The path for the United States to reach the medal podium at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals is set.
The FIVB announced Monday that the United States will be in a pool with France and Russia for the opening round of the Finals that begins next week in Chicago.
The six teams qualifying for the Volleyball Nations League were placed into one of two three-team pools. The top-two teams in each pool following the round-robin opening round will qualify for the semifinals.
The United States opens the Finals against France on Wednesday, July 10 and then closes out the opening round against Russia on Friday, July 12.
As the host nation, the United States earned an automatic berth to the Finals. The team, though, finished the preliminary round in sixth place and would have qualified for the Finals even without the automatic bid.
The United States while resting a majority of its starters throughout the preliminary round went 1-1 versus Russia and France.
Former BYU All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander finished with a team-high 15 kills and added three blocks as the United States defeated France in four games in June. In addition, the United States on the road suffered a three-game loss to Russia during the second week of the five-week preliminary round.
This is the sixth consecutive year that the United States has reached Finals of the Volleyball Nations League and the tournament’s predecessor the FIVB World League.
The United States in the Finals also has advanced to the semifinals the last two years and won the bronze medal in 2018.
Along with the three teams in Pool A, Brazil, Iran and Poland will compete in Pool B at the upcoming Finals.