world No. 5 Cuba for first spot in its group and a bye to the semifinal on Wednesday. The tournament champion earns a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics. "It's nice to get these wins, we're only going to get better," said middle blocker Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., playing in his 213th international match for Canada. "We are really finding our rhythm and are excited about the rest of this tournament." Although Canada is ranked 18th in the world and Puerto Rico 17th, the Canadians dominated the match with a strong blocking game in particular. Led by Van Lankvelt and Brinkman, with six points on the block each, the Canadians outblocked their opponents 15-3 overall. "Our blocking system continued to work well tonight," said Canada's head coach Glenn Hoag. "It really frustrated Puerto Rico. Our guys stayed concentrated and respected the game plan. There was some concern with our service game, but overall I'm really pleased." Meanwhile Saskatoon's Gavin Schmitt continued to fire missiles on the attack adding 14 points for the Canadians while libero Dan Lewis of Oakville, Ont., continued to display amazing ball control and retrieval abilities. "Dan is our leader on defence," Hoag said. "He really keeps it organized and he was really well concentrated tonight and had a super game." Brinkman likes the consistency on the Canadian team. "Every year we are finding it easier and easier to find our game early in the season," he said. `'The training we have done with this group over the last couple of years has really paid off. I've been with some great Canadian teams, but this group I feel is something special." In other matches at the regional qualifier for North and Central America and the Caribbean, Cuba defeated the Dominican Republic in straight sets and Mexico beat Trinidad and Tobago in four sets. The U.S., played Costa Rica in Tuesday's late match. The first place teams in each group get a bye to the semis while second and third cross over in the quarter-finals on Thursday. Š The Canadian Press, 2012

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5/10/2012


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http://www.cubaheadlines.com/2012/05/08/35176/the_cuban_mens_volleyball_team_debuted_with_a_victory_at_the_norceca_olympic_qualif[5/9/2012 4:20:08 PM]


USA Volleyball Cracks Costa Rica - Gazettes.com: Lbsu

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Posted: Tuesday,

May 8, 2012 10:30 pm

Mike Guardabascio | The USA men’s volleyball team hasn’t qualified for the Olympics yet. To do so, fortunately, all they need to do is protect their home court, as the Long Beach State alum-laden roster can qualify by winning the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament, running this week in the Pyramid. They took another step closer on Tuesday night, with a 25-14, 25-9, 25-9 victory over Costa Rica. That sets up tonight’s pool play finale against Mexico, who, like the USA, is 2-0 in the pool. That will determine how easy or difficult the remaining few days of competition is for the Americans. “We’re anticipating a tough match,” said captain Clay Stanley. “They took us to five at Worlds, Mexico is not a team to be taken lightly.” On Tuesday, however, Team USA’s powerful serves were simple too much, as they tallied 11 aces in three sets, better than one ace in each eleven attempts. Paul Lotman, a Long Beach State grad who used his powerful jumpserve to propel the 49ers to a Final Four, came in off the bench to start the third set, and keyed a 6-0 beginning that included two aces and an overpass kill. “We’ve been serving hard and keeping them in a lot,” said head coach Alan Knipe. “That’s the goal. We applied continued pressure from the end line.” Team leaders were LBSU alum David McKenzie, who had eight kills on 10 swings, and Matt Anderson, who had six kills on 10 swings. The Mexico match is at 8pm in the Walter Pyramid.

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5/9/2012


OLYMPICS: Now comes the real test - Press-Telegram

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OLYMPICS: Now comes the real test La Mirada vs. Warren High School softball

Team USA rolls into critical third match against Mexico. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/08/2012 10:24:56 PM PD T U pdated: 05/08/2012 11:13:44 PM PD T

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That doesn't mean the U.S. men's national volleyball team hasn't enjoyed itself on the first two nights of the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament at the Walter Pyramid. It followed Monday's win over Trinidad & Tobago with a three-set flogging of Costa Rica Tuesday night, 2514, 25-9, 25-9. But those were set-up matches for the final day of pool play tonight and then the knockout round with a 2012 Olympic bid at stake.

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The U.S. and Mexico, both 2-0 in Pool B, meet tonight at 8 with the winner advancing to Friday's semifinals. In the 6p.m. match, the two teams that are 2-0 in Pool A, Cuba and Canada, also meet, making for what should be the best night of the tournament to date. If the U.S. loses tonight, it will have to play a quarterfinal game on Thursday night. "We played them in the World Championships and they took us to five sets," said U.S. coach Alan Knipe, the former 49er All-American and LBSU on-leave head coach. "We saw them at the World Cup and in the NORCECA last year. "They've played together for awhile now. They're comfortable, and they have a lot of good young arms. I expect them to play well. We'll need to bring the same focus to the game as we have the last two nights. That's been our goal so far, stay focused and maximize every opportunity." The U.S. never lost focus against Costa Rica. The Americans went to the middle attack in the first set, Ryan Millar

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and David Lee earning five of the first six kills on the way to a 25-14 win. Lee, the former Long Beach State standout, had three kills, a block and a service ace and opposite Clay Stanley was in on three blocks. Costa Rica got most of its offense from the tall, stringy Richard Smith, who had five kills and took some hellacious hits trying to bust the U.S. block. Set two was one-sided. Costa Rica was within a point at 6-5 when the U.S. went on a 12-1 run behind the serves of Russell Holmes and all-around play of Stanley (a block, two kills, two aces) en route to a 25-9 win.

Head coach Alan Knipe went to his bench midway through the second set, and played the second unit much of the third set. The players enjoyed themselves in a 25-9 clincher, with former 49ers Paul Lotman, the versatile outside hitter (three kills, two aces), and Dave McKenzie (six kills, two aces), the feisty opposite hitter, running up big numbers. "It's hard to say where we're at," Stanley said of the team, which just reassembled a few weeks

http://www.presstelegram.com/sports/ci_20580056/olympics-now-comes-real-test

5/9/2012


OLYMPICS: Now comes the real test - Press-Telegram

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ago after the pro season, "This is still the early stage of building for us, the beginning of our summer, and it's tough being in a tournament like this so soon with an Olympic bid at stake." 6.

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In the other Pool B match Tuesday, Mexico improved to 2-0 with a four-set win over Trinidad & Tobago, 25-18, 19-25, 25-21 and 25-22. Gerardo Contreras had 20 kills. In Pool A, Canada and Cuba won to improve to 2-0 and will meet in their pool match today for a spot in the semifinals. Canada stifled Puerto Rico in three sets - 25-19, 25-20, 25-13. The Canadians used their height advantage against a team that has traditionally been tough in NORCECA competition. Cuba overwhelmed the Dominican Republic in three - 25-15, 25-21, 25-15 - Ramos Hernandez posting 11 kills while taking advantage of 29 errors by the opponent. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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U.S. men win in Olympic volleyball qualifier - latimes.com

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From left, Clay Stanley, Russell Holmes and Matt Anderson go for the block during their victory over Costa Rica in Long Beach on Tuesday. (Matt Brown / May 8, 2012)

By Kevin Baxter May 8, 2012 ,11:07 p.m.

The U.S. men’s volleyball team rolled past Costa Rica, 25-14, 25-9, 25-9, on Tuesday at the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Pyramid at Long Beach State. That moved the U.S. to 2-0 in pool play, leaving it needing a win Wednesday over unbeaten Mexico to advance to Friday's tournament semifinals.

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Recommended on Facebook Cuba, ranked fifth in the world, also won Tuesday, sweeping the Dominican Republic in three sets, while Canada upset Puerto Rico, 25-19, 25-20, 25-13. Cuba and Canada, each 2-0, will play for the Pool B title Wednesday night. U.S. opposite hitter David McKienzie (Littleton, Colo.) led all scorers with 10 points on a match-high eight kills and two aces. Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolului) added eight points on three attacks, a match-high three blocks and two aces. Middle blocker Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley) totaled seven points on four kills and a match-high three aces. Middle blocker Ryan Millar (Alpine, Utah) added seven points on five attacks and two blocks.

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USA crush volleyball men in Olympic qualifier

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By Shammi Kowlessar Story Created: May 8, 2012 at 10:56 PM ECT (Story Updated: May 8, 2012 at 10:56 PM ECT )

TRINIDAD and Tobago were overwhelmed by hosts United States when the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Continental Olympic Qualification Volleyball Tournament served off on Monday, in California. The regional powerhouses slammed the Caribbean champions 25-9, 25-10, 25-14 in the final of four matches on the opening day. T&T were on court against Mexico at press time last night and will conclude their round robin campaign in Group A at three p.m. today against Costa Rica. Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are in the other group, and the top team from both groups will advance directly into Friday night's semifinals, the night before the runners-up and third-placed teams battle in the quarterfinals. PUBLICATIONS

The title match will be contested on Saturday night and the champs will earn a ticket to the Olympic Games in London, England, in July/August. The women's equivalent tournament was contested last week, and T&T finished seventh of the eight teams. Dominican Republic beat Cuba in the final to secure their Olympic pass. The Cuban men gained some revenge in yesterday's only match completed before press time when they whipped Dominican Republic 25-21, 25-15, 25-21. Dominican Republic also lost on Monday when Canada beat them in the first match of the tournament 25-21, 25-13, 25-15. The Cubans later cruised past the Puerto Ricans 25-20, 25-18, 25-18. And Mexico were 25-17, 25-18, 25-20 winners over Costa Rica in the first Group A match of the tournament.

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In today's opening match, Puerto Rico will oppose the Dominican Republic at one p.m. After the Costa Rica/T&T encounter, Cuba will play Canada from six p.m. And Mexico and the United States will bring down the curtain on the round robin phase of the tournament with an eight p.m. showdown.

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USA Volleyball Sweeps Mexico, On To Olympic Qualifying Semifinals - Gazettes.com: ... Page 1 of 2

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May 9, 2012 9:30 pm | Updated: 11:13 pm, Wed May 9, 2012.

Mike Guardabascio | There’s no doubt that Wednesday night’s match between the USA and Mexico National Men’s Volleyball teams was closer than the Americans’ first two contests, both of which lasted about as long as it takes to walk from the Long Beach State dorms to the Pyramid and back. But although the undefeated Mexicans were tougher competition, the result was the same for the USA and their trio of 49er players (as well as their head coach), all of whom once stayed in those campus dorms. After a tight first set, the Americans broke it open, winning 2523, 25-19, 25-14 to advance to Friday night’s semifinals against the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal. “They put pressure on us early and often,” said head coach Alan Knipe. “We could be a lot cleaner than we were, there’s room for some improvement.” The first set was worth the price of admission, with twelve ties in a frame that saw no team lead by more than three points. The Mexicans held the advantage for the first half of the set, leading by a point or two until the Americans went on a 3-0 run with captain Clay Stanley serving, which broke a 16-16 deadlock to give the USA the advantage. But as safe as the Americans must have felt after taking a 22-18 lead on a Mexico service error, they wouldn’t be for long, as the ageless wonder, 37 year-old Gerardo Contreras had an ace and two kills as part of a 4-0 Mexico run to tie it at 22. The teams traded points, but the USA prevailed on a monster kill from Matt Anderson on the right side, and a block from Stanley and former 49er David Lee to end it. The Americans’ service, as usual, put a lot of pressure on their opponent, and made it difficult for Mexico to establish their offensive sets. Anderson and Stanley were both locked in, as the team had eight aces and just two errors. “We withstood their service pressure in the first set, but the truth is physically they are superior to us,” said Mexico coach Jorge MiguelAzair, speaking through a translator. In the second set, a dominant run of service from Anderson seemed to break the Mexicans’ spirit, as a 4-0 run with two aces put the USA up 12-9. Mexico hurt themselves with four service errors late in the set, countering nearly every positive burst they were able to put together. The Americans spread the ball well, as setter Donald Suxho (40 assists) distributed evenly between the middle, outside, opposite side, and even got five back-row kills from his teammates. The third opened with the USA taking a 9-2 lead, only yielding two points on their own service errors, the lone blotches on an otherwise stellar night from the baseline. “That’s been consistent over these three matches,” said Knipe. “We’ve served well, and kept our errors down.” The competition gets stiffer now, as the Americans are just two victories away from their goal of seizing that Olympic spot. “This was a good match, it was great that they put that pressure on us and made us fight to win,” said Stanley, contrasting Wednesday’s match with the easy sweeps of Monday and Tuesday. “It helps remind us of how tough are opponents are going to be.” If they can win two more matches in the Pyramid, that list of opponents will extend well into the Summer.

