U.S. men’s volleyball qualifies for Olympics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  – The U.S. Men’s National Team qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on Saturday with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-17) win over Serbia at the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier in Tokyo.

The U.S. Men improved to 6-0 with one match to go in the tournament against Japan (5-1), which also secured qualification on Saturday. The two top teams in the group qualify and neither the U.S. nor Japan can finish worse than second.

The two teams will play each other at 3:25 a.m. PT on Sunday.

The U.S. Men qualified for their 11th straight Olympic Games and 13th overall.

On Saturday, the U.S. Men’s serve-and-pass game was on point. They U.S. Men led in aces 12-2. Middle blocker Max Holt finished with four strikes. Middle Jeff Jendryk and opposite Matt Anderson each had two. The U.S. had 12 service errors as a team.

Solid passing, led by libero Erik Shoji with five digs and five successful receptions, allowed setter Micah Christenson to set the team to a .533 hitting efficiency.

“We were steady the whole way through, and our side-out game was incredible, maybe the best of the summer,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “It was at the right time when we needed it to seal our trip to Paris next summer.

“This tournament had a really challenging format and we just handled it so well. We have learned how to manage ourselves in a tournament like this. But more important was the depth that we have developed over the past few years.”

Holt led all scorers with 13 points on seven kills, a team-high two blocks and the match-high four aces.

Anderson and Jendryk each scored 11 points and each had nine kills to go with their two aces.

Outside hitter Aaron Russell scored 10 points on eight kills, one block and one ace. Outside T.J. DeFalco added eight points on six kills, one block and one ace.

Christenson and outside hitter Garrett Muagututia, who played as a substitute, each scored a point with an ace.