The Oracles of Volleyball: Thrilling wins build momentum

Aug. 13, 2016, 3:46 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 13, 2016) – The Oracles of Volleyball ... a veritable who’s who of volleyball greats, including Misty May-Treanor, Lloy Ball, Holly McPeak, Nicole Davis, Kent Steffes, Kim Oden, Scott Fortune, Tayyiba Haneef-Park, Bob Ctvrtlik, Dain Blanton, Ryan Millar, Eric Fonoimoana, Todd Rogers, and Danielle Scott-Arruda … commenting on the Rio Olympic Games with their legendary insight.

Oracles 1 | Oracles 2 | Oracles 3 | Oracles 4

What are your thoughts on these recent epic battles?
U.S. Men v. Brazil, back-to-back beach three setters (Nick/Phil vs. Italy; Kerri/April v. Switzerland)

Todd Rogers
U.S. Olympian, beach (2008, 2012)
Olympic gold medalist, 2008
I watched almost all of the men's indoor match and I was impressed with the level of play on both sides but particularly our men given the circumstances. There was a sense of urgency that hasn't been there in the previous matches. Some of the rallies were simply amazing and frankly rekindled my passion for the men's game. The rally at the end of set two was one of the best I have ever seen. I really hope the guys take that energy all the way to the Gold.  Super entertaining to watch!

Goes without saying I am stoked for Phil Dalhausser/ Nick Lucena and Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross!  Keep it up!

Kim Oden
U.S. Olympian, indoor (1988, 1992)
Olympic bronze medalist, 1992
I was on the edge of my seat during Kerri and April's match vs. Switzerland. I believe it was good for them to have a match in which they struggled and found a way to win before they got to the playoffs. I believe this experience will only make them stronger as they advance through the competition--and they were already STUDS!!!

The USA Men's match vs. Brazil was FANTASTIC!! They looked like the team they are and it was fun to see. I'm cheering for them against France and Mexico. 

The USA Women's Volleyball team has been SO steady!! They look like they are having fun playing together and they are playing SO well. They are awesome to watch! I'm cheering for you!! Good luck against China and beyond!!

Bob Ctvrlik
U.S. Olympian, indoor (1988, 1992, 1996)
Olympic gold medalist, 1988; Olympic bronze medalist, 1992
Men's win vs Brazil was huge. It looked as if they finally settled in to actual being at the Olympics and playing how they are capable of playing as opposed to being a bit awed by the whole thing. They have a tremendous upside as it feels that they can even play better. Fun to watch them having FUN again.

As a side note, I sure like it when they keep the ball in play from 20 on, serving tough but also letting their block and defense make some plays as well.  (I guess that is the old school player in me talking!)

On the women's beach side, it is amazing how good all of the teams are from around the world. You have to give it to Kerri and April for hanging tough and seeing the weakness in that third set vs the Swiss and jumping on it. Their hustle makes them a special team and really exciting to watch. Very impressive how Kerri can make plays as she turns from blocking. She moves as if she is a much shorter player and some of those saves she made after April dove for balls were absolutely incredible.

Holly McPeak
U.S. Olympian, beach (1996, 2000, 2004)
Olympic bronze medalist, 2004
I loved all three of those matches. As a fan, it's fun to see both teams play well and see one team rise to the occasion and make big plays. That happened in both beach matches with Kerri/April scrapping and fighting hard for their last pool victory, and Phil and Nick digging hard to save match points against the and beat the Italians 24-22 in third set!

The Men’s Olympic indoor game was spectacular to watch!! The level of play was ridiculous and our men's team showed the world they can play with anyone!!! Proud of them and what they accomplished, hoping our men's team will continue their fantastic play and bring home a medal!

Danielle Scott-Arruda
U.S. Olympian, indoor (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)
U.S. Olympic silver medalist, 2008 & 2012
Both Kerri/Ross are playing well and like the Women's team have faced a little adversity but have been able to get the win, finishing sets and matches strong. Hats off to our men's team who beat Brazil. That's what the Games are about being confident that you've prepared and are able to overcome adversity and bring your best that day. 

Scott Fortune
U.S. Olympian, indoor (1988, 1992, 1996)
Olympic gold medalist, indoor, 1988; Olympic bronze medalist, indoor 1992
Perseverance and training is what comes to mind after watching three thrilling matches resulting in USA wins.  It starts with the will to persevere in a long tight battle and a mindset that is essential to winning by any means when tired or down.

USA Volleyball teams have been known for their long and hard training from a practice standpoint. Tough training payoffs in the end of long matches when fatigue sets in, but yet Americans seem to stay strong and even more focused to elevate to the next level to win.

Shout out to the men's indoor team for staying positive and coming out sharp and loose to beat Brazil in 4. Need to ride that momentum into the upcoming match against a tough France.

I miss not being at the Olympics for the first time since Los Angeles, but seems that Brazil has pulled it together and the World can focus on the great achievements accomplished by all the athletes.