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OLYMPICS: U.S. has to work to reach semis - Press-Telegram

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OLYMPICS: U.S. has to work to reach semis La Mirada vs. Warren High School softball

Mexico makes Americans battle to improve to 3-0. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/09/2012 10:14:29 PM PD T U pdated: 05/09/2012 10:57:39 PM PD T

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The U.S. national men's volleyball team earned two things it needed Wednesday night in the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament: A victory to win Pool A and advance to the semifinals, and a reality check. After two lopsided wins against teams that were overwhelmed in size and talent, the U.S. faced an experienced and feisty team from Mexico that forced the American team out of its comfort zone and into a truly competitive match.

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The final was 25-23, 25-19 and 25-14, but it wasn't as easy as the score would indicate. Mexico was more than competitive in the first two sets before finally cracking in the third.

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The win gives the U.S. a bye into Friday's semifinals. Canada swept Cuba in three sets 25-21, 2517, 25-21 to also advance to the semis. Cuba will meet Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico will face Puerto Rico in quarterfinal match-ups tonight at 6 and 8, the winners advancing to the semifinals.

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The opponents for the U.S. and Canada won't be decided until after the quarterfinals. The winner of the tournament earns a berth in the 2012 Olympics.



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Mexico sparred with the U.S. in the first set, with three kills by Carlos Guerra giving the neighbors an 11-9 lead before the Americans gathered themselves. The teams were tied at 16 when former Loyola Marymount standout Reid Priddy drilled a kill, Clay Stanley served an ace and libero Rich Lambourne made a nice save on a stratospheric ricochet leading to a point and 19-16 edge.

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The U.S. extended its lead to four before Mexico's 38-year-old Gerardo Contreras had two kills and an ace to draw even at 23. But Matt Anderson made a nice adjustment on a steep set for a kill, and Stanley and former 49ers David Lee blocked a kill on set point for a 25-23 win. Mexico used crossing attacks to take a 9-8 lead in the second set, but an 8-2 run put the Americans ahead 16-11, former Penn State star Anderson having an ace and a kill, Priddy two kills and Hawaiian native Stanley a lethal kill. Mexico got as close as two at 18-16, but a Mexico error, Anderson murderous smash and Stanley block returned the momentum to the U.S. in a 2519 final.

The U.S. stayed on the opponent, jumping out to a 12-3 lead in the third set before the game eased up. By world rankings, Canada's sweep of Cuba looks like an upset since the Cubans were ranked fifth in the world coming into the tournament. But the match itself appeared to be anything but an upset, with the high-setting Canadians taking control from the beginning and rolling to a sweep. The Cuban team featured two veterans in 29-year-olds Jova Estrada and Bell Cisnero, but they played sparingly. The Cubans had five players under 20, four of them making their first appearance in a major international competition. "It didn't go well," said Wilfredo Leon, the best of the young players, who at 19 has already became an international star. "We made many errors. We know Canada. They didn't do anything special, they just executed and we made too many mistakes." Gavin Schmitt had 17 kills for Canada and team captain Frederic Winters, who played at

http://www.presstelegram.com/sports/ci_20589590/olympics-u-s-has-work-reach-semis

5/10/2012


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LONG BEACH – The U.S. men's volleyball team advanced to the semifinals of the NORCECA Men's Continental Qualification Tournament after beating Mexico on Wednesday, 25-23, 25-19, 25-14, at Walter Pyramid.

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The Americans won their pool with a 3-0 record and will await their opponent for Friday's semifinal. U.S. opposite Clay Stanley led with 14 points on 10 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Matt Anderson added 12 points on 10 attacks and two aces. Reid Priddy totaled 10 points on nine attacks and one block. Canada, ranked No. 18 in the world and No. 4 in NORCECA, came out fired up and upset Cuba, 25-21, 25-17, 25-21, to finish 3-0 and first in Pool B to advance to Friday's semifinals.

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Canada upsets Cuba - Brandon Sun

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Canada upsets Cuba By: Uncredited 10/05/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

Canada upset Cuba and cruised into the semifinals at the NORCECA Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament on Wednesday night in Long Beach, California. The Canadians, ranked 18th in the world, stunned the fifth-ranked Cubans on the final night of pool play, sweeping the match 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21). Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers had four kills and four blocks to help lead Canada, which also features setter Dustin Schneider of Brandon. Gavin Schmitt notched 17 kills while Frederic Winters had 15 kills for the Canadians (3-0). Fernando Ramos Hernandez replied with 12 kills for the Cubans (2-1), who will now play Trinidad and Tobago in today’s quarter-finals.

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5/10/2012


Canada stuns Cuba at Olympic volleyball qualifier

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Canada stuns Cuba at Olympic volleyball qualifier 3-set victory earns 18th-ranked Canadians bye to semifinal in California The Canadian Press

Posted: May 10, 2012 12:31 AM ET Last Updated: May 10, 2012 12:30 AM ET 2

Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon and Fred Winters of Victoria were the offensive stars for Canada on Wednesday in a three-set victory over world No. 5 Cuba at the NORCECA Olympic men's volleyball qualifying tournament in Long Beach, Calif. The Canadians, ranked 18th internationally, finished in first place in Group B with a perfect 3-0 mark after a 2521, 25-17, 25-21 win over the Cubans. Canada gets a bye to the semifinal on Friday. Cuba placed second at 2-1 and faces Trinidad and Tobago in a quarter-final match on Thursday. The tournament winner qualifies for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "We had a really good beat on Cuba's offensive strategies," said Canadian setter Josh Howatson. "We made very few errors and our passing was especially strong. With every match we've played a harder opponent and we've gotten better too." Schmitt had 21 points for the Canadians while Winters added 16 and was a perfect 15-for-15 attacking. Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers, Man., had eight points and led the Canadians with four successful blocks. "It's a total team victory," said Canadian head coach Glenn Hoag. "We have a system that the players believe in and every one played their role. That was the biggest highlight for me. We've seen this team grow for six years and these are the kind of performances we knew we were capable of." The Canadians capitalized on six service errors by the Cubans in the first set to grab a 1-0 lead in sets. A five point run late in the second set that included three offensive errors by the Cubans put the Canadians up for good. Schmitt collected 10 of his 21 points in the third set. In Wednesday's other matches, Puerto Rico defeated the Dominican Republic in straight sets for third place in Group B and a quarter-final berth. In Group A, Trinidad and Tobago beat Costa Rica in three sets for third spot. The United States faced Mexico for top spot later Wednesday. The second and third place teams in each group at the qualifying tournament for teams in North and Central America and the Caribbean crossover for Thursday's quarter-final. The semifinals are on Friday and the medal matches Saturday. Š The Canadian Press, 2012

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Fantastic. The confidence these guy's expressed prior to this tournament is justified. Two more games boys and we'll see you in London.

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Canada Upsets Cuba to Reach Semifinals Canal Youtube | Reflexiones de Fidel | Cubasi.cu

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Thursday, 10 May 2012 06:36

Canada Upsets Cuba to Reach Semifinals Written by  NORCECA

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Canada, ranked No. 18 in the world and No. 4 in NORCECA, came out fired up and upset Cuba 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 on Wednesday to finish 3-0 and first in Pool B of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament being held May 7-12 in Long Beach, Calif. Cuba entered the tournament ranked No. 5 in the world and No. 1 in NORCECA. Gavin Schmitt collected 21 points for Canada and Frederic Winters added 16 points in the victory. Cuba was led by Fernando Hernandez’s 13 points, followed by nine points from Rolando Cepeda and Wilfredo Leon. Canada took advantage of 21 errors by Cuba and held margins of 6-2 in blocks and 5-2 in aces. Canada converted 62.3 percent of its attacks (43 of 69) for points thanks to setter Joshua Howatson’s 22 running sets and 44-of-52 successful service receptions. Canada will now bypass the quarterfinal round and play an undetermined semifinal round opponent on Friday. Cuba lost for the first time in Pool B and will take on Trinidad & Tobago in the quarterfinal round on Thursday. Canada Captain Frederic Winters: We knew that this was the really important match for us. I think USA is the strongest team here.  We want to play them in the finals. We haven’t accomplished our goal yet, but we’re on our way. Were really happy with the result. Good team effort. We’ll see who we play on Friday. “We’re obviously happy with the result,” Canada Coach Glenn Hoag said. “We only have one chance for this. Now we’ll focus on the semifinal. This Cuban team is much younger than the Cuban teams we’ve played in the past. I thought we had very few errors and our serving was really good.” “The game obviously didn’t go well,” Cuba captain Wilfredo Leon said. “There were many errors on our side. This is where we became disjointed. We knew it was going to be a strong match, but it was not our day. The competition keeps going and there is still the possibility to win.” “Canada played very well today,” Cuba coach Orlando Samuels said. “They get the credit - they played well. They set well, their block and defense (were good). They played better than us. Congratulations to Canada.” Read 30 times Tweet

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U.S. men's volleyball team has to work to reach NORCECA tourney semifinals Mexico pushes American squad in pool-play finale at Long Beach State. Canada sweeps Cuba to earn the other automatic berth in Friday's semifinals. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/10/2012 03:36:31 AM PD T U pdated: 05/10/2012 03:38:48 AM PD T

The U.S. national men's volleyball team received two things it needed Wednesday night: A victory to win Pool A of the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament to advance to the semifinals, and a little reality check. After two lopsided wins against teams that were overwhelmed in size and talent, the U.S. faced an experienced and feisty team from Mexico that forced the American team out of its comfort zone and into a truly competitive match. The final was 25-23, 25-19 and 25-14, but it wasn't as easy as the score would indicate. Mexico was more than competitive in the first two sets before finally cracking in the third. Matt Anderson and Clay Stanley had 10 kills each and Reid Priddy nine, and Clayton and David Lee each had three blocks. The win gives the U.S. (3-0) a bye into Friday's semifinals. Canada (3-0) swept Cuba in three sets 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 to win Pool B and advance to the semis. Cuba (2-1) will meet Trinidad & Tobago (1-2) and Mexico (2-1) will face Puerto Rico (1-2) in quarterfinal matches tonight at 6 and 8 p.m., the winners advancing to the semifinals. The opponents for the U.S. and Canada won't be decided until after the quarterfinals. The winner of the tournament gets a bid to the London Olympics. "Mexico did a great job," U.S. team captain Stanley said. "They're real scrappy and made a lot of great plays in the first two sets. We need as many good matches as we can get. It's a great thing to be in a fight and will serve us well in our next matches" Advertisement

"They pressured us early and often and paid real attention to the details," head coach Alan Knipe said. "We could have been cleaner. "That was the difference between tonight and our other games. But we were able to settle down and get out emotions in check." Mexico sparred with the U.S. in the first set, with three kills by Carlos Guerra giving the neighbors to the South an 11-9 lead before the Americans gathered themselves. The teams were tied at 16 when former Loyola Marymount standout Reid Priddy drilled a kill, Clay Stanley served an ace and libero Rich Lambourne made a nice save on a stratospheric ricochet leading to a point and 19-16 edge.

