Player of the Week: Matt Anderson
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, July 13, 2020 – Very few players are able
to play multiple positions at the highest level in international
volleyball but American star Matt Anderson is one of them.
The 33-year-old veteran has been part of the USA men’s national
team since 2008 and has been effective when deployed as an
outside hitter or as an opposite. Even though his versatility is
only possible because of his tremendous ability in several
skills, Anderson believes it’s his mindset that makes him
effective regardless of his position.
“My confidence is not necessarily in that I can spike, serve,
dig or pass the ball,” he explained. “It’s the ability to want
the ball in the big moments and to be comfortable with it and
trust myself that I’ll make the right decision.”
Anderson joined the national team at an important moment, right
after the Americans claimed the gold medal at the Beijing 2008
Olympics. He steadily grew his role until he became a key piece
in the team that took fifth at the London Games with several
members of the squad that had won gold in the Chinese capital.
The following Olympic cycle was considerably more successful for
the Americans and Anderson played a pivotal role. He was voted
the Most Valuable Player in their triumph at the 2015 FIVB
Volleyball Men's World Cup and was a key element in their
victory in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League and their
bronze medal campaign at the Rio 2016
The USA made it to the semifinals in all major international
competitions between 2017 and 2019 and Anderson was the best
opposite of the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup,
of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship and of the
first two editions of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League – he
was also the MVP of the tournament in 2019.
The American star has also enjoyed a successful career at the
club level, especially during his seven-season stint with
Russian giants Zenit Kazan, when the team won six editions of
the Russian Cup and four of the Russian Superleague, Russian
Super Cup and the European Champions League. The club also
collected three medals at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World
Championship, including gold in the 2017 edition.