The USA men’s volleyball team defeated Brazil in four games on Sunday in the Olympic final to win the gold medal. Sean Rooney, a former National Player of the Year at Pepperdine, is among the volleyball gold medalists, as is Pepperdine coach Marv Dunphy, the consultant coach for the victorious USA team (unfortunately, coaches do not receive medals). It’s the first time the USA has won gold in men’s indoor volleyball since Dunphy was the head coach in 1988, and the third time overall. It’s the first medal for the USA volleyball team since winning bronze in 1992.
Rooney was appearing in his first Olympics after first making the USA National Team in 2007. He was a four-time All-American (2002-05) for the Waves and was the National Player of the Year and the MVP of the NCAA Championships as Pepperdine captured the national title in 2005. He would later join the AVP Tour and play in the Korean League.
Though the United States team’s head coach, Hugh McCutcheon, missed several matches while dealing with the aftermath of a violent attack in Beijing that left his father-in-law dead and his mother-in-law injured, the U.S. stayed together in dealing with the tragedy, making the gold medal all the more remarkable.