Matt Anderson led scoring as USA booked their place at Tokyo 2020 with victory at a qualification tournament in the Netherlands
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 11, 2020 – Matt Anderson has said that he has no intention of joining the ranks of players who have switched from volleyball to beach volleyball.
The USA spiker was responding on Instagram to questions posted from volleyball fans to his club Modena, who were second in Italy’s SuperLega, one point behind Lube Civitanova before the league was suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
He wouldn’t be the first to switch from the arena to beach. USA women’s coach Karch Kiraly won volleyball Olympic gold at the Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, and then switched to beach volleyball where he added a third gold by winning at Atlanta 1996 when the sport made its Olympic debut.
“I had the grand idea of when I first started playing that beach volleyball would be a great retirement sport,” Anderson said. “That is coming from an East Coast boy who played beach volleyball maybe 10, 15 times in my life.
“I don’t know what goes into this sport and I’m only assuming it is only extreme training. We train out in California with Team USA and some of the beach players train in the gym with us and they are pushing themselves as hard as we are and training on the beach every day.
“The idea of the sport is the same, three contacts, but it is a different game tactically and doesn’t fit into my indoor game. It would take me a long time to be competitive in the sport and by that time I would be too old.”
Ordinarily Anderson would be looking forward to helping USA chase a place on the podium at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
The USA booked their place at Tokyo 2020 when they topped Pool B from the Tokyo Olympic Qualification Tournament in August. The USA defeated hosts the Netherlands in the deciding match in which Anderson led USA's scoring with 19 points.
However, with the Italian league suspended and the Olympic Games postponed for 12 months Anderson, 32, has returned to Indianapolis in the USA with his fiancé and son, where he is working to maintain his fitness.