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US Men's Volleyball Team Handles France in Olympic Opener

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The U.S. men’s volleyball team began its Tokyo Olympic slate with a dominant performance against France.

Team USA won in three sets, going 25-18, 25-18, 25-22 in its first match of Pool B play. Team USA entered the Olympics at No. 5 in the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball rankings, while France ranked No. 4.

The U.S. was the stronger side from the start, claiming the first set with relative ease. France kept the second set closer, staying within two points until midway through the set. The U.S. proceeded to pull away and take another 25-18 set.

The team closed France out with a more contested third set. Despite a 25-22 score, France was unable to make a serious push to stop Team USA from winning in straight sets.

Matthew Anderson, competing in his third Olympics, tallied 13 points. Taylor Sander led the team with 15 points, while TJ DeFalco contributed 10. 

While Team USA spread the scoring around, it was Micah Christenson facilitating the offense. The 28-year-old setter finished with 43 of the team’s 46 assists in the match.

With eight returning Olympians on the roster, Team USA is looking to win a medal for the second straight Games and claim its first Olympic gold since 2008.

Next up for the Americans is a matchup against the Russian Olympic Committee at 10:05 p.m. ET on Sunday. ROC won its first game over Argentina in four sets.