The U.S. extended its lead to four before Mexico's 38-year-old Gerardo Contreras had two kills and an ace to get the teams even at 23. But Matt Anderson made a nice adjustment on a steep set for a kill, and Stanley and former 49ers David Lee blocked a kill on set point for a 25-23 win. Mexico used crossing attacks to take a 9-8 lead in the second set, but an 8-2 run put the Americans ahead 1611, former Penn State star Anderson having an ace and a kill, Priddy two kills and Hawaiian native Stanley a lethal spike. Mexico got as close as two at 18-16, but Anderson's murderous smash and Stanley's block returned the momentum to the U.S. The U.S. stayed on the opponent in the third set, jumping out to a 12-3 lead before winning eased-up. By world rankings, Canada's sweep of Cuba looks like an upset since the Cubans were ranked fifth in the world coming into the tournament. But the match was anything but an upset, the high-setting Canadians taking control from the beginning. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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2.0 Heroes Canada under coach Glenn Hoag defeated Cuba with Wilfredo Leon in straight sets and thus reached the semi-final. The FIVB Hero played well, achieving 54% attack efficiency, but was outclassed by the superior Canadians. You simply have no hope of winning when your opponents finish 15 kills with 100% efficiency. But Cuba won’t give up. “The game obviously didn’t go well,” Cuba’s captain Wilfredo Leon said. “There were many errors on our side. This is where we became disjointed. We knew it was going to be a strong match, but it was not our day. The competition keeps going and there is still the possibility to win.” The US and Clayton Stanley can feel more comfortable after beating Mexico 3-0 and winning their pool. The FIVB Hero led his sqaud scoring 14 points, but remained a consummate teamplayer and respectful for the opponent. “My opinion of this match, Mexico, they did a great job,” Stanley said. “They are really scrappy and made a lot of great plays. We made a lot of little plays in the beginning that kept the game close, especially in the first set with over passes and free balls. In the third set we opened that set up with service to put them in trouble spots. As far as our next two matches we need to clean those little things up, make better plays, stay focused, follow our offense and be consistent and not be so up and down.”

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Now Cuba must win in the quarter-final against Trinidad and Tobago, which would see them face the US in the semi-final. And that means that for one of our Heroes the dream of reaching the final and winning the ticket to London won’t come true. Both teams do still have the chance to qualify from the intercontinental tournamen – so who’s gonna win? Will our Heroes stop the dark horse of the tournament, Canada, in their march to victory? Keep your fingers crossed for your idols!

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Cuba advances to volleyball showdown with U.S. - latimes.com

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Cuban players listen to the playing of their national anthem before the start of their match against Canada at the NORCECA tournament in Long Beach on Wednesday. (Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images / May 9, 2012)

By Kevin Baxter May 10, 2012 ,11:30 p.m.

Cuba’s men’s volleyball team had little trouble with Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday, needing less than an hour to roll to a straight-set victory and advance to a semifinal showdown with the unbeaten U.S.  in the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament at Long Beach State.

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Cuba advances to volleyball showdown with U.S. - latimes.com

Cuba -- which won, 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 -- will play the U.S. in Friday’s second semifinal at 8 p.m. Canada, which is also unbeaten, will meet Puerto Rico in the first semifinal at 6. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in its quarterfinal Thursday.

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Cuba is ranked No. 5 in the world and No. 1 in NORCECA and the U.S. is the defending Olympic champion. But only one of them is sure to advance to  London since the winner of Saturday’s final is the only team from the region guaranteed a spot in this summer’s Olympic Games.

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Cuba’s Isbel Mesa tallied a team-high 10 points and captain Wilfredo Leon chipped in a team-high nine points, erasing some doubts after Cuba’s loss to Canada in the final match of group play on Wednesday. Trinidad and Tobago was paced by Marc Honore’s 11 points while captain Nolan Tash added 10 points.

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Cuba controlled the net with a 9-2 block advantage, along with a 5-2 margin in service aces. Trinidad and Tobago committed 21 errors to Cuba’s 14. Cuba converted 40 of 62 attacks into points for 64.5%, including a perfect seven of seven from Mesa.

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Puerto Rico, meanwhile, had a tough time with stubborn Mexico before emerging with a 25-21, 2523, 20-25, 25-19 victory in the most competitive match of the tournament so far. The match took 1 hour 43 minutes to complete. ALSO:

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canadianfan at 12:55 AM May 11, 2012 How do you know one of the United States or Cuba will advance. Only one will make it to the final and the winner of the Canada-Puerto Rico game could win as well. After all, Canada did beat the top-ranked Cubans in the preliminary stage in three straight.

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http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/sp-sn-la-cuba-advances-to-volleyball-showdown-with-us-20120510,0,6304620.story[5/11/2012 4:14:02 PM]


U.S. romps, Canada stuns Cuba in Olympic volleyball qualifier - latimes.com

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U.S. captain Stanley Clayton spikes the ball past Mexico's Jorge Quinones for a point during a qualification match at the NORCECA tournament in Long Beach on Wednesday. (Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images / May 9, 2012)

Kevin Baxter May 10, 2012 ,12:02 a.m.

The U.S. and Canada men’s volleyball teams both remained unbeaten in pool play Wednesday,

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U.S. romps, Canada stuns Cuba in Olympic volleyball qualifier - latimes.com

advancing to Friday’s semifinals of the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament at Long Beach State. The U.S. knocked off Mexico, 25-23, 25-19, 25-14 as expected, but Canada stunned an uncharacteristically sloppy Cuba, ranked fifth in the world, winning in straight sets 25-21, 25-17, 2521.

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To keep its Olympic hopes alive, Cuba will have to beat Trinidad and Tobago in Thursday’s quarterfinals, likely setting up a meeting with the U.S. in the semifinals. The winner of Saturday’s title game is the only team from the region guaranteed a berth in the London Games. The U.S. started slowly against Mexico but rallied, finishing the match leading Mexico in kills (4031), blocks (8-4) and aces (6-3). The U.S. scored 21 points off Mexican team errors.

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U.S. opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu) led all scorers with 14 points on 10 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 12 points on 10 attacks and two aces. Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) totaled 10 points on nine attacks and one block. Cuba, meanwhile, could not overcome its early mistakes, which included six service errors in the first set. Then in the second set three offensive errors by the Cubans paved the way for a five-point run that put Canada up to stay.

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In Wednesday's other matches, Puerto Rico (1-2) swept the Dominican Republic to finish third behind Canada and Cuba in Pool B, advancing to a quarterfinal matchup with Mexico (2-1) on Thursday.  Trinidad and Tobago (1-2) beat Costa Rica in three sets in Group A, sending it on to face Cuba (2-1).

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Published: May 10, 2012 Updated: May 11, 2012 5:54 a.m.

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LONG BEACH – Cuba rebounded from a straight-set loss to Canada in the preliminary round finale to defeat Trinidad and Tobago, 25-18, 25-13, 25-16, in the NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament quarterfinal round Thursday night at Walter Pyramid. Cuba, ranked No. 5 in the world and No. 1 in NORCECA, will face the host and defending Olympic Games champion United States in the second semifinal today at 8 p.m. The USA is ranked No. 6 in the world and No. 2 in NORCECA.

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Cuba's Isbel Mesa had a team-high 10 points and captain Wilfredo Leon added nine. Trinidad and Tobago was paced by Marc Honore's 11 points, and captain Nolan Tash added 10. Cuba controlled the net with a 9-2 block advantage, along with a 5-2 margin in service aces. Trinidad and Tobago committed 21 errors to Cuba's 14. Cuba converted 40 of 62 attacks into points for 64.5 percent, including a perfect 7 of 7 from Mesa.

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Quarterfinals for Men's Olympic Volleyball Qualifying Tourney Washington, May 10 (Prensa Latina) The clashes between Cuba-Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico-Puerto Rico will encourage on Thursday the quarterfinals of the NORCECA Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament, held in the U.S. city of Long Beach.

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The winners of the two matches will be further opponents of the U.S. and Canada, who advanced directly to the semifinals (to be held on Friday) after winning the competition groups A and B, respectively, after totaling three wins and 15 points. On Wednesday, the U.S. players, the defending champions in Beijing-2008, defeated the Mexicans by 30 (25-23, 25-19 and 25-14) while seeking the top in group A.

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For its part, Canada also swept Cuba by 3-0 (25-21, 2517 and 25-21) and managed the top of group B. Follow Us in

For Cuba, which seeks to return to the Olympics after its latest appearance in Sydney-2000, its game performance was not entirely convincing and such a defeat was mainly due to 21 unforced errors made by its players. The final of the tournament, which provides a single qualifying slot for the Olympics of London, is scheduled for May 12. sc/jg/ogt/ocs/cw Modificado el ( jueves, 10 de mayo de 2012 )

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U.S. men's volleyball players serve their country well - The Daily Breeze

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U.S. men's volleyball players serve their country well Team USA has a distinct advantage at the service line with 3.2 aces per game going into NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament semifinals. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/11/2012 04:04:01 AM PD T U pdated: 05/11/2012 04:05:54 AM PD T

For a team that had about two weeks to prepare for a tournament that can win it an Olympic bid, the U.S. men's volleyball team has certainly looked worthy of a trip to London. It has dominated the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament at Long Beach State, winning each of its pool matches in 3-0 sweeps to advance to today's semifinals. It's been a total team effort, too, with the American squad showing scoring ability at all attack positions. The one trait that stands out, though, is the team's ability at the service line. The U.S. leads the eight teams in the tournament in aces with 29, an average of 3.2 per game, and they have been spread out among a variety of players. Whether its Matt Anderson's array of middle-court serves that break like sliders and curves in baseball, Paul Lotman's heavy jump serves or Clay Stanley's variety of angles, the U.S. has put opponents on the defensive throughout. "I thought we were able to withstand their service in the first two sets," Mexico coach Jorge Miguel Azair said after Wednesday's loss, "but they're physically superior and we couldn't hold up well after that." The U.S. had four service aces early in the third game. Head coach Alan Knipe, the on-leave Long Beach State head coach, has been a proponent of dynamic jump serves his entire coaching career. But the attitude on the national team is less about dynamics as placement.

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as important as much as disrupting the defense's system. It's the pace and direction that causes a team problems. When you're doing that well, it enables you to take away one of the opponent's options on a return." That enables the U.S., then, to have a better idea where the ball is headed on its return and set its offense accordingly. On the attack, Anderson leads the U.S. in kills with 22 and has made just five attack errors, while opposite hitter Stanley has 19 with just one error. David Lee (15), Reid Priddy (14), David McKienzie (12), Russell Holmes (11), Lotman (8) and Ryan Millar (7) follow statistically. Stanley and Lee share the team lead with six blocks each.

The U.S. will meet Cuba tonight at 8 in the semifinals after Cuba defeated Trinidad & Tobago in one of Thursday's quarterfinals 25-18, 25-13, 25-16. Canada, the Pool B winner at 3-0, will meet the other quarterfinal winner of a late match between Mexico and Puerto Rico. That semifinal match will be played tonight at 6. The two winners of tonight's matches meet Saturday at 8p.m. for the tourney title and a berth in this summer's London Olympic Games. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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HOME  >  AP  >  CALIFORNIA Updated: 11:47 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2012 | Posted: 11:47 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2012

US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot  

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The United States, which won the gold medal at the Beijing Games, beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid on the Cal State Long Beach campus. Matt Anderson led the United States with 24 points, including four aces. Canada beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11) in the first semifinal. Frederic Winters had 19 points for the Canadians.

