The HeadquartersCorporate ProfileThe OrganisationFIVB Story
Volleyball StoryChronological HighlightsBeach Volleyball OriginsRulesFundamentals
CompetitionsCalendarWorld RankingsOfficial RulesOfficial FormsVolleyball Story
CompetitionsPlayer BiosWorld RankingsRulesFormsBeach Volleyball OriginsRefereeing
Volleyball Cooperation Programme (VCP)Development CentresTechnical e-libraryTechnical Video EvaluationU-VolleyInternational CooperationMini/School VolleyballPark Volley
Contact l RSS RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube l Login

Team comes first for USA’s Aaron Russell

Aaron Russell in action for Team USA
Lausanne, Switzerland, January 28, 2020 – Recently elected Co-Player of the Year by USA Volleyball, alongside Matt Anderson, Aaron Russell spoke to during the FIVB Volleyball World Cup last October about playing for the United States, sharing his experience on court and his hopes for the future.

“I am a lot more experienced now and there are a lot of young guys in the team. I try to come in with a veteran role now, teaching and leading, as compared to the last World Cup,” Russell said. 

The 26-year-old outside hitter from Maryland delivered consistently for Team USA earning a spot in the Top 10 scorers of the 2019 World Cup. He was also pivotal in USA's qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games earlier in the season when his team topped the qualification tournament in Rotterdam. “I think, especially now with Taylor Sander injured, that has signaled a huge change,” he said. 

Russell played college volleyball with Pennsylvania State University, and built a club career in Italy. He played for Sir Safety Perugia from 2015 to 2018, before transferring to his current team Trentino Volley. 

“I love living in Italy. It’s awesome!” Russell said.

“I really miss the food, maybe halfway through the summer, I started missing Italian food. I’m excited to get back there,” he added. 

Russell will continue to wear the Trentino Volley jersey for the 2019-2020 season.

He says: “I love where I am now. I think that Trento, and being up in the Dolomites in Northern Italy, up in the Alps, I think that’s a beautiful spot. My wife loves it too, so we’re both happy. If the opportunity continues to present itself to us, I think we would really love to stay on in Italy.” 

Coming into his fifth year of playing in Italy’s Superlega, Russell could not be any more grateful for the people who have helped to grow his game. 

“I’ve played alongside Ivan Zaytsev, Aleksandr Atanasijevic, Luciano De Cecco, Uros Kovacevic, Simone Giannelli, a lot of big names. I’ve been coached by some great coaches too, and I think I learned a lot from all of them. I think their professionalism too, like how they approach the game and their volleyball IQ has rubbed off on me,” the American said.

Team USA with the bronze in Rio

Russell has helped USA to honours at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the 2015 World Cup, the 2018 World Championship, World League and Volleyball Nations League. 

In 2018, Russell was also part of his club Trentino Volley's victories in the CEV Cup and the FIVB Men's Club World Championship, when he picked up the Most Valuable Player award.

Russell with MVP honours in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship

“I’ve always based my success on my team’s success. A lot of times, people go for individual awards but I just wanna step on to the court and represent my team well,” he said.

Russell receives the Mikasa

“I’ll play hard, and if I get an individual award, that’s great. But in the end, I’m looking for gold medals for Team USA. It would be nice to win a VNL gold, and definitely, the Olympic gold. That’s the main goal,” said Russell.

This article was first published in October 2019 during the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup in Japan.


 Additional links
   Download high-resolution photo
   FIVB home page
   Volleyball home page


Latest headlines