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 (0-0) vs. Belgium (0-0)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. (Noon 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); Belgium (1968)
Olympic medals: United States (1984 gold, 1988 gold, 1992 bronze, 2008 gold, 2016 bronze); Belgium (none)
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 Belgium roster: None
What to know: There is no question about who is the tournament favorite in Pool B. The United States as the defending Olympic bronze medalists and the defending FIVB Volleyball Nations League silver medalists will attempt to qualify for its 10th consecutive Olympics as it plays Belgium in its tournament opener. Nine players from the 2016 Olympics return for the United States, including former Penn State All-American opposite Matt Anderson. Anderson finished the recent Volleyball Nations League Finals in the tournament’s top five with both 50 kills and a 49.02 percent offensive efficiency and was named the most valuable player. The opposite had a match-high 20 kills to help the United States defeat the world’s top-ranked team Brazil in the semifinals of the Volleyball Nations League Finals. Along with Anderson, former BYU All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander contributed 15 kills in that semifinal victory. He also concluded the Volleyball Nations League Finals with a tournament-best 57.50 percent offensive efficiency and led the United States with a 0.31 aces per game average. Belgium is trying to reach the Olympics for the first time in 58 years. The team the last two years has not qualified for the Volleyball Nations League Finals and finished the 2019 CEV European Golden League in 11th place. Opposite Lou Kindt led all players in that tournament with a 4.40 kills per game average and was in the top five with a 57.29 percent offensive efficiency.

Netherlands (0-0) vs. South Korea (0-0)
Match vitals:
4 p.m. (9 a.m. CST) in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Olympic appearances: Netherlands (1964, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004); South Korea (1964, 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)
Olympic medals: Netherlands (1992 silver, 1996 gold); South Korea (none)
NCAA players on Netherlands roster: Stijn van Tilburg (Hawai’i 2016-19)
NCAA players on South Korea roster: None

Pool A matches

Brazil (0-0) vs. Puerto Rico (0-0)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. (9 a.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); Puerto Rico (none)
Olympic medals: Brazil (1984 silver, 1992 gold, 2004 gold, 2008 silver, 2012 silver, 2016 gold); Puerto Rico (none)
NCAA players on Brazil roster: None
NCAA players on Puerto Rico roster: Dennis Del Valle (Penn State 2008-11); Gabi Garcia Fernandez (BYU); Arturo Iglesias (Cal Baptist 2015-17); Oscar Fiorentino (Barton); Brian Negron (George Mason 2015-18); Pedro Nieves (Grand View (NAIA) 2013-16); Eddie Rivera (Purdue Fort Wayne 2011-14); Antonio Elias Rodriguez (Lewis); Jonathan Rodriguez (Springfield 2016-17); Sequiel Sanchez (Elms 2009, Baruch 2010); Maurice Torres (Pepperdine 2010-13); Pelegrin Vargas (Purdue Fort Wayne)

Egypt (0-0) vs. Bulgaria (0-0)
Match vitals:
8:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. CST) in Varna, Bulgaria
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Egypt (1984, 2000, 2008, 2016); Bulgaria (1964, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2008, 2012)
Olympic medals: Egypt (none); Bulgaria (1980 silver)
NCAA players on Egypt roster: None
NCAA players on Brazil roster: Radoslav Parapunov (Hawai’i)

Pool C matches

Australia (0-0) vs. Serbia (0-0)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. (11 a.m. CST) in Bari, Italy
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Australia (2000, 2004, 2012); Serbia (1980, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012
Olympic medals: Australia (none); Serbia (1996 bronze, 2000 gold)
NCAA players on Australia roster: Paul Carroll (Pepperdine 2006-09)
NCAA players on Serbia roster: None

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

Pool D matches

Poland (0-0) vs. Tunisia (0-0)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. (10 a.m. CST) in Gdansk, Poland
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Poland (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016); Tunisia (1972, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2004, 2012)
Olympic medals: Poland (1976 gold); Tunisia (none)
NCAA players on Poland roster: None
NCAA players on Tunisia roster: None

France (0-0) vs. Slovenia (0-0)
Match vitals:
8:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m.) in Gdansk, Poland
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: France (1988, 1992, 2004, 2016); Slovenia (none)
Olympic medals: France (none); Slovenia (none)
NCAA players on France roster: Kevin Tillie (UC Irvine 2012-13)
NCAA players on Slovenia roster: None

Pool E matches

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

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

Pool F matches

China (0-0) vs. Finland (0-0)
Match vitals:
3 p.m. (2 a.m. CST) in Ningbo, China
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: China (1988, 2008); Finland (none)
Olympic medals: China (none); Finland (none)
NCAA players on China roster: None
NCAA players on Finland roster: None

Canada (0-0) vs. Argentina (0-0)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. CST) in Ningbo, China
Follow live: Live stats
Olympic appearances: Canada (1976, 1984, 1992, 2016); Argentina (1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012, 2016)
Olympic medals: Canada (none); Argentina (1988 bronze)
NCAA players on Canada roster: Daenan Gyimah (UCLA)
NCAA players on Argentina roster: None