photo from USAVolleyball via FIVB
The U.S. men’s national volleyball team punched its ticket to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo with a 25-18, 25-20, 17-25, 25-21 over host Netherlands today in Rotterdam at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Micah Christenson (Kamehameha) was the setter and Erik Shoji (Punahou) the libero. Christenson had two blocks in the match that lasted 121 minutes at Ahoy Arena.
Also on the roster were Kawika Shoji (‘Iolani) and Micah Ma’a (Punahou) but they did not play.
“We’re so happy,” Erik Shoji said in a press release from USA Volleyball. “We expected a battle from the Netherlands and we got that. I think it was huge how we performed at the end of each set with those three-set wins. We’re just so excited, so happy and a bit relieved to have this off of our back and just so excited to be coming home with the win.”
The U.S., ranked No. 2 in the world, finished third at the Rio Games.
The Americans finished the round-robin event 3-0. The Netherlands was 2-1.
The U.S. men join the U.S. women who qualified last week.
Video of U.S. consecutive blocks at link below. Christenson in on the first.
It will be the 12th time overall and 10th straight appearance in the Olympics for the U.S. men. They were in the first two editions that had volleyball (1964 and ’68) but missed out on the next three. The U.S. returned to win back-to-back gold medals in Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988, adding another gold in Beijing 2008.