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It is the first time that the United States has hosted the continental qualification tournament. Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic also played in the event. Login

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The Cubans, ranked fifth in the world, took the opening set with David Fiel's block. But that energized the United States, who cruised through the next three sets before a crowd of some 3,000 fans. Wilfredo Leon led Cuba with 15 points. "I thought, as a team, we played a really good all-around match," U.S. captain Clay Stanley said.

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The Canadians upset Cuba earlier in the tournament. Coach Glenn Hoag said afterward that making it to Saturday's match is a significant step for his team, win or lose.

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"This is a final for us, and it's the first one in a long time," Hoag said. "So that's a positive for us." The U.S. men, ranked sixth, have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in Beijing, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match. The team has earned trips to the last three Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament.

http://www.ktvu.com/ap/ap/california/us-volleyball-team-to-play-canada-for-olympic-spot/nN4mR/[5/12/2012 2:17:02 AM]

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Several players from the U.S. women's national team, which has already secured a spot in London, cheered on their male counterparts and raised donations for Saturday's EIF Revlon RunWalk For Women in Los Angeles. The women's team is participating in the annual event, which raises money to fight cancer. Copyright The Associated Press  

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May 11, 2012 11:30 pm | Updated: 12:33 am, Sat May 12, 2012.

Mike Guardabascio | With a packed Pyramid, patriotic-colored cowbells clanging, and elite international athletes on the floor, there was something special about the volleyball action in Long Beach last night. It was, in other words, a bit more than a Long Beach State vs Pacific men’s volleyball match, or any other MPSF action, normally the best men’s volleyball action the venue plays host to. But with Olympic hopes on the mind of both teams competing in Friday’s NORCECA Olympic Qualifying semifinals, the USA and Cuba put on quite a show. After losing their first set of the tournament, the USA fought back with ferocity, and went on to win 21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16. The Americans are now just one win away from securing an Olympic berth. “Every time we play them it’s a tough match,” said USA coach Alan Knipe. “It certainly was tonight. I have to give a lot of credit to our passers tonight, they got much better as the game went on.” In the first set, the Americans’ aggressive brand of service got the better of them. After making very few mistakes in their matches (all sweep victories) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the USA made three errors in the first frame of Friday’s semifinal. Perhaps worse, they failed to capitalize on the Cubans’ mistakes, responding to their first two service errors with misses of their own. The US never trailed by more than three, but couldn’t bring the score back to a tie after falling behind 13-10. They pulled within one at 2019 after Cuba’s second service error, but the Americans gave the point right back on the next play by putting their serve into the net, too. “I don’t know what happened in the first set,” said USA captain Clay Stanley. “I’m real proud of my team for coming out in the last three sets and focusing.” In the second set, they got back on track with the block, putting up seven team blocks in a runaway victory. After the tight first set, they went up 10-5 on two consecutive blocks from Reid Priddy and Russ Holmes, and kept a five-point lead for the rest of the set. Matt Anderson’s serve was lethal, as he piled up four aces, and disrupted the Cuban attack with both his velocity and placement. “We served a little better and caused more problems for Cuba,” said Knipe. “Once we got them into some trouble, we were able to get our block in place. Our guys were very disciplined, we didn’t do a lot different, just did it a little bit better.” The story was the same in the third, where the American’s conditioning clearly began to play a part. Cuba made twice as many hitting and service errors in the third set as in the first, and weren’t using their front-line speed to nearly the same advantage. Anderson improved his offensive line to 14 kills on 20 swings, with no errors. By the fourth, it was obvious the USA had broken the Cubans’ spirit a bit, going up 17-8 with relative ease, and allowing Knipe to reach into his rotation a bit. In fact, Holmes playing in the entire match, while normal starting middle Ryan Millar sat, was a big story of the day, as Holmes finished with four block assists. Anderson also finished with 17 kills on 24 swings, 4 aces, and a block. He’s a rare young player on a very experienced roster. “Matt’s still in the bottom half of where he could be as a player,” said Knipe. “He’s young, but he brings a lot of energy, and he’s a complete player. He has a very bright future.”

http://www.gazettes.com/sports/lbsu/usa-volleyball-tops-cuba-advances-to-olympic-qualif...

5/12/2012


USA Volleyball Tops Cuba, Advances To Olympic Qualifying Finals - Gazettes.com: Lbsu Page 2 of 2

The Americans’ next match, obviously, is their biggest one yet—if they can down Canada on Saturday night, they’ll clinch that longsought after Olympic berth. If not, it’s a long and winding road to London. Knipe and his team would prefer to take the direct flight. Come see what happens in the Pyramid, at 8pm Saturday—if you can’t make it, we’ll have all the coverage of the match. “They’re a very similar team to us, they play a similar style,” said Knipe. “They played very well against Cuba and I expect them to play well against us, we have a lot of respect for them.”

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5/12/2012


MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: U.S. must go through Canada - Press-Telegram

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MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: U.S. must go through Canada La Mirada vs. Warren High School softball

Americans beat Cuba to reach final of NORCECA qualifying for London Olympics. By Bob Keisser, Staff W riter Posted: 05/11/2012 11:32:50 PM PD T U pdated: 05/11/2012 11:45:22 PM PD T

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It's not the usual itinerary one uses, but the U.S. men's volleyball team will try and book passage to London's Olympic Games through Canada.

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The U.S. squad, surprised by a young Cuban squad in the first set, rebounded to win in four sets - 21-25, 25-18, 25-16 and 25-16 - in the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament semifinals at the Walter Pyramid Friday night, advancing to today's 8 p.m. final against the good neighbor to the north. Canada barely survived a spirited upset attempt by Puerto Rico and advanced to the qualifying title match with a 22-25, 25-23, 1925, 25-23, 15-11 five-set semifinal win.

Team USA's Matthew Anderson tips the ball over Cuban blockers,... (Scott Varley/Staff Photographer)

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For a brief moment, it looked like Cuba was going to put a major detour in U.S. plans. Cuban defenders Keibel Gutierrez and Roland Cepeda did a superb job handling the stout American service game in the first set, and set up wunderkind outside hitter Wilfredo Leon and left-hander Roland Cepeda on the edges for slashing spikes. Cuba took a 13-10 lead midway through the set. The U.S. got within a point twice before Cuba scored four of the last five points for the win. The U.S. regrouped in set two with a stunning series of blocks - four consecutive winners - with middle blocker Russell Holmes and outside hitter Reid Priddy in on all four to take a 10-5 lead. The U.S. extended its lead to seven before Cuba closed within three, but a monster Matt Anderson ace turned the momentum around and the Americans won 25-18. The

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U.S. match was tight throughout set three, Anderson posting three kills, a solo block and an ace to take a 14-7 advantage as the Cubans started to wear down. Anderson, the former Penn State star, had five kills, two blocks and an ace in the set, and David Lee three kills. The U.S. broke out to a 12-point lead in the fourth set before settling at 25-16. In the first semifinal, Canada started slowly, dropping the first set and trailing early in the second set before drawing even. After Puerto Rico won set three, Canada coach Glenn Hoag made several substitutions looking for energy and a different look on the attack.

Canada built a four-point lead in set four, but missed on three consecutive set points before finally winning on an attack error 25-23. Puerto Rico led the fifth set 9-8, but Canada used a block, two kills off the block and a net violation to take a 12-9 lead. Puerto Rico drew within one at 12-11, but a service error and two kills off the block put Canada into the finals. "This is it for us," Canada coach Glenn Hoag said. "This is our only chance to get to the Olympics. It's a final for us, the first one in a long time." There are three last-chance tournaments in June to fill the last Olympic spots, but many of the spots are guaranteed to teams in certain regions and teams ranked in the world's top 10.

http://www.presstelegram.com/sports/ci_20608407/mens-volleyball-u-s-must-go-through-...

5/12/2012


MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: U.S. must go through Canada - Press-Telegram

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Former Pepperdine standout Fred Winters had 18 kills and Gavin Schmitt 13 for Canada, while Puerto Rico's Juan Figueroa had 27 kills. Canada had a 15-8 edge in blocks. 8.

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In classification matches Friday for places 5-to-8, the Dominican Republic beat Trinidad & Tobago in four sets 25-21, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19 and Mexico swept Costa Rica 25-29, 25-29, 25-16. Trinidad and Costa Rica will play for seventh place today at 1p.m., the Dominicans will meet Mexico for fifth place at 3p.m., and Puerto Rico will meet Cuba for third place at 5p.m. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: U.S. must go through Canada COLLEGE BASEBALL: Loss brings back painful memories PREP ROUNDUP: Paramount's defeat sets in ROBERT MORALES on BOXING: Mayweather facing fight of his life with jail sentence looming COLLEGE SOFTBALL: 49ers must win BWC title outright for berth BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Warren is ready for El Segundo 49ER ROUNDUP: 49ers get shot at Bruins today DeJong's masterpiece can't stop Poly in epic Moore League baseball finale

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5/12/2012


U.S. qualifies for Olympics in volleyball - latimes.com

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Clayton Stanley, left, and David Lee of the U.S. block the shot of Canada's Van Lankvelt. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images / May 12, 2012)

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The U.S. menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volleyball team is on its way to its eighth consecutive Olympic Games appearance after sweeping Canada on Saturday in the NORCECA regional qualifying tournament at Long Beach

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The scores were 28-26, 25-18, 25-20, leaving the U.S., the defending Olympic champion, with a 5-0 record in a tournament in which it lost just one set. In the third-place game, Cuba rolled past Puerto Rico, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15. Only the winner of the NORCECA event is guaranteed a spot in London. But Cuba and Puerto Rico, by virtue of their high world rankings, are expected to be invited to one of three final qualifying tournaments in either Tokyo, Berlin or Rome next month.

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Opposite Clay Stanley (Honolulu) led the U.S. with 15 points on 12 kills, one block and two aces. Dallas Soonias led Canada with 19 points, including 17 kills. Photos: Lakers top Nuggets in Game 7

In the bronze medal match, Leon Wilfredo led Cuba with 13 points, and Yenry Bell chipped in 11. Puerto Rico’s Juan Figueroa notched a match-high 18 points and Ezequiel Cruz contributed 11 points. While Puerto Rico held a 42-41 advantage in attack points, Cuba made up the difference with an 11-2 block advantage and 4-0 margin in aces. Cuba also took advantage of 19 Puerto Rico errors to its own 12 errors.

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“It was a great match to end the competition,” Cuba captain Wilfredo Leon said. “We didn’t qualify, but at least we finished OK. Overall, we think we had a good tournament. It has served as a good experience for the next competition.” 

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Team USA slips past Cuba, faces Canada for title tonight | set, lead, anderson - Sports - T... Page 1 of 2

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By SCOTT M. REID / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER Long Beach – Team USA took a major step toward defending the men's volleyball gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games by posting a 21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16 victory against Cuba at the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament at Walter Pyramid on Friday night.

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U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson was dominant both in serving and on the attack, and captain Clay Stanley ripped three service aces. However, it was the Americans' teamwork at the net at a critical juncture in the second set that put the reigning Olympic champions on course for a showdown with surprising Canada in Saturday night's tournament final with the region's automatic berth in the London Games on the line. The Canadians needed five sets against Puerto Rico in Friday's opening semifinal to reach the final by scores of 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 1511. The U.S. also looked like it was in for a long night early against Cuba, the Olympic qualifying tournament co-favorite. But time and again David Lee, Russ Holmes, Reid Priddy and Stanley teamed up at the net to slam the door on the Cubans. ADVERTISEMENT

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Cuba and the U.S. traded leads early in the opening set, the U.S. taking a lead when Lee pounded out a kill and then teamed with Anderson for a block on the ensuing point for a 98 lead.

