Playing well at the right time, John Speraw’s U.S. men’s volleyball team will look to continue on that roll when they play Poland in the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon.
WATCH LIVE: U.S. vs. Poland, men’s volleyball quarterfinals — 1 p.m. Eastern
The Americans have won three straight matches since starting pool play 0-2, finishing third in their pool as a result. Poland, on the other hand, finished tied for first in Pool B but tiebreakers have them as the second seed. While the U.S. is currently ranked fifth in the world in the FIVB rankings, Poland is second and with players such as opposite hitter Bartosz Kurek and setter Gregorz Lomacz they’ll be a tough matchup.
Next up for the winner of this match will be either Italy or Iran, with the loser going into the classification bracket for places five through eight.
The quarterfinal round of the women’s volleyball tournament begins Tuesday, with South Korea and the Netherlands getting things going bright and early at 9 a.m. That will be followed by the U.S. facing Japan, with the Americans being one of the favorites to reach the gold medal match.
In the evening session is the favorite to take gold in this tournament, host Brazil. Not only did Brazil go undefeated in pool play, but they didn’t drop a set on their way to the top spot in Pool A. They get China in the nightcap of the quarterfinal round, with Russia and Serbia meeting in the first match of the evening session.
WATCH LIVE: Women’s volleyball, quarterfinals — 9 a.m.
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.