Lost somewhere in the discussion over what has happened to the U.S. men's volleyball team, winner of the last two Olympic gold medals but struggling somewhat until Saturday's three-game sweep of France, is Bryan Ivie.
Ivie, a 6-foot-7 middle blocker from Manhattan Beach and USC, was the only non-'88 Olympian in this year's starting lineup, but he was certainly no fuzzy-faced rookie. To many--even with veterans such as Steve Timmons, Jeff Stork and Doug Partie around--Ivie was the star-to-be. Or right now.
But late in the second game of the opening match against Japan, Ivie hurt his right knee, and since then he has sat on the bench with a tight black wrap on the injury. The diagnosis is torn cartilage.
And the moment Ivie felt the first stab of pain was not in the heat of action. It was when he straightened up after bending over to wipe off a wet spot on the floor while play was stopped.