PRESS RELEASE 16/10/2009

USA advances to a gold medal match against Cuba

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico, October 16, 2009 – Three-time defending champions USA advanced to a final match against Cuba at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship after a 25-16, 25-23, 25-22 victory against hosts Puerto Rico on Friday.


Cuba has 13 titles in the 20-year history of the event and USA has won the other seven including the last three editions.


David Lee and William Priddy had stellar offensive performances with Lee recording 15 points (13 of 16 attacks) and Priddy adding 13 points with 11 kills in 18 tries. Victor Rivera and Hector Soto had 14 and 12 points respectively for Puerto Rico.


“We played very good team volleyball and dictated the tempo of the match,” said Thomas Hoff, the USA captain. “We had a real good practice yesterday and it set the tone for us.”


Head coach Alan Knipe added: “It wasn’t the easiest match but our players kept the composure and Sean Rooney came off the bench to help us win the second set. Cuba is a very talented team with many different weapons and tomorrow we need to play better than today.”


Luis Rodriguez, the captain of Puerto Rico, said: “It was an excellent match. Taking aside the first set, we played point by point with them. But we couldn’t close the second set and maybe that was the difference.”


“USA defeated us with their attack down the middle,” said Carlos Cardona, the coach of Puerto Rico. “Our offense wasn’t good today. Only Victor Rivera did a good job offensively.”


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