The U.S. Men’s National Team didn’t let a loss to Italy in pool play of the World League finals get it discouraged. Three matches later, the Americans felt the weight of gold medals around their necks.
Recent BYU grad Taylor Sander continued to wow the international field by racking up a team-leading 24 points in the final versus Brazil. Behind Sander’s offense, Micah Christenson’s pin-pointed sets, and Erik Shoji’s scrappy digs the U.S. beat its challenger 31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23. The win marked only the second time the U.S. has won World League, the first in 2008 over Serbia. Last summer, the U.S. finished 12th in World League.
A win over Australia in pool play, and the subsequent defeat of Australia by Italy, allowed Team USA to advance to the semifinals where it was faced with Iran. The U.S. dispatched with its Middle Eastern opponent 25-18, 25-22, 25-16, to face Brazil in the final.
Next month, the U.S. Men’s National Team will play Iran in the USA Volleyball Cup.