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Team USA men’s volleyball draws Poland in quarterfinals

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After dropping their first two matches in Pool play the U.S. men’s volleyball team rebounded to win their final three matches and clinch third place in Pool A. As a result, the quarterfinal opponent for John Speraw’s team is Poland, which finished second in Pool B, with the matchup scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Poland went 4-1 in pool play, with their lone defeat coming in five sets against Pool B winner Russia. Poland is looking to finish on a better note than they did in London four years ago, where they were eliminated in straight sets in the quarterfinal round by Russia. The U.S. met a similar fate in those Games, as they also exited the tournament via straight set loss in the quarters (to Italy).

David Lee, Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell have been three of the key players for the U.S., and they’ll need to be at their best if the Americans are to advance. The winner would get the winner of the quarterfinal match between Pool A winner Italy and Iran, which finished fourth in Pool B. On the other side of the bracket, Pool B winner Argentina faces hosts Brazil in what should be an intense affair, and Russia takes on Canada.

Wednesday’s Quarterfinal Matchups

Canada vs. Russia, 9 a.m. Eastern
U.S.A. vs. Poland, 1 p.m.
Italy vs. Iran, 5 p.m.
Brazil vs. Argentina, 9:15 p.m.

IOC pledges €500,000 to help restore Notre Dame ahead of 2024 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee plans to donate €500,000 ($562,000) to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in the 2024 Olympic host city.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to see Notre Dame restored within five years.

“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a Wednesday letter to Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse, which reported Notre Dame is on the planned marathon and road cycling routes. “All the Olympic Movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

More than $500 million has been pledged overall from around the globe after a fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral on Monday.

NBC News has more on the Notre Dame fire here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Patrick Kane joined by NHL All-Stars on world championship roster

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NHL All-Stars Jack EichelRyan Suter and Cory Schneider join previously named captain Patrick Kane to lead the U.S. at next month’s world hockey championship in Slovakia, seeking the nation’s first title at a standalone worlds since 1933.

Sixteen players were added to the roster in Thursday’s announcement with more to come before worlds open May 10 and more teams get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, making more players available. The IIHF allows up to 25 players per nation.

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be the U.S. head coach for a third straight worlds. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 and earned bronze in 2018, sandwiching an Olympic quarterfinal exit in PyeongChang without NHL players.

Sweden is trying to become the first nation to three-peat at worlds since the Czech Republic in 2001.

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Preliminary IIHF World Championship Roster

Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)
Luke Glendening (Detroit Red Wings)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings)
James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Frank Vatrano (Florida Panthers)
Colin White (Ottawa Senators)

Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings)
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)

Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
Cayden Primeau (Laval (AHL))
Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)