After three straight wins from 2010-12, the United States failed to make the podium at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix in the next two editions. In 2014, USA finished sixth for the second consecutive year, but coach Karch Kiraly helped them to bounce back in spectacular fashion by winning the FIVB Volleyball World Championship. Kiraly’s magic helped the team succeed in their quest for a sixth World Grand Prix triumph in the following year in Omaha, then to seize qualification for Rio 2016 through the continental tournament.
In 2013 the US were sixth in the World Grand Prix yet were able to take the silver medal at the World Grand Champions Cup. Since finishing runners-up at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, they have never been out of the top two places in the FIVB world rankings. They displaced Brazil at No.1 following their silver medal at the 2011 World Cup. The South Americans regained top spot in September 2013 after they ended USA’s three-season reign as World Grand Prix champions. But USA took the gold medal at the NORCECA Continental Championships in September 2013 and returned to the top of the rankings after winning World Championship gold in Italy in 2014.