Penn State Volleyball Alums Lead Huge U.S. Upset Over No. 1 Brazil
Three Penn State men’s volleyball all-time greats — Matt Anderson, Aaron Russell, and Max Holt — came up huge for Team USA in a must-win preliminary match in Rio Thursday night that saw the Americans knock off the host nation and world No. 1 Brazil 3-1 (25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20).
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Anderson and Russell finished one-two atop the stat sheet for the red, white, and blue, delivering an enormous 24 and 19 points, respectively. Holt added five points of his own to round out the emphatic nightcap. Team USA picked up an essential three points to draw even with Canada for the fourth and final advancing spot in Pool A with two matches left to play.
A trip to the quarterfinals is far from locked up, but without Thursday’s victory, reaching the next round would have been all but impossible after two straight losses to Canada (3-0) and Italy (3-1) to open the Olympics. Brazil sits in a tie with France at six points apiece in Pool A behind the undefeated Italians. Team USA will face the French squad on Saturday and Mexico this coming Monday in a pair of crucial matches that will decide its fate.