The Olympic debut for U.S. outside attacker Aaron Russell could not have gotten much better.
Russell earned the tournament’s Best Outside Attacker award from the FIVB after helping lead the United States to the Olympic bronze medal on Sunday in Rio.
The former Penn State All-American finished in the tournament’s top five with both 96 kills and a .335 attack percentage. He also had six matches with double-digit kills, including a match-high 12 kills on a .400 attack percentage in a quarterfinals sweep against Poland.
Along with his offensive performance, Russell was among the top 20 in the tournament with 17 digs and added seven blocks and four aces
Russell, who while in college led Penn State to four NCAA Tournament appearances and the recipient of the 2015 Karch Kiraly Award, was the only U.S. player to earn Olympic all-tournament honors. The United States with its bronze-medal performance won the nation’s fifth all-time Olympic indoor men’s volleyball medal and its second in the last three Olympics.
The gold-medalists Brazil led all teams with four players selected to the all-tournament team. In addition, Brazilian libero Sergio Santos was named the Olympics Most Valuable Player.
FIVB 2016 Olympics Dream Team
MVP: Sergio Santos, Brazil
Best Setter: Bruno Rezende, Brazil
Best Opposite: Wallace de Souza, Brazil
Best Outside Attacker: Ricardo Lucarelli, Brazil
Best Outside Attacker: Aaron Russell, United States
Best Middle Attacker: Emanuele Birarelli, Italy
Best Middle Attacker: Artem Volvich, Russia
Best Libero: Sergio Santos, Brazil