Having defeated the world number one Brazil 3-1 in the final of the 2014 World League in July, the United States go into the World Championship on a high. They will be hopeful of a re-run of their glorious 1986 campaign, when they won the gold medal in France. That success was the first of two podium finishes for the United States in the World Championships and was followed by a bronze medal in 1994. Four years ago, in Italy, they finished sixth. Of the 14 times the United States have qualified for this competition, they have finished in the top 10 on eight occasions.
Three-time Olympic champions – in 1984, 1988 and 2008 – in the London 2012 Olympic Games the United States took fifth place after losing to Italy in the quarterfinals. Having taken second place in the 2012 World League, and winning the NORCECA Championship in 2013 for the first time in six years, their 2014 World League triumph means they will be among the favourites in Poland.
They have been a dominant force in North American volleyball since the 1980s, only failing to finish in the top two of the NORCECA Championship once in the previous 17 editions, dating back to 1981.