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But after Donald Suxho served into the net on the next play, the Americans did not lead again in the set.

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An early stretch of the second set marked a critical juncture in the match.

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Behind Anderson's serving, the U.S. opened 5-2 lead only to have Cuba come back and tie the set at 5-5.

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The U.S. responded to another Cuban rally later in the set thanks to Holmes, Priddy, Lee and Stanley's play at the net.

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Anderson then followed up a kill with a service ace for a 19-15 lead. It was enough breathing room that back-to-back Stanley aces put the U.S. at set point.

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Anderson posted a block, a kill and an ace to spark a 13-7 U.S. lead in the third set and the Americans were never really challenged the rest of the way. Contact the writer: sreid@ocregister.com

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  May. 12, 2012  2:47 AM ET

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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer         AIM

 

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. men's volleyball team will play Canada on Saturday night for a spot in the London Olympics. The United States, which won the gold medal at the Beijing Games, beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid on the Cal State Long Beach campus. Matt Anderson led the United States with 24 points, including four aces. Canada beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11) in the first semifinal. Frederic Winters had 19 points for the Canadians. It is the first time that the United States has hosted the continental qualification tournament. Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic also played in the event. The Cubans, ranked fifth in the world, took the opening set with David Fiel's block. But that energized the United States, who cruised through the next three sets before a crowd of some 3,000 fans. Wilfredo Leon led Cuba with 15 points. "I thought, as a team, we played a really good all-around match," U.S. captain Clay Stanley said.

USA's Matthew Anderson tips the ball over Cuba blockers, from left, Wilfredo Leon, David Fiel and Yoandry Diaz in the NORCECA Olympic qualifier semifinal volleyball match between the United States and Cuba at the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State Friday, May 11, 2012. (AP Photo, Scott Varley/Daily Breeze) 1 of 3

The Canadians upset Cuba earlier in the tournament. Coach Glenn Hoag said afterward that making it to Saturday's match is a significant step for his team, win or lose. "This is a final for us, and it's the first one in a long time," Hoag said. "So that's a positive for us." The U.S. men, ranked sixth, have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in Beijing, upsetting topranked Brazil in the final match. The team has earned trips to the last three Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament.

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Several players from the U.S. women's national team, which has already secured a spot in London, cheered on their male counterparts and raised donations for Saturday's EIF Revlon Run-Walk For Women in Los Angeles. The women's team is participating in the annual event, which raises money to fight cancer.

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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer Friday, May 11, 2012 LONG BEACH, Calif. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The U.S. men's volleyball team will play Canada on Saturday night for a spot in the London Olympics. The United States, which won the gold medal at the Beijing Games, beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 2517, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid on the Cal State Long Beach campus. Matt Anderson led the United States with 24 points, including four aces. Canada beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11) in the first semifinal. Frederic Winters had 19 points for the Canadians. It is the first time that the United States has hosted the continental qualification tournament. Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic also played in the event. The Cubans, ranked fifth in the world, took the opening set with David Fiel's block. But that energized the United States, who cruised through the next three sets before a crowd of some 3,000 fans. Wilfredo Leon led Cuba with 15 points. "I thought, as a team, we played a really good all-around match," U.S. captain Clay Stanley said. The Canadians upset Cuba earlier in the tournament. Coach Glenn Hoag said afterward that making it to Saturday's match is a significant step for his team, win or lose. "This is a final for us, and it's the first one in a long time," Hoag said. "So that's a positive for us." The U.S. men, ranked sixth, have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in Beijing, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match. The team has earned trips to the last three Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament. Several players from the U.S. women's national team, which has already secured a spot in London, cheered on their male counterparts and raised donations for Saturday's EIF Revlon Run-Walk For Women in Los Angeles. The women's team is participating in the annual event, which raises money to fight cancer.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/11/us-volleyball-team-to-play-canada-for-oly...

5/17/2012


US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot | UTSanDiego.com

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5/17/2012


US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot | UTSanDiego.com Saturday, May 12th 2012

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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot Comments (0) By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer 11:20 p.m., May 11, 2012

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — The U.S. men's volleyball team will play Canada on Saturday night for a spot in the London Olympics. The United States, which won the gold medal at the Beijing Games, beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid on the Cal State Long Beach campus. Matt Anderson led the United States with 24 points, including four aces.

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Canada beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11) in the first semifinal. Frederic Winters had 19 points for the Canadians. It is the first time that the United States has hosted the continental qualification tournament. Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic also played in the event. The Cubans, ranked fifth in the world, took the opening set with David Fiel's block. But that energized the United States, who cruised through the next three sets before a crowd of some 3,000 fans. Wilfredo Leon led Cuba with 15 points.

Mexico wins 3-0 in Repels Dirt Grime Like Other we Waxplayed a really good all-around match," U.S. "Iand thought, as aNoteam, Most Popular Most Recent Facebook Olympic qualifying Click to see Extreme Shield in action.

captain Clay Stanley said.

The Canadians upset Cuba earlier in the tournament. Coach Glenn Hoag said afterward that making it to Saturday's match is a significant step for his team, win or lose. "This is a final for us, and it's the first one in a long time," Hoag said. "So that's a positive for us." The U.S. men, ranked sixth, have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in Beijing, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match.

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The team has earned trips to the last three Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament. Several players from the U.S. women's national team, which has already secured a spot in London, cheered on their male counterparts and raised donations for Saturday's EIF Revlon Run-Walk For Women in Los Angeles. The women's team is participating in the annual event, which raises money to fight cancer. The Associated Press

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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot

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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer Friday, May 11, 2012

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The U.S. men's volleyball team will play Canada on Saturday night for a spot in the London Olympics.

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The United States beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 2518, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid. Matt Anderson led the United States with 24 points. Fan Shop: Get your Team gear here

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Canada beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11) in the first semifinal. Frederic Winters had 19 points for the Canadians. It is the first time that the United States has hosted the continental qualification tournament. Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic also played in the event. PRINT

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Canada men’s volleyball close to Olympic berth - The Globe and Mail

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Home » Sports » London 2012

Canada men’s volleyball close to Olympic berth LONG BEACH, Calif. The Canadian Press Published Saturday, May. 12, 2012 12:20AM EDT Last updated Saturday, May. 12, 2012 1:15AM EDT

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Canada is one win away from its first Olympic men’s volleyball berth in 20 years. Canada advanced to the final of the NORCECA qualifying tournament with a five-set win over Puerto Rico in semifinal action Friday. Set scores were 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23 and 15-11.

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Canada will face either Cuba or the United States, the defending Olympic gold medallist, in Saturday’s championship match. With a victory, Canada would compete in men’s volleyball at the Olympics for the first time since 1992.

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“In the past, there’s no way we would’ve won that match,” said captain

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Fred Winters, who led Canada with 18 kills. “We let them have the confidence in the beginning of the match. I don’t think we got the momentum back too many times, and we still won. I’m proud of our team.”

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Canada coach Glenn Hoag viewed the win as a major milestone.

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“For our program, it’s huge,” Hoag said. “We don’t have a volleyball culture in Canada but we’ve been building this group for the last six years with a very systematic approach and young players. It’s a learning process.” The third set proved pivotal. Hoag made three substitutions. Setter Dustin Schneider replaced Joshua Howatson, Adam Kaminski came in for Steve Brinkman and Dallas Soonias relieved Gavin Schmidt. Howatson, Brinkman and Schmidt had played all of Canada’s nine sets in group play, and Schmidt was the team’s leading hitter with 42 kills. “They were containing Gavin,” Hoag said. “I told Dallas to start hitting cross-court to throw Puerto Rico a little off. Dustin stabilized a lot of things at setter.”

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With the substitutes’ help, Canada broke an 8-8 tie in the fourth set and built a 22-16 lead. Soonias led the rally with four kills and Kaminski added

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Canada men’s volleyball close to Olympic berth - The Globe and Mail

two kills and a block assist. Puerto Rico narrowed its deficit to 24-23 but Toon Van Lankvelt’s tip at the net secured the victory. Soonias played a key role in the fifth set. With the score tied 9-9, Soonias

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combined with Brinkman on a block, then pounded a kill to help Canada move ahead, 12-9. Puerto Rico drew within 12-11 but a service error extended Canada’s lead to 13-11. Then Brinkman killed a free ball and joined Soonias on a block to end the match. Schmidt added 13 kills and Justin Duff had 10 kills and three blocks. Puerto Rico’s Juan Figueroa finished with 27 kills and Ezequiel Cruz had 17 kills and three blocks.

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By Shammi Kowlessar Story Created: May 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM ECT (Story Updated: May 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM ECT )

TRINIDAD and Tobago advanced to the quarterfinals of the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Continental Olympic Qualification Men's Volleyball Tournament, on Wednesday night in California, USA. After losing their previous Group A matches to the United States and Mexico in straight sets, the Caribbean champions whipped Costa Rica 25-18, 25-23, 25-19 in 68 minutes to finish third in the group and advance to the knockout phase.

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Marc Honore led the way with 17 points, while skipper Nolan Tash, who had notched 16 the night before against the Mexicans, chipped in with 13.

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T&T were expected to come back down to earth last night when they came up against Cuba for a place in tonight's semifinals. The Cubans, the tournament favourites along with the hosts, were expected to win Group B and move straight into the semis. But they were stunned 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 by Canada, and the North Americans ended up going straight into the last four.

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The United States whipped Mexico 25-23, 25-19, 25-14 to top Group A and book their place in the semis. The Mexicans were in action last night against Puerto Rico in the second quarterfinal. The title match is scheduled for tomorrow night, and the champions will qualify for the Olympic Games in London, England, in July/August. The Dominican Republic won the women's equivalent tournament last week Saturday to earn their ticket to the Olympics. Caribbean champs T&T finished seventh of the eight countries in that competition.

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5/11/2012


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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot By ANNE M. PETERSON | The Associated Press – 1 hour 24 minutes ago

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) The U.S. men's volleyball team will play Canada on Saturday night for a spot in the London Olympics. The United States, which won the gold medal at the Beijing Games, beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid on the Cal State Long Beach campus. Matt Anderson led the United States with 24 points, including four aces. Canada beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11) in the first semifinal. Frederic Winters had 19 points for the

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The Cubans, ranked fifth in the world, took the opening set with David Fiel's block. But that energized the United States, who cruised through the next three sets before a crowd of some 3,000 fans. Wilfredo Leon led Cuba with 15 points.

