Olympic qualification men’s volleyball matches to follow today

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

Six berths to the 2020 Olympic men’s volleyball tournament will be at stake this weekend.

The FIVB’s new Olympic qualification system will feature six pools that are each comprised of four teams. The team with the best record in every pool following a three-match round robin will clinch six of the 11 remaining berths to the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo.

Check out the Olympic qualification matches to follow today and how to follow the matches live.

Pool B matches

United States (2-0, 6 points) vs. Netherlands (5-0, 2 points)
Match vitals:
4 p.m. (9 a.m. CST) in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Follow live: Live stats, Live video, In-match tweets
Olympic appearances: United States (1964, 1968, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016); Netherlands (1964, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004);
Olympic medals: United States (1984 gold, 1988 gold, 1992 bronze, 2008 gold, 2016 bronze); Netherlands (1992 silver, 1996 gold)
NCAA players on U.S. roster: Matt Anderson (Penn State 2006-08); Micah Christenson (USC 2012-15); Max Holt (Penn State 2006-09); Thomas Jaeschke (Loyola 2013-15); Jeff Jendryk (Loyola 2015-18); Micah Ma’a (UCLA 2016-19); Garrett Muagututia (UCLA 2007-10); Ben Patch (BYU 2013, 2016-17); Aaron Russell (Penn State 2012-15); Taylor Sander (BYU 2011-14); Erik Shoji (Stanford 2009-12); Kawika Shoji (Stanford 2007-10); Mitch Stahl (UCLA 2014-17); David Smith (UC Irvine 2004-07)
NCAA players on Netherlands roster: None
What to know: One match is all that separates the United States from earning a berth to the 2020 Olympics. The United States will face the Netherlands on the final day of the Olympic qualification tournament in a de facto championship match for the pool’s lone berth to the 2020 Olympics. Both teams enter their tournament finale undefeated in the four-team pool with victories against South Korea and Bulgaria. Former Penn State All-American Aaron Russell leads the United States with a combined 26 kills in the two matches, including a match-high 16 kills in a four-game victory against Belgium on Friday. Russell also has a tournament-best 65 percent offensive efficiency in the Olympic qualification matches. Along with Russell’s offensive performance, the United States has one of the top defensive players at the tournament. Libero Erik Shoji is second among all players in the pool with a 2.14 digs per game average and has a tournament-best 50 percent excellent reception efficiency. The Netherlands opened Olympic qualification overcoming a two-game deficit to avoid an upset against South Korea on Friday and then swept Belgium on Saturday. Opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz finished with a match-high 19 kills on a 67.9 percent in the victory against Belgium. In addition, Abdel-Aziz leads all players at the tournament with 29 kills and is in the tournament’s top five with a 54.7 percent offensive efficiency. This will be one of the first meetings between the two teams since the United States went 3-1 against the Netherlands in the 2009 FIVB World League.

Belgium (0-2, 0 points) vs. South Korea (0-2, 1 point)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. (Noon CST) in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Belgium (1968); South Korea (1964, 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)
Olympic medals: Belgium (none); South Korea (none)
NCAA players on Belgium roster: None
NCAA players on South Korea roster: None

Pool A matches

Puerto Rico (0-2, 0 points) vs. Egypt (0-2, 0 points)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. (9 a.m. CST) in Varna, Bulgaria
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Puerto Rico (none); Egypt (1984, 2000, 2008, 2016)
Olympic medals: Puerto Rico (none); Egypt (none)
NCAA players on Puerto Rico roster: Dennis Del Valle (Penn State 2008-11); Gabi Garcia Fernandez (BYU); Arturo Iglesias (Cal Baptist 2015-17); Brian Negron (George Mason 2015-18); Pedro Nieves (Grand View (NAIA) 2013-16); Jonathan Rodriguez (Springfield 2016-17); Sequiel Sanchez (Elms 2009, Baruch 2010); Maurice Torres (Pepperdine 2010-13); Pelegrin Vargas (Purdue Fort Wayne)
NCAA players on Egypt roster: None

Brazil (2-0, 6 points) vs. Bulgaria (1-0, 3 points)
Match vitals:
8:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. CST) in Varna, Bulgaria
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Brazil (1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016); Bulgaria (1964, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2008, 2012)
Olympic medals: Brazil (1984 silver, 1992 gold, 2004 gold, 2008 silver, 2012 silver, 2016 gold); Bulgaria (1980 silver)
NCAA players on Brazil roster: None
NCAA players on Bulgaria roster: None

Pool C matches

Australia (0-2, 1 point) vs. Cameroon (0-2, 0 points)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. (11 a.m. CST) in Bari, Italy
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Australia (2000, 2004, 2012); Cameroon (none)
Olympic medals: Australia (none); Cameroon (none)
NCAA players on Australia roster: Paul Carroll (Pepperdine 2006-09)
NCAA players on Cameroon roster: None

Serbia (2-0, 6 points) vs. Italy (2-0, 5 points)
Match vitals:
9:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. CST) in Bari, Italy
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Olympic appearances: Serbia (1980, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012); Italy (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)
Olympic medals: Serbia (1996 bronze, 2000 gold); Italy (1984 bronze, 1996 silver, 2000 bronze, 2004 silver, 2012 bronze, 2016 silver)
NCAA players on Serbia roster: None
NCAA players on Italy roster: None

Pool D matches

Tunisia (0-2, 0 points) vs. France (1-1, 3 points)
Match vitals:
Noon (5 a.m. CST) in Gdansk, Poland
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Tunisia (1972, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2004, 2012); France (1988, 1992, 2004, 2016)
Olympic medals: France (none); Tunisia (none)
NCAA players on Tunisia roster: None
NCAA players on France roster: Kevin Tillie (UC Irvine 2012-13)

Poland (2-0, 6 points) vs. Slovenia (1-1, 3 points)
Match vitals:
3 p.m. (8 a.m. CST) in Gdansk, Poland
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Poland (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016); Slovenia (none)
Olympic medals: Poland (1976 gold); Slovenia (none)
NCAA players on Poland roster: None
NCAA players on Slovenia roster: None

Pool E matches

Cuba (0-2, 1 point) vs. Mexico (0-2, 0 points)
Match vitals:
4 p.m. (8 a.m. CST) in St. Petersburg, Russia
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Cuba (1972, 1976, 1980, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2016); Mexico (1968, 2016)
Olympic medals: Cuba (1976 bronze); Mexico (none)
NCAA players on Cuba roster: None
NCAA players on Mexico roster: None

Russia (2-0, 6 points) vs. Iran (2-0, 5 point)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. (11 a.m. CST) in St. Petersburg, Russia
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Olympic appearances: Russia (1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016); Iran (2016)
Olympic medals: Russia (1964 gold, 1968 gold, 1972 bronze, 1976 silver, 1980 gold, 1988 silver, 2000 silver, 2004 bronze, 2008 bronze, 2012 gold); Iran (none)
NCAA players on Russia roster: None
NCAA players on Iran roster: None

Pool F matches

Finland (0-2, 0 points) vs. Canada (1-1, 2 points)
Match vitals:
3 p.m. (2 a.m. CST) in Ningbo, China
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Finland (none); Canada (1976, 1984, 1992, 2016)
Olympic medals: Finland (none); Canada (none)
NCAA players on Finland roster: None
NCAA players on Canada roster: None

China (1-1, 4 points) vs. Argentina (2-0, 6 points)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. CST) in Ningbo, China
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Olympic appearances: China (1988, 2008); Argentina (1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012, 2016)
Olympic medals: China (none); Argentina (1988 bronze)
NCAA players on China roster: None
NCAA players on Argentina roster: None