It was only fitting for an U.S. Olympic Team that twice played in a decisive fifth game during the elimination round to pull off a narrow victory in the finals of a tournament to determine the best U.S. Men’s Olympic Team of all-time.
The gold medalist 2008 U.S. Olympic Team received 51.69 percent of the total vote to beat the gold medalist 1988 U.S. Olympic Team by less than 4 percentage points in the championship round of the Best of U.S. Men’s Volleyball at the Games.
The Best of U.S. Men’s Volleyball at Games was a bracket-style tournament pairing former United States men’s volleyball teams against each other and the winner being determined throughout online voting on the Off the Block website.
The 2008 U.S. team ended a 16-year medal drought as it went undefeated in the Olympic tournament to capture the nation’s third men’s volleyball gold medal. The United States won three of its eight Olympic matches in a decisive fifth game, including a win against Serbia in the quarterfinals and a win versus Russia in the semifinals.
Opposite Clay Stanley had a match-high 15 kills to help the United States defeated the defending-champions Brazil in the gold-medal match. Stanley was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Best Scorer and Best Server after leading all players with 116 kills and 15 aces.
This U.S. team entered the Off the Block tournament as the No. 2 overall seed. In addition, it beat the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team in the quarterfinals and the gold medalist 1984 U.S. Olympic Team in the semifinals before upsetting the No. 1 overall seed 1988 U.S. Olympic Team in the finals.
The 1988 U.S. team finished the Olympic tournament undefeated and lost a combined four games throughout the entire event. Karch Kiraly also was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Steve Timmons earned Best Blocker honors in the United States’ gold medal repeat.
With the upcoming Olympics, Off the Block created this online tournament in an effort to honor and celebrate the history of USA Volleyball at the international games. The United States will attempt to win the nation’s fourth men’s volleyball gold medal as it competes in the Olympic tournament beginning Aug. 8.