U.S. Men Sending Veteran Group to Worlds
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, September 7, 2018
– The U.S. Men’s National Team will send eight Olympic medalists
and six other players with significant international experience
to compete at the 2018 FIVB World Championships in Italy and
The U.S. Men will begin World Championship pool play on Sept. 12
against Serbia in Bari, Italy.
The eight 2016 Olympic bronze medalists on the roster
opposite/outside hitter Matt
Anderson, outside hitters Aaron
Russell and Taylor
Sander, middle blockers David
Smith and Max
Holt, setters Micah
Christenson and Kawika
Shojiand libero Erik
Anderson and Smith are both two-time Olympians. Sander will
serve as team captain.
Other veteran players on the roster are outside hitter Jake
Langlois, middle blockers Jeff
McDonnell and Taylor
Averill, opposite Ben
Patch and libero Dustin
Watten. All except Jendryk have played at least
one professional season overseas.
“We are very excited by the roster we are sending to the World
Championships,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “We believe
that, considering all factors, this team will provide us the
best opportunity to bring home the gold.”
The team left Anaheim, Calif., on Monday (Sept. 3) for a
pre-Worlds warmup tournament on Sept. 6-8 in Ljubljana,
Slovenia. Canada, Iran and Slovenia will also compete.
Speraw said the team has had a strong monthlong training block
at the American Sports Centers to lead into the tournament.
“We’re in a position where we have some players who have played
together for quite some time,” Speraw said. “We are strong from
a leadership and team-dynamic perspective. We just need to go
out and execute.”
The U.S. Men will go into the World Championship with a 13-6
record this season after they finished third in the FIVB
Volleyball Nations League earlier this year.
The U.S. Men won the World Championship in 1986 and finished
third in 1994.
In 2014 they finished tied for seventh.