USA Ends Pool A Undefeated after Sweep of Mexico

Long Beach, California, May 9, 2012 – United States, ranked No. 6 in the world and No. 2 in NORCECA, earned a 25-23, 25-19, 25-14 victory over Mexico on Wednesday to finish 3-0 in Pool A of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament being held May 7-12 in Long Beach, Calif.

USA captain Clay Stanley led the USA with 14 points, while Matt Anderson chipped in 12 points and Reid Priddy 10 points. Mexico’s Carlos Guerra produced a team-high 12 points and captain Gerardo Contreras added nine points.

Mexico challenged the USA until late in each of the first two sets before the defending Olympic Games champions made late runs to take a 2-0 lead. The third set was all USA going up 8-2 at the first technical timeout and cruising to victory. USA held advantages of 40-31 in attacks, 8-4 in blocks and 6-3 in service aces.

USA, the defending Olympic Games champion, will now bypass the quarterfinal round and will play an undetermined semifinal round opponent on Friday. Mexico dropped its first match in Pool A and will take on Puerto Rico in the quarterfinal round on Thursday at 20:00.

“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.”

“I have to congratulate USA on their win,” Contreras said. “Like Clay said, they gave us a few things in the beginning to keep it close. Once USA settled down a little bit in the third set they took it away. It was great to share the court with players like USA.”

“First of all I would like to congratulate Mexico for coming out ready to play,” USA Coach Alan Knipe said. “They put pressure on us early and often. We haven’t allowed teams to earn many points that teams don’t earn. I think we have room for improvement and things on video we can clean up on our day off tomorrow. Tonight we had our offense going and we served well, which has been consistent for our first three matches.”

“Congratulations to Team USA, we are very happy for them,” Mexico Coach Jorge Miguel Azair said. “The first set I think we played very well, served well and we were able to withstand their service pressure. The truth is that physically they are superior to us, but we will forget that and tomorrow is a new opportunity, though not as difficult and I think we have a good chance and we will prepare for that.”