Jeff Passan source:

U.S.A. men's volleyball rises above all obstacles

Fourth-Place Medal

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The U.S. men's volleyball team has been on an emotional roller coaster unlike any other at these Beijing Games. Over the last week, the team's head coach Hugh McCutcheon, has had to deal with the shocking trauma of the attack on his in-laws, leaving his father-in-law dead, and his mother-in-law fighting for her life in a Beijing hospital. If you're not familiar with their story, I suggest you read Dan Wetzel's column.

As Wetzel points out in his column, instead of becoming overwhelmed with grief and emotion, the Americans rose to the occasion.The team seems to have come even closer together in the face of this horrific tragedy.

I watched early Sunday morning as Lioy Ball (right) and the U.S. raced out to a 2-0 lead over the Venezuelans, and then appeared to run out of steam, as the team from Venezuela came back to tie the match up.

The Venezuelan team, playing in their first Olympics had something to prove. Instead of just rolling over, the Americans did what they needed to do to secure the win. I'll be rooting for this team as they take on Italy and hope they can continue to win under such intense pressure.

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