Three former Cougars headed to Tokyo Olympics with USA Volleyball


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Three former Cougars have been named to USA Volleyball rosters for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. Taylor Sander (‘14) will compete in his second Olympics along with assistant coach Mike Wall (‘02). Luka Slabe (‘03) is on staff with the USA’s women's team as assistant. 

Wall and Sander are returning to the Olympic stage after taking the bronze medal in Rio in 2016. Right now the men sit at No. 3 in the world and are looking for a podium finish in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League prior to Tokyo. 

Former Cougars Ben Patch and Brenden Sander are also competing with Team USA in the VNL and have been named olympic team alternates. 

Slabe is making his Olympic debut with the women’s team as an assistant coach. Slabe, a former BYU player and assistant coach, currently serves as head coach of the NC State women’s volleyball program. He joined the USA coaching staff in 2019 and earned a gold medal with the squad in the 2019 VNL. The US women are ranked No. 1 in the world and are on course to clinch their third straight VNL title.

The 2020 Olympic Games, which were postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled to begin on July 23. The men’s volleyball tournament will commence on July 24 with the women’s starting July 25. 

Following the conclusion of the VNL, the Olympic team will return to the national team training facility in Anaheim, Calif. before making their way to Japan.