Coach John Speraw’s U.S. men’s volleyball team upset top-ranked Brazil in the FIVB World League gold-medal match (to be re-broadcast on July 28 at 4 p.m. PT on NBCSN). The U.S. won 31-29, 21-25, 25-20, and 25-23 in a contest played in Florence, Italy before over 9,000 fans at the Nelson Mandela Forum on July 20. Brazil is the three-time reigning World champion and has won gold or silver at each of the last three Olympics. The U.S., ranked fourth in the world as of January, lost in the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals after winning gold over Brazil in 2008. Italy defeated Iran in the bronze medal match.
The American men snapped a three-match losing streak to the Brazilians with the victory. Their last win over Brazil came at the 2012 Olympics in pool play. Bruin assistant coach Andrea Becker was a consultant to the U.S. men’s volleyball team in Florence and former UCLA head coach Al Scates was also on staff. Former UCLA standout, Garrett Muagututia (class of ’10) saw action in a few sets and recorded three points and had a tremendous dig.
The U.S. team next plays Iran in the USA Volleyball Cup, four times from Aug. 9-16 in California, including a match at UCLA. The squad will be in action in matches scheduled at USC on Aug. 9, Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 13, San Diego State University on Aug. 15 and UCLA (Pauley Pavilion) on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. For tickets to the match in Pauley go to the following link: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0B004CD2D9D17C35
Bruin assistant coach Brad Keller was on the coaching staff of the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team which defeated Cuba, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 on July 19 to win the NORCECA Boys’ Under-19 Continental Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Team USA finished the tournament 4-0 and 12-0 in sets. The U.S. has qualified for the 2015 FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship.
In June, returning Bruin Clayton Paullin represented the United States in the U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Poland. In July, Bruins Hagen Smith and Jackson Bantle were in action on different teams for the United States in the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus. For more information on these events, please click onto www.fivb.org .