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Shujis and Christenson head to the Tokyo Olympics

Shujis and Christenson head to the Tokyo Olympics

Eric Shoji (left) and his brother Kaweka Shoji talk on the bench during a preliminary match against Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics. AP File Photo

L’Associated Press e Maui News

Coach John Spiro announced Monday that Oahu residents Mika Christenson, Kaoka and Eric Shuji are among 12 players selected for the US men’s volleyball team for next month’s Tokyo Olympics.

The Shoji brothers – sons of legendary University of Hawaii coach Dave Shoji – and Christenson were all part of the US bronze medal team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Setter Christenson and Libero Erik Shoji started a match for bronze against Russia, which moved the US to victory them in five groups.

Three other players (center-defender Max Holt, winger Thomas Jasek and Taylor Sander) are making their second Olympic appearances, while Matt Anderson and David Smith have been selected for their third Olympics.

There will be four new Olympians on the team along with Kyle Ensing, outsiders TJ DeFalco and Garrett Mugotia, and goalkeeper Mitch Stahl.

Mika Christenson of the United States dives for the ball during a preliminary men’s volleyball match against Italy at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 9, 2016. Christenson and his fellow Native Hawaiians Kaweka and Eric Shuji have been selected to participate in the tournament. The next US team in the Tokyo Olympics.

The American men are ranked third in the world and currently compete in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Rimini, Italy.

The Tokyo Olympics are expected to open on July 23, and the American men are expected to begin the preliminary match on July 24 against France.

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