Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

U.S. Women’s National Team Thriving on Home Soil

U.S. Women's National Team

The U.S. Women’s National Team is savoring the experience of competing on home soil in Long Beach, California, as part of the FIVB World Grand Prix’s Pool E. It has been two decades since the team last hosted a preliminary round phase of the tournament in Honolulu in the mid-90s. This year’s event holds even greater significance as it allows the team to play near their training host city of Anaheim, California, and in front of their hometown fans.

Head coach Karch Kiraly expressed his excitement about playing near the team’s home training site in Southern California. Kiraly described the atmosphere at the Walter Pyramid on the Long Beach State University campus as a “treat” and emphasized the rarity of playing tournament matches in the USA. The team had the privilege of hosting the World Grand Prix Finals in Omaha last year, but beyond that, they have not played a Grand Prix phase since 1996. This experience has required adjustments, as they have not played a tournament in Southern California, necessitating commutes and offering a unique experience.

Christa Dietzen, a player on the U.S. Women’s National Team, relished the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the world on home soil right before the Olympic Games. She expressed her excitement about being in Long Beach and praised the efforts of USA Volleyball in promoting the event. Playing at home is a departure from their usual routine of being on the road, and Dietzen appreciates the support of friendly faces in the crowd, as well as the cheers from fans who are rooting for the U.S. team.

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Karsta Lowe, another player on the team, shared Dietzen’s enthusiasm for playing at home. She described the experience as amazing, noting the rare chance to see her family, friends, and acquaintances in the stands. Typically, the team plays overseas, and the faces in the crowd are unfamiliar. Lowe emphasized the importance of having a support system present during matches.

The team arrived early for the match and received a warm welcome from the VOL-B-QUE tailgate party, organized by Matt Garthoff. Garthoff and his crew made sure that the event and the subsequent match against Japan were special for the players. The enthusiastic support from the tailgate party was aimed at motivating the team and creating a memorable experience as they prepare for the upcoming Olympics in Rio.

Kiraly expressed his gratitude towards Garthoff and the VOL-B-QUE crew for their efforts in making the event extraordinary for the players. He acknowledged the support of the crowd and highlighted the positive impact they had on the team’s performance. The Women’s National Team felt the love and appreciation from the VOL-B-QUE crew, adding to the excitement and energy of the competition.

FAQs

  • When was the last time the U.S. Women’s National Team hosted a preliminary round phase of the FIVB World Grand Prix?
    The U.S. Women’s National Team last hosted a preliminary round phase of the FIVB World Grand Prix in 1995 and 1996 in Honolulu.

  • Where is the U.S. Women’s National Team’s training host city?
    The U.S. Women’s National Team’s training host city is Anaheim, California.

  • How often does the U.S. Women’s National Team play tournament matches in the USA?
    The team does not often play tournament matches in the USA. Last year’s World Grand Prix Finals in Omaha was an exception.

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Conclusion

Playing on home soil in front of their hometown fans has been a remarkable experience for the U.S. Women’s National Team. The team is grateful for the support from their friends, family, and local volleyball enthusiasts. Competing in Long Beach has provided them with a unique opportunity to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games and showcase their skills against some of the best teams in the world. The U.S. Women’s National Team is embracing this special moment and using it as a source of motivation as they continue their pursuit of excellence in the sport of volleyball.