COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Former BYU outside hitter Taylor Sander led the U.S. Men’s National Team to defeat the world’s No. 1 Brazil 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) Sunday, clinching the FIVB World League gold medal for a second time in the team’s history.
Sander led Team USA in points for the third-consecutive match. He notched 24 points in the contest on 22 kills, earning him MVP honors of the tournament. He was also named Best Spiker.
Two and a half months ago, Sander was playing for BYU in the NCAA Men's National Championships.
“Taylor Sander played an amazing game,” USA middle blocker David Lee said. “Guys like him are the future, and tonight really couldn’t have worked out better.”
Team USA handled three key phases of the match with Brazil, winning in attacks (60-51), blocks (14-11) and digs (42-40), on their way to the 3-1 win.
With the win, the U.S. joins Brazil (9), Italy (8), and Russia (3) as teams that have won gold more than once at the FIVB World League.
The last gold-medal win for Team USA at the FIVB World League came against Serbia in 2008.
Next up for the team will be the USA Volleyball Cup against Iran in August.