USA Volleyball Features USA Volleyball Natio...

USA Volleyball National Teams Decade in Review

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Dec. 31, 2019, 11:49 p.m. (ET)

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor celebrate their third Olympic Games beach volleyball gold medal
Misty May-Treanor (right) and Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrate their third consecutive Olympic Games gold medal in beach volleyball in 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 31, 2019) – USA Volleyball national teams have provided many memorable moments over the last decade. Here is a look at some of those top moments. What were your favorite USA Volleyball moments?

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor Golden Three-Peat

For the third consecutive Olympics, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor proved to be the best female tandem in beach volleyball as they captured gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games by defeating compatriots April Ross and Jen Kessy. May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings become the first women to win three Olympic medals in beach volleyball and the first players of either gender to win three beach volleyball gold medals.

U.S. Women Claim Historic Gold in World Championship

The U.S. Women’s National Team earned gold at the 2014 FIVB World Championship to mark its first title in a major triple crown event (Olympic Games, FIVB World Championship, FIVB World Cup). The Americans recovered from losing their World Championship Finals Round match, snapping a two-match losing streak in defeating Russia to advance to the semifinals. Team USA then swept Brazil in the semifinals and edged China in a hard-fought four-set victory in the title match in Milan, Italy. Kim Hill was named most valuable player of the tournament in just her second year playing international volleyball.

First Gold at Paralympic Games

After two consecutive silver medals and a bronze medal in the Paralympic Games, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team broke through for gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. For the fourth consecutive edition, the Americans faced China in the title match and would not be denied. The U.S. outscored China 75-42 in the gold-medal match and was named Team USA's Best Paralympic Team of the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Heather Erickson was named the most valuable player of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Girls Youth Captures Gold in 2019

Until this year, no USA Volleyball High Performance team had won a gold medal in a FIVB age-group indoor world championship. That all changed when the U.S. Girls Youth National Team won the 2019 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Egypt by rallying past defending champion Italy in the gold-medal match. Team USA had won silver twice in the biennial FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in 2013 and 2015. Jess Mruzik was named the most valuable player of the 2019 edition.

U.S. Men Win 2015 World Cup

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In 2015, the U.S. Men’s National Team won its first FIVB World Cup title since 1985 and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the process. The U.S. Men went 10-1 in the tournament. Opposite Matt Anderson was named Most Valuable Player. Micah Christenson was named Best Setter and Erik Shoji won Best Libero.

Silver Once Again for U.S. Women

The U.S. Women’s National Team entered the 2012 London Olympic Games as the top seed and were rolling victory after victory. Team USA won all five of its preliminary round matches, then topped Dominican Republic in the quarterfinals and Korea in the semifinals. The Americans cruised to a 25-11 victory over Brazil in the gold-medal match before their South American rivals found their form and went on to win in four sets. For the second consecutive Olympics, the U.S. would stand on the podium with the silver medal.

Bronze for Indoor Olympic Teams in Rio

The U.S. Women’s and Men’s Indoor Volleyball Teams earned bronze medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, bouncing back from disappointing losses in the semifinal rounds. The U.S. Women had won six straight matches and led Serbia after the first set in the semifinals, only to see star Foluke Akinradewo go down with an injury and the European side coming back to win in five sets. The Americans bounced back to win the bronze-medal match over Netherlands.

Unlike the U.S. Women, the U.S. Men started the 2016 Olympics slow with losses to Canada and Italy. Team USA bounced back to defeat host and eventual gold-medalist Brazil to propel them into the playoffs. The Americans swept Poland but lost to Italy in the semifinals after leading 2-1. The U.S. overcame a two-set deficit to Russia in the bronze-medal match to win in five, sparked by Reid Priddy being inserted into the lineup.

Kerri and April Win Bronze in Rio

For three consecutive Olympics, Kerri Walsh Jennings partnered with Misty May-Treanor in the Olympic Games and came away with gold. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Walsh Jennings switched partners to April Ross following May-Treanor’s retirement. The pair won their four preliminary round matches and swept Australia in the quarterfinals. However, the USA duo lost to Brazil in the semifinals and marking Walsh-Jennings’ first loss in Olympic Games competition. Walsh-Jennings and Ross faced Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes in the bronze-medal match and rallied from a 21-17 first-set loss to win in three sets.

Plummer and Martin Win FIVB Beach U17 World Championship

The U.S. beach team of Kathryn Plummer and Morgan Martin won the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 Girls World Championship in Acapulco, Mexico. Plummer, who later earned silver at the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship to become the first player to medal in beach and indoor volleyball age-group World Championships, was selected as most valuable player.

Dalhausser and Rogers Set Record for Wins

In 2010-11, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, the 2008 Olympic gold medalists, won seven straight tournaments and set an FIVB record for consecutive match wins at 40. The tournament and match win streak began at the 2010 Gstaad Grand Slam and ended with a loss to Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in the final of the 2011 Prague Open.

Big Summer for Ross

In 2010, Summer Ross became the first athlete, male or female, to win both the FIVB Youth World Championships (U19) and the FIVB Junior World Championships (U21) in the same year. She won the Youth World Championships with Jane Croson and the Junior World Championships with Tara Roenicke.

Related Athletes

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Kerri Walsh Jennings

Beach Volleyball
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Misty May-Treanor

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Summer Ross

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Kathryn Plummer

Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
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Heather Erickson

Sitting Volleyball
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Micah Christenson

Olympic
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Reid Priddy

Olympic
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Kim Hill

Volleyball