Apparently the U.S. men’s volleyball team just needed to get all the jitters out.
Since losing six of seven sets to begin Olympic competition in Rio, the Americans have now won 12 of their last 14 sets, including a three-set sweep (25-23, 25-22, 25-20) of Poland Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
The American roster features eight first-time Olympians and the young group has gelled together to go 4-0 since the slow start.
Poland entered the Games as the No. 2 team in the world though it hadn’t secured a medal in men’s volleyball since the 1976 Olympics. The Polish team collected 12 points in the preliminary round, going 4-1 with the only loss coming on a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Russia, the reigning gold medalists.
The U.S. attack was spread out throughout the afternoon with Aaron Russell (15 points, two blocks, ace), Matt Anderson (11 points, block, ace) and Taylor Sander (11 points, two aces) leading the way.
The U.S. will take on the winner of Italy and Iran in the semifinal Friday. No matter what happens, Team USA will get to play in a medal game.