USA Olympics-Bound to Defend 2008 Title
Long Beach, California, May 12, 2012 – The United States, the
defending Olympic Games champion, earned the right to return to
defend its men’s volleyball title with a 28-26, 25-18, 25-20
gold-medal victory over Canada on Saturday evening during the
NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament that
started on May 7 in Long Beach, Calif. The eight-team tournament
awarded the winner berth into the Olympic Games later this
summer in London.
The USA, ranked sixth in the latest FIVB World ranking compared
to Canada’s No. 18 ranking, has now qualified for each of the
last four Olympic Games through the NORCECA Men’s Continental
Olympic Qualification Tournament. However, the 2012 event marks
the first time the Americans have qualified on USA soil as a
sell-out crowd watched the gold-medal match.
Clay Stanley turned in a USA-high 15 points as his team used a
balanced offense. David Lee provided 13 points and Matt Anderson
each contributed 13 points, while Reid Priddy contributed 12
points. Canada was led by Dallas Soonias’ 19 points, followed by
Fred Winters’ 12 points.
USA managed a 47-37 advantage in attack points, in addition to
an 11-5 margin in blocks.
USA overcame a 17-16 deficit in the first set to take a 19-17
advantage leading to a Canada timeout. After trading several
points, Canada knotted the set at 22-all with back-to-back
points going into a USA timeout. Reid Priddy hammered
consecutive spikes for the final two points of a 28-26 first set
victory in which the USA had four set-point opportunities. David
Lee finished with eight points in the set and five Americans
totaled at least three points. Canada was led by Dallas Soonias’
USA scored three answered points to grab a 4-2 margin in the
second set, then went up 8-3 at the first technical timeout on a
Clay Stanley ace and Holmes quick attack. Canada closed to
within two at 10-8 after an Adam Kaminski ace off the net.
Stanley and Lee put up consecutive blocks to push the USA lead
to four at 13-9 going into a Canada timeout. Stanley served an
ace for the USA to go into the second technical timeout leading
16-11. The USA never relented in the set and forged to a 25-18
victory. Stanley totaled eight points in the set as the USA had
three aces and three blocks in the set.
Canada reached the third set’s first technical timeout leading
8-6, only to have the USA level the score at 9-all. Priddy put
up a block to swing the advantage to the USA at 11-10 and Canada
hit long on the next point creating a timeout at 12-10. USA
built a 19-13 advantage on four unanswered points, but Canada
scored four of the next five points to slice the deficit to
20-17. The USA held on down the stretch to win 25-20 capped by
consecutive Matt Anderson kills.