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''I thought, as a team, we played a really good all-around match,'' U.S. captain Clay Stanley said. The Canadians upset Cuba earlier in the tournament. Coach Glenn

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Hoag said afterward that making it to Saturday's match is a significant step for his team, win or lose. ''This is a final for us, and it's the first one in a long time,'' Hoag said. ''So that's a positive for us.'' The U.S. men, ranked sixth, have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in Beijing, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match. The team has earned trips to the last three Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament. Several players from the U.S. women's national team, which has already secured a spot in London, cheered on their male counterparts and raised donations for Saturday's EIF Revlon Run-Walk For Women in Los Angeles. The women's team is participating in the annual event, which raises money to

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/us-volleyball-team-play-canada-062108306--oly.html[5/12/2012 2:15:07 AM]

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US sweeps Canada to earn trip to London - Olympics - ESPN

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US sweeps Canada to earn trip to London Updated: May 13, 2012, 2:26 AM ET Associated Press LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The U.S. men's volleyball team is headed back to the Olympics. The defending gold medalists punched their ticket to London on Saturday night by sweeping Canada (28-26, 2518, 25-20) in the finals of the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid. Captain Clay Stanley had 15 points for the sixth-ranked United States team. "Shoot, congrats to our team. We made it," said Stanley, who was named Most Valuable Player for the event. "We got our ticket to London." Cuba, No. 5 in the world, swept Puerto Rico (25-20, 25-21, 25-15) in the bronze medal match in the continental event. The United States and Canada traded the lead frequently in the opening set. The U.S. had four chances at set point before Reid Priddy's spike finally ended it. The first-set win seemed to energize the U.S., which went up 8-3 in the second on Stanley's ace followed by Russ Holmes' kill. Canada closed the gap to 10-8 on Adam Kaminski's ace, but the United States never allowed

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5/13/2012


US sweeps Canada to earn trip to London - Olympics - ESPN

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their opponents to get any closer and Priddy's ace stretched it to 19-12. Set point went to Stanley off the outside block. Canada led the third set early, but the United States pulled ahead 11-10 on a triple block from Priddy, Holmes and Donald Suxho. Matt Anderson's unreturnable strike made it 18-13 and the United States cruised the rest of the way, winning it when Canada missed a return. "I've never played a match this important on U.S. soil with as much significance and support," Priddy said. Dallas Soonias led Canada with 19 points, including 17 kills. David Lee, selected best blocker of the tournament, and Matt Anderson each added 13 points for the United States. The United States beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night, while Canada defeated Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11). The Canadians stunned Cuba earlier in the tournament, which included Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. "It's a tough match," Canadian captain Fred Winters said. "USA is a really, really good team. We're not able to play really good teams all the time." The U.S. men have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in the 2008 Beijing Games, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the gold medal match. The Canadians have not gone to the Olympics in men's volleyball since 1992. The team's best result was fourth in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. It was Canada's lone chance to win a trip to London. The United States, based on its world ranking, would have gone on to a world qualification tournament in early June if the team did not advance out of the NORCECA tournament. "I think we're doing some good things," Canadian coach Glenn Hoag said. "But we need to work some more. You know, those little things we have to make better." Cuba and Puerto Rico, the highest-ranked NORCECA teams who have not qualified for London, will both get another chance at a world qualification event. The United States has earned trips to the last four Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament. It is the first time the U.S. has hosted the event. Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index • • • • •

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5/13/2012


US men's volleyball looks to defend gold

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The United States men's volleyball team (in white) celebrates after beating Cuba in four sets at the Walter Pyramid. (Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE)

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US men's volleyball looks to defend gold

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years older than their Cuban counterparts, and 2008 Olympic MVP contributors Clay Stanley, along with veterans Reid Priddy and David Lee, were once again effective for the Americans in all facets against Cuba and throughout the tournament. One newcomer continuing to turn heads is the youngest player on the American squad, 25-year-old former Penn State Nittany Lion Matt Anderson. The 6-foot-10 outside hitter with a powerful jump serve was the best scorer in the semifinal game against Cuba, accounting for 24 points while holding his own defensively as the target of the majority of the Cubans' serves.

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"Absolute beast. The guy's an animal," Lee said of Anderson. "He's one of the young, up-and-coming stars in this game. To see him prove himself tonight, it's really impressive." Because of the seniority of this United States squad — seven players appearing at the qualifying tournament were born in the 1970s — Anderson is the type of player who can build a bridge between the accomplished gold medal-winning stars such as Stanley and Priddy and the players who will look to represent the Stars and Stripes at future tournaments. HOME

"When you bring youth and that type of athleticism, I think it's inspiring," coach Alan Knipe said of Anderson. "It takes a load off some of our players to not really have to do some things they've done in the past as Matt's continued to develop, because he's certainly still in the bottom half of where he can go as a player. So I think it takes a little bit of pressure off." A 6-9 opposite, Stanley is a brick wall with lift and still among the more dominant players in the sport after being selected as the MVP, Best Scorer and Best Server in Beijing. He's also coming off a knee injury suffered over the winter while playing for his Russian club team, Ural Ufa. Having impressed his coach with his focused rehabilitation, the NORCECA qualifying tournament is a strong test for the 34-year-old who will be appearing in his third Olympic Games. "I've said this before — I think someone should have come and did a documentary on how hard somebody could possibly work to get even in better shape than he was before he got injured," Knipe said. "He's in great shape. He just hasn't played a lot of volleyball."

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The results were there for the United States in qualifying, and now they'll turn their attention to the national teams of Brazil — whom the US defeated in the gold medal game four years ago — and Russia, two teams that have already booked their ticket to London. While there's relief that they'll be tournament participants, there's still plenty of room for development in the efforts to replicate the success of the 2008 team, which won its final eight games of the tournament to capture gold. "We have to play a little bit more consistent. Better service, better reception, and a little more consistency overall," Lee said.

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"This team has a lot of potential, but we haven't really been together as a group for very long. I think the more time we have together, the more we're going to get better." 'Consistency' is that long-sought-after abstract concept that all sports teams strive for, and even though this will be his first Olympic go-around, Anderson has already itemized ways to find it. "We've got to look at the film and see what aspects of the game we're doing well, which to me is serving and blocking," Anderson said. "We're big guys, we have a lot of power, and that's kind of what USA Volleyball is known for. So we've just got to work on staying more consistent with that, and constantly keeping pressure on teams." As a young player on such a veteran squad, Anderson has soaked in all the experience around him, to the benefit of his temperament.

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US men's volleyball looks to defend gold

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he said. "As a young guy, I bring a lot of fire and a lot of What do you win at the Summer Games? Check out these heavy London Olympic energy to the team. Clay is a great example â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he makes medals. an error, but he gets focused right on the next point. And he's good at coming over and telling me, 'Stay positive. Stay strong. Keep serving your hard serve and spiking high and just play your game.'

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If the [Olympic] torch is to be handed off between two generational stars of American volleyball, this summer's contributions of Clay Stanley and Matt Anderson will be an interesting side story in USA Volleyball's gold medal defense. Tags: United States, London Olympics, U.S. men's volleyball Like

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USA's Matt Anderson, right, spikes the ball past Cuba's Isbel Mesa, left, and Fernando Hernandez during a semifinal match at the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament in Long Beach on Friday. (Scott Varley / Associated Press / May 11, 2012)

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By Kevin Baxter

For an Olympic volleyball hopeful, the dream may be fading

The U.S. men's volleyball team moved to within a victory of a spot in this summer's Olympic Games by beating Cuba, 2125, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16, on Friday in the semifinals of the NORCECA qualifying tournament played before a nearcapacity crowd at Long Beach State.

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But first the American had to overcome a slow start that led to a first-set scare in which Cuba scored four points on

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-usa-volleyball-20120512,0,5629165.story[5/12/2012 1:24:38 PM]

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service aces and got seven points overall from hard-hitting Fernando Hernandez for their only set loss of the tournament . That would end up being the night's lone bright spot for the young Cubans, though.

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"I was extremely proud of the effort as the match went on," said U.S. Coach Alan Knipe, whose team must beat Canada in Saturday's tournament final to win its ticket to London. "But especially the stick-to-it-iveness."

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Matthew Anderson had a big night for the U.S., scoring 24 points with 17 kills in 24 attempts with no errors.

"I don't know what happened in that first set," said U.S. captain Clayton Stanley. "Cuba put some pressure on us. Matt Anderson served his butt off."

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After its quick start, Cuba -- with five teenagers on its roster -- began to lose confidence, finishing the match with 26 errors to 17 for the U.S.. "As we expected, it was a very tough match.," said 18-year-old Cuban captain Wilfredo Leon. "The U.S. has a lot of experience and we knew what to expect." Unbeaten Canada rallied past stubborn Puerto Rico, 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11, in its semifinal to advance to within a win of London as well. Two days earlier Canada swept Cuba in three sets in pool play. The two sets lost to Puerto Rico were the only ones Canada has dropped in the event. Just the winner of the NORCECA tournament -- the regional qualifier for North America, Central America and the Caribbean -- is guaranteed a berth in the London Games. But even if the U.S., the defending Olympic champion, loses to Canada it is likely to be invited to one of the three final qualifying events by virtue of its No. 6 ranking in latest the FIVB poll.

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Those three world qualification tournaments will be held in early June in Berlin, Rome and Tokyo, and the U.S., if it were to lose to Canada, would have to win whichever event it plays in to have a chance at defending its gold medal in London. Cuba, ranked fifth in the world, is likely to be invited to one of those tournaments as well.

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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot | nj.com

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US volleyball team to play Canada for Olympic spot May 12, 2012, 2:47 a.m. EDT AP

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. men's volleyball team will play Canada on Saturday night for a spot in the London Olympics. The United States, which won the gold medal at the Beijing Games, beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid on the Cal State Long Beach campus. Matt Anderson led the United States with 24 points, including four aces. Canada beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11) in the first semifinal. Frederic Winters had 19 points for the Canadians. It is the first time that the United States has hosted the continental qualification tournament. Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic also played in the event. The Cubans, ranked fifth in the world, took the opening set with David Fiel's block. But that energized the United States, who cruised through the next three sets before a crowd of some 3,000 fans. Wilfredo Leon led Cuba with 15 points. "I thought, as a team, we played a really good all-around match," U.S. captain Clay Stanley said. The Canadians upset Cuba earlier in the tournament. Coach Glenn Hoag said afterward that making it to Saturday's match is a significant step for his team, win or lose. "This is a final for us, and it's the first one in a long time," Hoag said. "So that's a positive for us." The U.S. men, ranked sixth, have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in Beijing, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the final match.

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The team has earned trips to the last three Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament.

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Several players from the U.S. women's national team, which has already secured a spot in London, cheered on their male counterparts and raised donations for Saturday's EIF Revlon Run-Walk For Women in Los Angeles. The women's team is participating in the annual event, which raises money to fight cancer.

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U.S. men's volleyball qualifies for Olympics | set, team, stan - Sports - The Orange Count... Page 1 of 2

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By BRIAN WHITEHEAD / SPECIAL TO THE REGISTER LONG BEACH – Clayton Stanley, 34, stands approximately 6-foot-9. The Hawaiian weighs just north of 230 pounds and has a spike of 141 inches. His serve gracefully glides over the net, then makes a 90-degree downward turn with all the grace of a broken-down garbage truck.

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When Team USA's captain leaves the ground to ready a point-ender, you can practically feel the red, green and white melt off the volleyball. In Saturday's NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualifying Tournament final, Team USA's burly enforcer led the team with 15 points as the United States claimed the gold medal and a spot in the 2012 Summer Olympics with a 2826, 25-18, 25-20 victory over Canada at Walter Pyramid. Team USA, the defending Olympic gold medalist, held sizable advantages in kills (47-37, 12 by Stanley) and blocks (11-5). In the opening set, the U.S. led by four points in the early going, reached both 10- and 20-point plateaus first, then got the first crack at the set, 24-23. It would take the U.S. three additional serves — at 25, 26 and 27 — before William Priddy's fourth and final kill of the set handed the United States a first-round victory.

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David Lee (five kills), Priddy and Stanley (four) spearheaded the United States' 18-16 kill and 5550 kill percentage advantage over Canada. With a 1-0 lead, Team USA padded a 10-6 advantage with six of the next 10 points, enjoying an eight-point cushion at 20 before Canada rallied off three consecutive points to close the gap. After a Lee kill at 23-18 set up the first match point of the set, a deflected Stanley kill bounced out of bounds as the United States surged ahead, 2-0. By the start of the third set, Stanley led Team USA with nine kills and a pair of aces. In the match-clinching third set, USA turned a 9-7 deficit into a 14-11 advantage and hit 20 first for the third time in as many sets.

