At the end of a major tournament, it often seems like the silver medalists are the most disappointed team on the podium. Sure, the bronze medalists lost in the semifinals, but they finished the tournament with a win.
It wasn’t exactly the Curse of the Bambino, but the members of the U.S. men’s national volleyball team are no less relieved to have finally vanquished the semifinal curse that has kept them out of gold-medal matches in four major tournaments in the past four seasons.
With a pair of four-set victories in Final Round pool play, the U.S. women’s national team moved a step closer to repeating as the Volleyball Nations League champion. And they did it with two almost completely different starting lineups.