Born: April 18, 1987
Position: Outside Hitter
Hometown: West Seneca, NY
College: Penn State
USA Olympic Teams: 2012 London
Matt Anderson competed in his first Olympic Games in London after rising to become one of the best attackers in the world. He won a national championship in 2008 and afterward decided not to play his senior season at Penn State, opting instead to play overseas in the Korean Volleyball League. He joined the national team in 2008. After struggling for a few years to get accustomed to the international game, Anderson improved dramatically in 2011 and by 2012 he was leading the U.S. in scoring on numerous occasions and was one of the key attack threats for the American team.
Anderson played for Penn State for three seasons. In that time he led the Nittany Lions to the school’s second-ever national title in 2008. Penn State beat Pepperdine in the final match in four sets. Anderson had 29 kills and hit .451 in the win and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship. That year Penn State became only the second school to win national titles with the men’s and women’s volleyball team in the same academic year.
Anderson finished his career with 1,212 kills and 82 aces (8th all-time) over his three years. In his final season, he recorded 567 kills, which placed him sixth all-time in that category. Anderson is one of only a few players in the history of the sport to forgo a senior season in order to pursue a career in international indoor volleyball. He played overseas in Korea and Italy.
Anderson made his debut in his first Olympics in London 2012. As the starting outside hitter and a large part of the offense for the defending gold medalists, Anderson showed himself as an important piece in the U.S. team’s success.
Anderson played in more sets than any other men’s team player in 2011 and was the team’s leading scorer for the year. He helped lead the Americans to a silver medal finish at the 2012 World League, the last tournament before the London Olympics. The finish was the best for the men’s team since 2008. Anderson was the team’s leading scorer with 248 points on 205 kills, 32 blocks and 11 aces.
The men’s team qualified for the Olympics at the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier in Long Beach, CA. Anderson was also the leading scorer in that tournament with 64 points on 52 kills, four blocks and eight aces.
The men’s team went into London ranked 5th in the world, but is considered a medal contender because of the team’s vast experience and talent.
Off the Court:
- Youngest of five children
- Has three sisters, Jennifer, Joelle and Amy and one brother Joshua
- Sister Joelle played volleyball at the College of Saint Rose
- Sister Amy played volleyball and basketball at Hilbert College
- Has a tattoo in memory of his late father Michael on his rib cage. His father had been diagnosed with kidney cancer and was recovering after a successful operation when he passed away from a heart attack in January 2010.
- 2007 Set a rally-scoring era record at Penn State for kills in a match with 35 against Santa Barbara
- 2008 include EIVA Player of the Year
- 2008 AVCA Co-National Player of the Year (with Paul Lotman)
- 2008 AVCA First Team All-America
- 2008 EIVA Player of the Year
- 2008 All-EIVA First Team
- 2012 Best Spiker at NORCECA Olympic Qualifier in Long Beach, CA
- Team Leader in attacks at 2011 FIVB World Cup
- Leading Scorer for U.S. at 2011 World League
- Leading scorer for U.S. in 2012 World League