The U.S. men will return home from Rio with a bronze medal in tow. Competing in the FIVB World League Final Round in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the men’s national team fell to Serbia by three points in the fifth set of the semifinals (25-23, 25-21, 25-27, 20-25, 15-12) to thwart their quest for gold.
In the bronze medal match versus Poland, Team USA, which went 11-5 over the two-month long tournament, relied heavily on contributions from outside hitters Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell to elevate it to a 25-22, 25-23, 25-23 victory.
France and Serbia played in the gold-medal match, with France (16-1 in the tournament) taking the victory in straight sets. France’s only loss in World League was to Team USA, a 3-1 victory for the U.S. men in the last round of pool play on July 17.
American middle Max Holt received the award for the tournament’s best blocker.