It was perhaps too easy for Team USA to earn a berth into the FIVB 2014 World Championships as the team comprised of mostly recent college grads and one high school student trampled its NORCECA opponents in the third round qualifier. The most points any of the U.S.’s three opponentsGuatemala, Panama, and Hondurasmanaged to score in a single game was 18. The U.S. won two of the sets in the gold medal match versus Panama by 20 points.
Nevertheless, the team, coached by Pepperdine assistant David Hunt, did what it went to Colorado Springs to do, qualify for Worlds (in Italy, Sept. 23-Oct. 12), and young players who have great international potential were able to experience playing for the national team. Former UCLA outside Kelly Reeves served as team captain and earned tournament MVP and Best Server for her performance, which included racking up eight aces in the gold medal match. Kristen Hahn, the 2013 Big 12 Libero of the Year for Iowa State, took Best Receiver and Best Libero honors.
The women’s national team will play next in Montreux, Switzerland in the Montreux Volley Masters Tournament. It will face Germany, Japan, and the Dominican Republic in pool play with a chance to see Brazil, China, Russia, or Switzerland in the semis or finals.