Setter Lloy Ball will return to the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team this spring. Ball (35) has not played with the team since the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He played two seasons with the Iraklis volleyball club in Greece and this season is with the Dinamo Kazan in Russia.
L. Ball joined U.S. National Team in 1994 and was its starting setter for the next 10 years, remain with the team through the 2008 Olympics, he would compete in his fourth Summer Games. His best finish with an Olympic team was fourth in 2004. Ball is a veteran of three Olympic Games (1996, 2000 and 2004) and the former team captain. “My return to the National Team was a difficult decision,” said Ball. Ball told McCutcheon that his return “would depend on my physical condition after the European season. As of now, I feel fit enough to help the National Team accomplish their goals, to qualify for China.”
Ball’s return became even better news last week when setter Donald Suxho, the team’s primary starting setter since Ball’s departure, partially ruptured his left Achilles tendon while playing for Acqua Paradiso in Italy. Suxho had surgery in Italy on March 27 and will remain there for two weeks before returning to the United States to begin rehab with Aaron Brock, the U.S. team’s athletic trainer. Doctors estimate Suxho should be “100 percent” by the end of July.
“It’s extremely disappointing to lose Suxho,” McCutcheon said. “However, these things happen and we have to move on. Now we have a chance to get a good look at Brandon Taliaferro and Kevin Hansen, and to re-integrate Lloy.
This year will be a key year for the U.S. Men´s National Volleyball Team as it begins the process of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. USA will participate in FIVB World League (May 25-July 15), in september USA will host the NORCECA Championships. The NORCECA Championships will be the United States’ only opportunity to qualify for the FIVB World Cup, which are Nov. 18-Dec. 2 in Japan. The World Cup, which will qualify the top three finishers for the 2008 Summer Games, is the only chance in 2007 for the U.S. Men to qualify for Beijing.