By Paul D. Bowker | July 06, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
The U.S. men's volleyball team celebrates its victory over Argentina at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League on May 25, 2018 in Ningbo, China.


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One week after the U.S. Women’s National Team won the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League championship, the U.S. Men’s National Team is seeking to match the achievement.

The U.S. men, who won 11 of 15 matches in the preliminary round for a third-place finish, face Russia on Friday in their final pool match in the Final Six.

The semifinals are Saturday, followed by the medal round on Sunday in Lille, France. The top two teams in each of the two pools of three teams make it to the semifinal round. Joining the U.S. in Pool B are Russia and Poland. Brazil, Serbia and France are in Pool A.

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The U.S. played Poland on Thursday, winning in three sets and guaranteeing a spot in the semifinals as Poland will head home with a 0-2 record.

Returning to the U.S. roster this week is 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Taylor Sander, as well as opposites Kyle Ensing and Ben Patch. They join a veteran squad for the final round that includes two-time Olympian Matt Anderson, and 2016 Olympic teammates Aaron Russell, Kawika and Erik Shoji, Micah Christenson, Max Holt and David Smith.

Team USA is without outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, who tore his ACL earlier in the tournament.

The U.S. won six of its final eight matches in the prelims, losing only to top-seeded France and Russia.

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.