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After sweating out a strong Canada rally, USA served for the match at 24-20. A deflected Canadian spike was dug by Stanley, set by Ryan Millar and finished by Matthew Anderson on a block that bounced out of bounds to end the match.

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5/17/2012


Canada closing in on Olympic berth in men's volleyball

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Text Size LONG BEACH, Calif. - Canada is one win away from its first Olympic men's volleyball berth in 20 years.

( Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)

Canada advanced to the final of the NORCECA qualifying tournament with a five-set win over Puerto Rico in semifinal action Friday. Set scores were 2225, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23 and 15-11. Canada will face the United States, the defending Olympic gold medallist, in Saturday's championship match. With a victory, Canada would compete in men's volleyball at the Olympics for the first time since 1992. "In the past, there's no way we would've won that match," said captain Fred Winters, who led Canada with 18 kills. "We let them have the confidence in the beginning of the match. I don't think we got the momentum back too many times, and we still won. I'm proud of our team." Canada coach Glenn Hoag viewed the win as a major milestone. "For our program, it's huge," Hoag said. "We don't have a volleyball culture in Canada but we've been building this group for the last six years with a very systematic approach and young players. It's a learning process." The third set proved pivotal. Hoag made three substitutions. Setter Dustin Schneider replaced Joshua Howatson, Adam Kaminski came in for Steve Brinkman and Dallas Soonias relieved Gavin Schmidt. Howatson, Brinkman and Schmidt had played all of Canada's nine sets in group play, and Schmidt was the team's leading hitter with 42 kills. "They were containing Gavin," Hoag said. "I told Dallas to start hitting cross-court to throw Puerto Rico a little off. Dustin stabilized a lot of things at setter." With the substitutes' help, Canada broke an 8-8 tie in the fourth set and built a 22-16 lead. Soonias led the rally with four kills and Kaminski added two kills and a block assist. Puerto Rico narrowed its deficit to 24-23 but Toon Van Lankvelt's tip at the net secured the victory. Soonias played a key role in the fifth set. With the score tied 9-9, Soonias combined with Brinkman on a block, then pounded a kill to help Canada move ahead, 12-9. Puerto Rico drew within 12-11 but a service error extended Canada's lead to 13-11. Then Brinkman killed a free ball and joined Soonias on a block to end the match.

http://www.tsn.ca/olympics/story/?id=395732[5/12/2012 4:10:44 PM]

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Canada closing in on Olympic berth in men's volleyball Schmidt added 13 kills and Justin Duff had 10 kills and three blocks. Puerto Rico's Juan Figueroa finished with 27 kills and Ezequiel Cruz had 17 kills and three blocks.

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Great showing by Canada but now they have to get by the U.S. to make an Olympic appearance. They have played the U.S. tough and it can happen. They beat Puerto Rico which is ranked one spot higher, beat Cuba who are ranked 5th and now they must beat the 6th ranked team in the world for an Olympic birth. Go Canada! grooter17 1 day ago

Go Team Canada! I am looking forward to the Canadian Team in the Olympics! I know you can do it. Keep it rolling! nearlyneo 1 day ago

Good composure Team Canada. Way to stick with it! Good luck tomorrow. log in

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US sweeps Canada at NORCECA qualification event for a berth in the London Olympics - The Washington Post

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US sweeps Canada at NORCECA qualification event for a berth in the London Olympics Text Size

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By Associated Press, Published: May 12 | Updated: Sunday, May 13, 12:27 AM

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The U.S. men’s volleyball team is headed back to the Olympics. The defending gold medalists punched their ticket to London on Saturday night by sweeping Canada (28-26, 25-18, 25-20) in the finals of the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid.

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Captain Clay Stanley had 15 points for the sixth-ranked United States team. “Shoot, congrats to our team. We made it,” said Stanley, who was named Most Valuable Player for the event. “We got our ticket to London.”

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Cuba, No. 5 in the world, swept Puerto Rico (25-20, 25-21, 25-15) in the bronze medal match in the continental event.

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The United States and Canada traded the lead frequently in the opening set. The U.S. had four chances at set point before Reid Priddy’s spike finally ended it. The first-set win seemed to energize the U.S., which went up 8-3 in the second on Stanley’s ace followed by Russ Holmes’ kill. Canada closed the gap to 10-8 on Adam Kaminski’s ace, but the United States never allowed their opponents to get any closer and Priddy’s ace stretched it to 19-12. Set point went to Stanley off the outside block.

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Canada led the third set early, but the United States pulled ahead 11-10 on a triple block from Priddy, Holmes and Donald Suxho. Matt Anderson’s unreturnable strike made it 18-

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US sweeps Canada at NORCECA qualification event for a berth in the London Olympics - The Washington Post

13 and the United States cruised the rest of the way, winning it when Canada missed a return. “I’ve never played a match this important on U.S. soil with as much significance and support,” Priddy said.

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Dallas Soonias led Canada with 19 points, including 17 kills.

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David Lee, selected best blocker of the tournament, and Matt Anderson each added 13 points for the United States.

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The United States beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night, while Canada defeated Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11). The Canadians stunned Cuba earlier in the tournament, which included Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. “It’s a tough match,” Canadian captain Fred Winters said. “USA is a really, really good team. We’re not able to play really good teams all the time.” The U.S. men have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in the 2008 Beijing Games, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the gold medal match. The Canadians have not gone to the Olympics in men’s volleyball since 1992. The team’s best result was fourth in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. It was Canada’s lone chance to win a trip to London. The United States, based on its world ranking, would have gone on to a world qualification tournament in early June if the team did not advance out of the NORCECA tournament. “I think we’re doing some good things,” Canadian coach Glenn Hoag said. “But we need to work some more. You know, those little things we have to make better.”

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Cuba and Puerto Rico, the highest-ranked NORCECA teams who have not qualified for London, will both get another chance at a world qualification event.

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US sweeps Canada to earn trip to London Updated: May 13, 2012, 2:26 AM ET

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MORE OLYMPICS HEADLINES U.S. women rout China hoops exhibition game U.S. men's volleyball earns spot in Olympics Canada crushes Kazakhstan at hockey worlds Phelps settles for 2nd in 200m fly at Charlotte U.S. women win early bouts at boxing worlds

The defending gold medalists punched their ticket to London on Saturday night by sweeping Canada (28-26, 25-18, 25-20) in the finals of the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament at the Walter Pyramid. Captain Clay Stanley had 15 points for the sixth-ranked United States team. "Shoot, congrats to our team. We made it," said Stanley, who was named Most Valuable Player for the event. "We got our ticket to London." Cuba, No. 5 in the world, swept Puerto Rico (25-20, 25-21, 25-15) in the bronze medal match in the continental event. The United States and Canada traded the lead frequently in the opening set. The U.S. had four chances at set point before Reid Priddy's spike finally ended it. The first-set win seemed to energize the U.S., which went up 8-3 in the second on Stanley's ace followed by Russ Holmes' kill. Canada closed the gap to 10-8 on Adam Kaminski's ace, but the United States never allowed their opponents to get any closer and Priddy's ace stretched it to 19-12. Set point went to Stanley off the outside block. Canada led the third set early, but the United States pulled ahead 11-10 on a triple block from Priddy, Holmes and Donald Suxho. Matt Anderson's unreturnable strike made it 18-13 and the United States cruised the rest of the way, winning it when Canada missed a return. "I've never played a match this important on U.S. soil with as much significance and support," Priddy said. Dallas Soonias led Canada with 19 points, including 17 kills. David Lee, selected best blocker of the tournament, and Matt Anderson each added 13 points for the United States. The United States beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in the semifinals Friday night, while Canada defeated Puerto Rico 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23,15-11). The Canadians stunned Cuba earlier in the tournament, which included Mexico, Trinadad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. "It's a tough match," Canadian captain Fred Winters said. "USA is a really, really good team. We're not able to play really good teams all the time." The U.S. men have gone to seven straight Olympics. They went undefeated in the 2008 Beijing Games, upsetting top-ranked Brazil in the gold medal match. The Canadians have not gone to the Olympics in men's volleyball since 1992. The team's best result was fourth in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. It was Canada's lone chance to win a trip to London. The United States, based on its world http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=oly&id=7924479[5/13/2012 12:47:05 AM]

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US sweeps Canada to earn trip to London - Olympics - ESPN ranking, would have gone on to a world qualification tournament in early June if the team did not advance out of the NORCECA tournament. "I think we're doing some good things," Canadian coach Glenn Hoag said. "But we need to work some more. You know, those little things we have to make better." Cuba and Puerto Rico, the highest-ranked NORCECA teams who have not qualified for London, will both get another chance at a world qualification event. The United States has earned trips to the last four Olympics via the NORCECA qualification tournament. It is the first time the U.S. has hosted the event. Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index RECOMMEND

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May 12, 2012 11:53 pm | Updated: 12:49 am, Sun May 13, 2012.

Mike Guardabascio | London is calling, and the Americans answered. Thanks to a dominant performance against a very good Canadian team, the USA National Men’s Volleyball team is now officially the USA Olympic Men’s Volleyball team, as their victory in the gold medal match of the NORCECA Olympic Qualifying Tournament officially punches their ticket to the 2012 Olympics this Summer in London, England. The Americans’ serving and defense boosted them to the 28-26, 25-18, 25-20 victory. “It’s a special, special thing,” said head coach Alan Knipe, currently on leave from Long Beach State. “This is what I wanted to leave Long Beach to do. Today allows us the opportunity to go experience that.” For Knipe and the three Long Beach State alums on the roster, qualifying in the Pyramid was extra special. “I mean, it’s nice to see the picture of me on the wall with long hair,” said former 49er David Lee. “It brings back great memories. I had my whole family here, it’s nice to be so close to home.” More than just the specific memories for Lee, Paul Lotman, and David McKenzie, the whole team enjoyed the rabidly pro-American crowd. Even on American soil, that kind of showing is rare—for example, playing in Chicago, Poland drew more than the Americans. “I really want to thank the fans of Southern California and especially Long Beach,” said Knipe. “It doesn’t surprise me at al that they came out. It’s the greatest environment I’ve ever been a part of as a part of USA Volleyball. The crowd inspired our guys, and we can’t thank them enough.” In the first set, the Americans did battle with the trenchant Canadians and came out victorious by the slimmest of margins. After taking a 73 lead on the strength of three blocks, they let Canada get off a 7-3 run, with Dallas Soonias’ ace tying the score at 10. Thanks to a rightside blast from Clay Stanley and two hitting errors from Canada, the score was 22-20 USA, and they appeared headed for victory, but Matt Anderson’s over pass kill attempt sailed long, and another hitting error tied it at 22. The US never fell behind, but it took four thrilling set points to finally secure the victory. Each time they pulled ahead, Canada managed to scrape out a point, usually on the wide shoulders of their stud opposite, Soonias. Finally, Reid Priddy put the team on his back and blasted a pair from outside to get the 28-26 win, sending the patriotic sellout crowd into a bell-ringing, flag-waving frenzy. The second frame was less intense, thanks mostly to Stanley. He had back to back kills from the right side, and then a smoking ace to give the USA a 7-3 lead, and it never got closer than three points, as the USA tallied another three blocks, and Canada had another four service errors which choked off any momentum they managed to build. The crowd and the Americans were clearly out of it a bit in the start of the third set, though it’s unclear if it was the 2-0 lead or the humidity inside the Pyramid, which had its ventilation system severely tested by the standing-room only crowd. The red, white, and blue wilted early, falling behind 7-5 while giving away four points on service and hitting errors. But Knipe didn’t panic, and didn’t take a timeout—he waited for the technical timeout, trailing 8-6, and then his team responded, tying the match at nine points. They took their first lead in emphatic fashion, stuffing the Canada attack with a triple block to go up 11-10.

