Ready, Set, Spike

USA Volleyball
Photo: AP Images

The US Men’s Olympic Volleyball roster is complete. UCLA head coach John Speraw will serve as head coach in Tokyo. The USA won the Bronze in Rio. The team features eight returning players with four new players. Let’s break it down.

The Players and Positions

We start things off with the outside hitters (OH) and opposite hitters (OPP). This is where most of the scoring will come from. Kyle Ensing, T.J. DeFalco, and Garrett Muagututia are the new faces in those roles. Matt Anderson, Taylor Sandar, and Thomas Jaeschke return for another tour of duty. Mitch Stahl will make his debut is a middle blocker (MB). The blockers mostly contribute on defense, but also add a scoring punch. Max Holt and David Smith are the returning MBs.

Two new faces from Honolulu, Hawaii will fight for the starting setter job. Kawika Shoji and Micah Christenson each have an opportunity to make the offense go for the US. Finally, the Honolulu hat trick is completed with the addition of libero Erik Shoji who will serve as a defensive specialist. For a more comprehensive breakdown of the position responsibilities, check out my article on the women’s team here.

Big Picture

The US men currently are ranked #5 in the world. France, Russia, Poland, and Brazil are ahead of them. With the main core group returning, the US Men’s Volleyball Roster will look to improve from the third place finish last time around. Like the women, all of these players played at the DI level and also play professionally overseas. The US is not always seen as a volleyball powerhouse, but they have had success in the past in international competition. After winning the gold medal in 2008, the hope is to get back to the top of the podum, and reaffirm to the world what they can do.

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