Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Preview: New Blood for U.S. Women Highlights 2017

The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked No. 2 in the world by the FIVB, is gearing up for the start of the 2020 Olympic quadrennial with an infusion of fresh talent. After their bronze-medal performance at the 2016 Olympic Games, the team is looking to make a strong statement in the upcoming season.

Training Season and New Faces

The team kicked off its 2017 training season on May 1 at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, which is also the host city for the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Teams. Head coach Karch Kiraly has invited several new players to train with the team this summer, giving them a chance to impress the coaching staff and earn a spot on the tournament roster.

While the newcomers are working hard to prove themselves, many of the veterans will take some time off this summer to recover from the demanding 2016-17 volleyball season. In addition, the team is looking to fill the voids left by retirements and players stepping away from the game temporarily.

International Tournaments and Friendly Matches

The U.S. Women’s National Team is scheduled to participate in three international tournaments in 2017. They will also have a friendly home match against No. 19 Canada and host No. 4 Brazil in the two-match USA Volleyball Cup.

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The team will first face Canada on June 13 in San Juan Capistrano, California, before heading to the Pan American Cup in Lima, Peru. The Pan Am Cup, now in its 16th year, features teams from NORCECA and South America competing for the title. The Americans have had success in the tournament in recent years, winning three out of the past five editions.

FIVB World Grand Prix

After the Pan American Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team will compete in the FIVB World Grand Prix. The preliminary round will take them to China and Brazil, where they will face tough competition from some of the world’s best teams.

To advance to the World Grand Prix Finals in Nanjing, China, the U.S. team must finish among the top five teams, excluding host China, in the preliminary standings. The World Grand Prix has been a successful tournament for the Americans, who have won it six times, second only to Brazil.

New Blood and Exciting Storylines

The 2017 season brings new faces and exciting storylines to the U.S. Women’s National Team. Here are a few highlights:

  • Tori Dixon on Comeback Trail: After suffering an ACL tear in 2016, Tori Dixon is determined to make a strong comeback and compete for a spot in the 2020 Olympics. She has already shown resilience in the face of adversity, having overcome heart surgery in 2013.

  • Opportunity for New Talent: With several players retiring or taking time off in 2017, there is a prime opportunity for the next generation of athletes to showcase their talents and secure a spot on the team leading up to the Tokyo Olympics.

  • Competition at Setter: The position of setter will see intense competition this season, with the absence of 2016 Olympians Courtney Thompson and Alisha Glass. Four setters with limited international experience will be training alongside 2016 Olympian Carli Lloyd.

  • Sibling Power: For the first time, the U.S. Women’s National Team has two sets of sisters training together. Paige and Hannah Tapp, as well as Amber and Kadie Rolfzen, bring a unique dynamic to the team.

  • Quest for Olympic Gold: Despite their success in recent years, including three consecutive Olympic medal finishes, the team is still in pursuit of Olympic gold. With their sights set on Tokyo, the U.S. Women’s National Team is determined to make history.

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FAQs

Q: How successful has the U.S. Women’s National Team been in the Olympics?
A: The team has medaled in each of the last three Olympic Games, winning silver in 2008 and 2012, and bronze in 2016. However, they have yet to secure the Olympic gold.

Q: Who is the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team?
A: Head coach Karch Kiraly is a volleyball legend, being the only person to win Olympic gold medals in both indoor and beach volleyball. He has led the team to a 126-24 record over the last four years.

Q: Are there any notable players with interesting background stories?
A: Yes, there are several players with unique stories. For example, Tori Dixon’s father played in the NFL, and Kim Hill almost didn’t attend a U.S. Women’s National Team tryout, but ended up becoming a key player for the team.

Conclusion

The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team is entering the 2017 season with a mix of fresh talent and experienced veterans. As they prepare for international tournaments and friendly matches, the team is focused on achieving their ultimate goal – Olympic gold. With a dedicated coaching staff and a roster of skilled players, the U.S. Women’s National Team is poised for an exciting and successful season.

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