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5/13/2012


USA Volleyball: London Calling, Americans Qualify For Olympics! - Gazettes.com: Lbsu

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Slowly but surely, the American’s pulled away, and inched closer to securing that Olympic spot. When Anderson won a hard-fought point with a smashed kill from the outside to put the USA up 18-13, the noise began to build in the stands. Canada was able to take advantage of the excitable Americans to pull it within a deuce at 22-20, but their next play was a service error, the crowd reached a fever pitch. By the time the Americans finally closed it, on Anderson’s team-leading 13th kill, the pointed roof was about to pop off the building. See what the view was like from inside Walter Pyramid as the USA celebrated their win:

The USA closed the tournament in impressive fashion. They went 5-0 in the week of play in the Pyramid, and only lost one set en route to London. On Saturday, they were led by 13 kills from Anderson and a dozen from Stanley. Long Beach State alum David Lee had five blocks to lead the team, and the USA had 11 blocks to Canada’s 5, and four aces, two of them coming from Stanley. The Americans won several Tournament awards, as Anderson was named Hitter of the Tourney, Stanley was named MVP of the Tourney, and the former 49er Lee was named best blocker.

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5/13/2012


KEISSER: National men's volleyball team comes together - Press-Telegram

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KEISSER: National men's volleyball team comes together By Bob Keisser Sports Colum nist Posted: 05/13/2012 10:32:16 PM PD T U pdated: 05/13/2012 11:06:12 PM PD T

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The U.S. men's volleyball team wins an Olympic gold medal in 2008. Ten of the 12 players plan to return for the next quadrennial and take a shot at defending their title in 2012. A new head coach is hired but he has long ties to the national team and is highly respected. If you were posting odds on the chances of the team repeating, they'd be short.

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Truth is, there wasn't a shred of reality in that thought. If it's hard for a baseball or football team to repeat a title from one year to the next, imagine what it is like for a group of volleyball players spending the next four years preparing for another Olympics.

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The team that punched its ticket to the London Olympics on Saturday night in the NORCECA Olympic qualifier at the Walter Pyramid earned the bid despite a handful of hardships and new dynamics that proved to be as taxing as the qualifying process itself.

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"Every quadrennial is different," said opposite hitter Clay Stanley, the native Hawaiian who was the MVP of the 2008 gold medal team and was the MVP of the NORCECA event Saturday. "Four years is a long time and there are a lot of dynamics involved. Coaches change. Players change, and each year you have to find a new rhythm." "You come out of an Olympics like 2008 and you want to tell yourself that you'll be there (in 2012) immediately," former Long Beach State middle blocker David Lee said. "It's not that way at all. You have to reestablish yourself as a world power." Advertisement

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Consider some of the issues Alan Knipe, who won a national championship and was an All-American as a player at Long Beach State, had to deal with when he took leave from his position as head coach of his alma mater to become the national team head coach. First, there was the fact he was new. The 2008 team won under Hugh McCutcheon, who not only was well liked but went through a personal trauma during the Beijing Olympics when his father-in-law was killed in China. There was an extra emotional component to the relationship between the 2008 players and McCutcheon that you won't find on any how-to books on coaching.

Tom Hoff, the veteran middle blocker, and Lloy Ball, the team's setter seemingly since the Ice Age, retired. Middle blocker Ryan Millar, who is headed for his fourth Olympics, and Reid Priddy and Riley Salmon took the 2009 season off. Matt Anderson, the 6-foot-10 sensation from Penn State, came down with pneumonia. In 2010, Millar missed much of the season with an ankle injury and Donald Suxho, a veteran of the 2004 Olympic team, was KO'd by a leg injury. Last year, Kevin Hansen, a backup setter on the 2008 team, missed time with an appendectomy, further throwing the competition at setter with Suxho and Brian Thornton into chaos. Priddy took an elbow to face in August and had to have two plates inserted. And Stanley suffered an ankle injury and then in December had to have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

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KEISSER: National men's volleyball team comes together - Press-Telegram

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Then the NORCECA tournament, which is usually held in January, was moved to May. Those players not ailing went to play for their pro teams in Europe, meaning Knipe didn't even have a team to assemble for practice. When they did, the team on the court was an amalgamation of veterans from Beijing and three key younger players who spent 2008 playing college volleyball - Anderson, Russell Holmes (BYU) and Paul Lotman (Long Beach State) - plus Dave McKienzie (LBSU) who hadn't been part of the national team from 2007 until Knipe reached out to him last season. "It's hard," said Priddy, the outside hitter from Loyola Marymount, of the transition. "We were pretty locked in to a system (in 2008), and then it changed (when Knipe was hired). The last three years reflect the struggles we had in adapting to a new system.

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"But I like what we have now. It's a different group. We have veteran players and we have young players who bring a different energy to the team. I almost look at myself and Clay now as role players as guys like Anderson emerge. "You can't replicate trust from one team to another. It has to come naturally through playing with each other. That's what was so important about the last two matches here. We were faced with situations and we had to trust that we would play well as a team. That's when you grow the most." The team now is settled. Millar, Lee and Holmes will rotate at middle blocker. Suxho, the native of Albania who played at USC and who missed the 2008 Olympics because of a ruptured Achilles' tendon in 2007, has seized the setter's spot and did a superb job spreading the ball around to his hitters during the tournament. Anderson and Priddy play the outside pins with Lotman as backup, and Stanley is a one-man wrecking crew at opposite. Libero Rich Lambourne, the former BYU standout from Foothill High in Tustin, didn't play professionally this year so he could stay home with his family and prepare for the Olympics. "We have youth and experience and a bench that can provide points for us," Stanley said. "It's coming along." Even if someone expected it to come sooner, it appears that for this team, it's right on time. bob.keisser@presstelegram.com

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U.S. Men's Volleyball Team Books Ticket to Olympics with Win Over Canada - Yahoo! Sports Hi, Bill

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U.S. Men's Volleyball Team Books Ticket to Olympics with Win Over Canada By Jeff Musall | Yahoo! Contributor Network – 2 hours 52 minutes ago

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The United States Men's National Volleyball Team booked their ticket to their eighth consecutive Olympics May 12 with a big win over Canada in the NORCECA tournament being played in Long Beach, California. Only the winning team in the tourney earned an

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The scoreline read 28-26, 25-18, 25-20 to take the match in

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straight sets. Just as telling as to the dominant level of play, the U.S. 47-37 advantage in attack points, and were better at blocks by 11-5. A good start the key The squad started strong, getting a 4-1 lead before Canada surged back and got the score level at 10-10. With the home crowd strong behind them, the U.S. men battled back-and-forth until they got their first set point at 24-23, but didn't get it done. The sides played

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on to 26-26 before the U.S. team was able to get the two points over for the win. Set two and set three weren't nearly as competitive. Canada gave their all fighting for that first set, and when it wasn't captured, some wind went out of their sails. They did hang in for the first part of the second set, but saw their fortunes fade as the match went on.

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Not the last chance, but close There will be a couple of more chances for teams to get to the Olympics, but time, and open berths, are running short. The continental qualifications like NORCECA are one of the opportunities, and the path the United States team has taken for the last four Olympic Games. With the trip to the Olympics now a lock, the United States team can begin to focus training on

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U.S. Men's Volleyball Team Books Ticket to Olympics with Win Over Canada - Yahoo! Sports

playing other teams that will be in the Olympic tourney. "I've never played in such an important match on U.S. soil with as much significance and as much support as this one," said outside hitter Reid Priddy. "Being in the twilight of my career, The U.S. squad went through the NORCECA tournament with a 5-0 record, while second place

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U.S. spikes Canada's Olympic dream Calgary HeraldMay 14, 2012 Tweet Share

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VOLLEYBALL . Defending champions USA earned a berth in the London Olympics by sweeping Canada in three sets in the Olympic qualification tournament. U.S. captain Clay Stanley had 15 points for the sixth-ranked Americans, who won 28-26, 25-18, 25-20. David Lee was chosen best blocker of the tournament. He and Matt Anderson scored 13 points each for the United States. Dallas Soonias led Canada with 19 points, including 17 kills. Fifth seeded Cuba cruised past Puerto Rico, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15, in the bronze medal match. © Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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5/17/2012


Stanley is MVP as U.S. qualifies for Olympics - Hawaii News - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Stanley is MVP as U.S. qualifies for Olympics By Joseph D'Hippolito / Special to the Star-Advertiser POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 14, 2012 LONG BEACH, Calif. » Honolulu native Clay Stanley used the championship match of the NORCECA Olympic men's volleyball qualifying tournament Saturday night to punctuate his return from surgery.

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Stanley was named the tournament's most valuable player as the United States qualified for the Olympics with a 28-26, 25-18, 25-20 victory over Canada in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 4,700 at Long Beach State. The former University of Hawaii standout, who will compete in his third Olympics, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late December after the World Cup in Japan. Login for more...

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5/17/2012


USA Volleyball Wrap Up - Gazettes.com: Sports

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Posted: Tuesday,

May 15, 2012 12:26 am | Updated: 12:51 am, Tue May 15, 2012.

Mike Guardabascio | When the USA Men’s Volleyball team’s bus arrived at the Pyramid before their Saturday evening NORCECA Olympic Qualifying gold medal match against Canada, an unfamiliar sight greeted them: hundreds of USA fans, decked out in patriotic colors, cheering on their arrival. Inside, the sold-out Pyramid (announced attendance of 4,700) was overwhelmingly partisan, roaring in delight at the USA Men’s Volleyball team became the USA Olympic Men’s Volleyball team by sweeping the Canadians, 28-26, 25-18, 25-20, to answer the call of London. “It’s a special, special thing,” said head coach Alan Knipe, currently on leave from Long Beach State. “This is what I wanted to leave Long Beach to do. Today allows us the opportunity to go experience that.” You must understand that this is not usually the way things go for national teams. In America, where pro sports drive national interest, teams wearing the nation’s colors don’t get nearly the attention they do in foreign countries. If the USA Volleyball team plays Poland in Chicago, for example, they’re almost certainly going to be heckled by a pro-Polish crowd. “I really want to thank the fans of Southern California and especially Long Beach,” said Knipe. “It doesn’t surprise me at al that they came out. It’s the greatest environment I’ve ever been a part of as a part of USA Volleyball. The crowd inspired our guys, and we can’t thank them enough.” Making the qualifying process even more special was the fact that it happened in the Walter Pyramid, where Knipe played and coached, and where three of the players on his active roster also played. One, David Lee, was named Blocker of the Tournament for shutting down the most opponent attacks. Lee had been overseas nonstop for several months before returning home to play in his old gym, with his nation’s colors on his uniform, and said he could barely remember if he was supposed to be speaking Russian, or Italian. What a nice surprise, then, to walk into the Pyramid and see a larger-than-life photo of himself on the Pyramid’s southern wall, along with other 49er greats. “I mean, it’s nice to see the picture of me with long hair,” he cracked. “It brings back great memories. I had my whole family here, it’s nice to be so close to home.” The USA closed the tournament in impressive fashion. They went 5-0 in the week of play in the Pyramid, and only lost one set en route to punching their ticket to London. On Saturday, they were led by 13 kills from Matt Anderson and a dozen from captain Clay Stanley. Lee had five blocks to lead the team, and the USA had 11 blocks to Canada’s 5, and four aces, two of them coming from Stanley. The USA team is flying to Italy for World League matches beginning in a few weeks, before a three-week practice session that will precede their trip to the 2012 Olympics. Follow along with the team’s journey, all the way to London, by staying with us for full coverage.

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5/17/2012


Press Clippings NORCECA Men's Olympic Qualifier