Chiles Center to host World League men's matches in May
by: ©2006 MICHAEL BRANDY, Ryan Millar of the U.S. volleyball team spikes the ball past Lukasz Kadziewicz of Poland during a match last summer in West Valley, Utah.

World-class volleyball is coming to Portland.

The U.S. men's national team will play two matches against France in a two-day World League tournament stop at the University of Portland's Chiles Center.

The event is scheduled for the weekend of May 26 and May 27, with Bank of the West as the presenting sponsor.

The World League is volleyball's version of Davis Cup tennis. The top 16 teams in the world will be vying for spots in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The teams are divided into four pools for intercontinental play in various cities from May 25 through July 1. The World League finals are July 11 through July 15 in Rome.

The World League began in 1990. The Americans' highest finish was a third place in 1992.

France placed second to world champion Brazil in last year's World League tournament. France was sixth in the world championships.

The U.S. finished 10th in both the World League and world championships. The U.S. made it to the bronze-medal match in the 2004 Olympics, losing to Russia.

Going into 2007, France was ranked seventh and the U.S. eighth in the world.

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