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25% of U.S. Olympic volleyball team from Hawaii, again, in 2021

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2016
                                United States’ Erik Shoji, left, and his brother Kawika Shoji speak on the bench during a men’s preliminary volleyball match against Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 7, 2016. The Shoji brothers will be on the 2021 U.S. Olympic team as well.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2016

    United States’ Erik Shoji, left, and his brother Kawika Shoji speak on the bench during a men’s preliminary volleyball match against Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 7, 2016. The Shoji brothers will be on the 2021 U.S. Olympic team as well.

The United States’ men’s Olympic volleyball team will have 25 percent of its players from Hawaii again.

Setters Micah Christenson and Kawika Shoji and libero Erik Shoji all made the team that will play in the Tokyo Games next month. The roster was announced today by USA Volleyball.

All three are among eight current players that won the bronze medal at Rio de Janiero in 2016.

Christenson (Kamehameha), Kawika Shoji (‘Iolani) and Erik Shoji (Punahou) are all Hawaii high school products. The Shojis are sons of retired Hawaii women’s volleyball coach Dave Shoji.

Former UH standout middle blocker Taylor Averill was announced as one of eight alternates.

Men’s volleyball competition at the Olympics starts July 24, one day after the Opening Ceremony.

Opposite/outside hitter Matt Anderson and middle blocker David Smith made their third Olympic team.

Middle blocker Max Holt and outside hitters Thomas Jaeschke and Taylor Sander join Christenson and the Shoji brothers as second-time Olympians.

Opposite Kyle Ensing, outside hitters T.J. DeFalco and Garrett Muagututia and middle blocker Mitch Stahl made the team for the first time.

The U.S. men are ranked No. 3 in the world and now competing at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Rimini, Italy. Since 2016, the U.S. has finished third at the FIVB World Championship and at the World Cup.

The team will briefly return to its Anaheim training center before heading to Japan. Prior to its arrival in Tokyo, the team will train in the Japanese city of Mishima and play two matches against Japan’s team.

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