The United States gave away 44 points on errors in a five-set loss to France on Friday, but clinched its spot in the Final Six regardless of the defeat.
Brenden Sander is making his debut with Team USA this weekend in the Volleyball Nations League.
With the top three teams in the VNL standings plus seventh place Italy in Pool 20, it could be considered the group of death in terms of toughness. The Russians and Americans are just mere points away from the Final Six, while Italy will rely on home court advantage to push through.
The battle for the Final Six is very much alive with only four teams mathematically eliminated: Iran (4-7), Argentina (2-10), China (2-10) and South Korea (1-11).
Six starters scored, led by Matt Anderson’s 18 points, as the United States finished off a perfect 3-0 week at home in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
It was another day of shocking results in the Volleyball Nations League and as the dust settled, France, the USA and Russia are now the top three teams.
The United States left little question which was the better team in a home sweep of Poland on Saturday, climbing into second place in the VNL standings with the win.
BluVolley Verona has announced that tests performed in Chicago have found a torn ACL in Thomas Jaeschke’s left knee.
Thomas Jaeschke (#17) had 9 points before leaving early in the 2nd set.
After 10 matches, four teams stand at 8-2, but Finals host France boasts the top spot in the standings with 25 points. Poland, Brazil and the United States follow.