Reid Priddy
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U.S. Olympic men’s volleyball team named; Reid Priddy sets age record

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The U.S. Olympic men’s indoor volleyball team is headlined by Reid Priddy, who at 38 will become the oldest U.S. Olympic men’s indoor player ever, according to sports-reference.com.

Priddy joined the retired Lloy Ball as the only U.S. men’s indoor volleyball players to make four Olympic teams.

“It would be the most significant of them all because of the mountains that had to be climbed,” Priddy said recently, according to Flovolleyball.

Priddy came back from suffering a torn ACL during a match in June 2014, his right knee buckling on a landing from a kill attempt. Priddy fell to the court and writhed, causing a mid-point play stoppage (video here). He got injured again in 2015 and didn’t return in full to the national team until this spring.

Priddy will be joined in Rio by a squad including four-time reigning U.S. Player of the Year Matt Anderson, who goes to his second Olympics after being the youngest member of the London 2012 team that lost in the quarterfinals.

Plus 2014 and 2015 collegiate Players of the Year Taylor Sander and Thomas Jaeschke. Jaeschke, 22, is the youngest U.S. Olympic men’s indoor player since 2000.

Priddy and David Lee are the only returning members from the 2008 Beijing Olympic team that took gold.

The U.S. men were ranked No. 5 in the world as of last October. They were seventh at the 2014 World Championship, took bronze in the 2015 World League and won the 2015 World Cup against a field that did not include world No. 1 Brazil.

MORE: U.S. women’s volleyball team takes risk with peer reviews

2016 U.S. Olympic men’s volleyball team
Matt Anderson — 2012
Micah Christenson
Max Holt
Tom Jaeschke
David Lee — 2008, 2012
Reid Priddy — 2004, 2008, 2012
Aaron Russell
Taylor Sander
Erik Shoji
Kawika Shoji
David Smith — 2012
Murphy Troy

Coco Gauff eliminated from Australian Open by Sofia Kenin

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Coco Gauff‘s run at the Australian Open ended in the round of 16, foiled by fellow American Sofia Kenin on Sunday.

Kenin ousted the 15-year-old phenom 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-0 to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Gauff, too, was bidding for her first major quarterfinal after a sterling seven months ignited by her march to the Wimbledon fourth round.

Gauff, ranked No. 684 this time last year, will near the top 50 after the Australian Open. She beat Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and took out defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka in the third round on Friday.

Gauff’s play catapulted her to fifth in U.S. Olympic singles qualifying, but she has half the points as fourth-place Madison Keys, and a country can’t qualify more than four players in singles. The Olympic field will be determined by the WTA rankings after the French Open in June.

The 14th seed Kenin, who beat Serena Williams in the 2019 French Open third round, ranks second behind Williams in U.S. Olympic qualifying. She will face No. 27 Wang Qiang or Ons Jabeur in the quarterfinals.

Kenin and Alison Riske are the two remaining U.S. women in the draw.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women

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Jessica Calalang, Brian Johnson produce the pairs’ moment of figure skating nationals

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – This fall season, Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson ranked fifth among American pairs but finished with silver medals at the U.S. Championships on Saturday night.

After a fifth-place nationals finish last year, their goal was just to be on the podium in Greensboro.

In their second year together, Calalang and Johnson won the free skate with 146.01 points for a total score of 213.57. It was good enough for second place, as the eventual winners, Alexa Knierim and Chris Knierim, held a 10-point lead over their training partners from the short program.

“While Brian and Chris are working on cars, Jess and I are having lattes petting cats,” Alexa said in a press conference. “We have a great dynamic and I couldn’t be prouder of them for the way they skated. I watched them backstage just because I genuinely care for them.”

Calalang and Johnson vaulted to second from fourth place after short, when Johnson fell on the side-by-side triple Salchows.

In the free skate, however, they received positive grades of execution on every element. The crowd inside the Greensboro Coliseum was on their feet before the music (“You are the Reason” by Calum Scott and Leona Lewis) even finished.

“I don’t think either of us have had that kind of performance at a U.S. Championships,” Calalang said.

“I definitely haven’t,” Johnson added. “The amount of audience support that I felt at the very end of that program was overwhelming. It was the most amazing thing I’ve felt on the ice. I don’t have words to describe it.”

Now, they could join the Knierims at the world championships in March. The U.S. has two berths to worlds, up from one last year. U.S. Figure Skating chooses the teams, not necessarily (but usually) following nationals standings.

Calalang and Johnson have no world championships experience, either together or with former partners, although they have had plenty of experience this season.

They kicked it off with a sixth-place finish at a lower-level event, followed by their Grand Prix debut at Skate America. They finished just off the podium in fourth. The following week, they were sixth at Skate Canada. They handily won the Warsaw Cup, another lower-level event this fall.

“Repetition always helps,” Johnson said. “The more experience you can get, hopefully the better you’re gonna be doing. It was great doing the Grand Prixes because we had an amazing audience at Skate America and Skate Canada. The whole place was sold-out. I think that really resembles here as well with everybody loving what you’re doing and the whole support base.”

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NATIONALS: TV/Live Stream Schedule | Full Results

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.