TOKYO: Gold the Goal Once Again for U.S. Women
TOKYO (July 23, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s National Team enters the Olympic Games Tokyo 2021 as the top-ranked team in the world and the three-time FIVB Volleyball Nations League champion.
TOKYO (July 24, 2021) – In a normal Olympic Games, the U.S. Women’s National Team would have to shut out all the noise and keep its focus.
At the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where the stands are mostly empty due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the team is making its own noise to keep the energy flowing. That wasn’t a problem on Sunday as the U.S. Women beat Argentina, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-20) at Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
The U.S. Women (1-0), ranked No. 1 in the world, will be back in action on at 7:05 p.m. PT on Monday against World No. 2 China. Check NBCOlympics.com for live stream and broadcast information.
OFFICIAL STATISTICS * TEAM STATISTICS * MEDIA GUIDE * USA VOLLEYBALL MATCH CENTER
Ringing the bell in her Olympic debut, Opposite Jordan Thompson led all scorers with 20 points on 18 kills (.652) and two blocks.
Thompson said the team had butterflies going into its first Olympic match, but stayed focused on the goal.
“We really wanted to bring a lot of calm energy as a team and I think we did that,” Thompson said. “Knowing it’s the Olympics adds a little bit of pressure. Having no spectators, no fans, we try to create our own energy and I think we do that really well.”
Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, also an Olympic rookie, totaled 12 points on 10 kills and two aces. Three-time Olympian Jordan Larson totaled 10 points on eight kills, one block and one ace.
Setter Jordyn Poulter scored two points on two kills. She combined with backup Micha Hancock to set the U.S. to a .400 hitting efficiency. Opposite Annie Drews also played as a substitute and scored a point.
Libero Justine Wong Orantes was credited with six digs and nine successful receptions.
Middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson scored seven points on five kills and two blocks. Middle blocker Haleigh Washington finished with five points on two kills, two blocks and one ace.
Washington kept things lively in the first set by spinning the ball on her finger during long breaks in play to figure out a scoring issue.
“We’ve had some unusual circumstances come our way,” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “I thought our team handled it really well.
“We were prepared for a faster pace of play. I think we were less prepared for a slower pace of play.”
Another unusual circumstance for the U.S. Women was that Assistant Coach Erin Virtue was missing from the bench. Virtue has been quarantined after it was determined she had been in “close contact” with someone who tested positive for COVID. Virtue has not tested positive and is expected to be on the bench at the team’s next match provided appropriate transportation can be found.
U.S. Women’s Roster for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ.)
2 Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colo., Univ. of Illinois)
4 Justine Wong Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska)
10 Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Univ. of Nebraska)
11 Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ.)
12 Jordan Thompson (OPP, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati)
14 Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Champaign, Ill., Univ. of Illinois)
15 Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine, Univ.)
16 Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson (M, 6-3, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Stanford Univ.)
22 Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ.)
23 Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Univ. of Texas)
Head Coach Karch Kiraly
Asst. Coach Erin Virtue
Asst. Coach Tama Miyashiro
Asst. Coach Luka Slabe
Performance Analyst Jeff Liu
Sport Physiologist & Team Leader Jimmy Stitz
Physical Therapist & ATC Kara Kessans
Consultant Coach Sue Enquist
Consultant Coach Marv Dunphy
Team Doctor Dr. Chris Lee
Second Scout Justin Chang
Olympic Schedule (All times PT)
Jul 24: USA def Argentina, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-20)
July 26 at 7:05 p.m. USA v China
July 29 at 5:45 a.m. USA v Turkey
July 30 at 7:05 p.m. USA v Russian Olympic Committee
Aug. 1 at 7:05 p.m. USA v Italy
Aug. 3/4 Quarterfinals
Aug. 5/6 Semifinals
Aug. 7/8 Medal matches