Kiraly, USA Volleyball announce 12-player women’s team for Tokyo Olympics

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Micah Hancock, playing defense Monday against Korea, is one of the USA Olympic setters/FIVB photo

USA Volleyball women’s coach Karch Kiraly announced his 12-player team for the upcoming Olympics and the setters are Jordyn Poulter and Micha Hancock. Lauren Carlini is one of the six alternates.

The team:
No. Name (Pos. Height, Hometown, College)

1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State)
2 Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colo., llinois)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Nebraska)
10 Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
11 Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue.)
12 Jordan Thompson (OPP, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Cincinnati)
14 Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Champaign, Ill., Illinois)
15 Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine)
16 Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson (M, 6-3, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Stanford)
22 Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State)
23 Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Nebraska)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Texas)

The USA women are currently playing in the Volleyball Nations League in Rimini, Italy, where they are undefeated.

“We’re extremely grateful for the extra time that the Olympic postponement provided,” Kiraly said in a USA Volleyball statement. “Our core group of 23 women’s national teamers has done amazing work in the last 14 months, setting us up for phenomenal trust, connection, purpose and performance.

“This roster announcement is a bittersweet moment, as we face a stark reminder that we cannot travel all 23 to Tokyo for battle, though they’ll all be there in our hearts and minds.”

Alternates
3 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford)
6 Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., Minnesota)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Wisconsin)
8 Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Stewartville, Minn., Minnesota)
13 Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Eden Prairie, Minn., Minnesota)
17 Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Dayton, Ohio, Penn State)

“Ultimately, we coaches are elated for this Olympic roster selection, and for our program,” Kiraly said. “Each one of the 12 contributes unique skills and qualities that make her the right person for the job.

“This collection of special people who are elite volleyball players is poised to make a fierce Olympic run. We can’t wait to watch them ‘Let It Rip’ in Tokyo.”

Only four of the players have Olympic experience. Larson and Akinradewo will be competing in their third Olympics. Hill and Robinson played in the 2016 Games.

Poulter is the youngest player at 23 and Larson the oldest at 34. Nine of the players are from the Big Ten and only Hill and Thompson played at non-Power 5 schools.

Coaching staff
Head Coach — Karch Kiraly
Assistant — Erin Virtue
Assistant — Tama Miyashiro
Assistant — 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
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3 COMMENTS

  1. It is hard to cut quality players like Carlini & Dixon, especially those who had a hand in recent tournaments, i.e. World Cup, 2019 Nations League, Olympic Qualifier. There are some younger players who have done a lot in recent years intetnatonally & should have a chance for what wasn’t accomplished in 2016. But again I hope this time around it’ll be a great outcome for Gold!

  2. Hancock over Carlini. Big mistake. Karch is making a statement for Poulter that’s his number one setter. Getting rid of Carlini to eliminate the competition because she’s as good. Hancock is detrimental to this team. She’s too short. And in the vnl tournament the hitters could not take an approach until after she set the ball because she’s so inconsistent and inaccurate with her placement. Robinson needs to get ready to be the backup libero. I think karch is choosing Hancock because he has someone else in mind for a future team as setter. Eliminating Carlini as an option. I think karch is looking to Hentz in the future to become a libero. Thus eliminating Courtney. I
    Karch should move Plummer to a right side. She is not a 6 rotation player never will be she’s too slow with her reaction time and her foot speed. That way they can hide her from too much defense. I’m most disappointed in Karch from Rio through covid-19. Karch should have developed younger players and give them more experience with the National team through training. He doesn’t have the courage to do that. He’d rather take a core group of played-out volleyball players that couldn’t handle the competition in Rio. I’m predicting they won’t even medal.

    • It’s very easy to be on the sidelines and make remarks and predictions when your not the “one” who has to really decide who your best 12 are. I commend anyone that has the gumption to be in charge and take the bad with the good and make a decision. True leaders don’t hesitate to take charge and make decisions even if they are wrong they “earned” the position to make the “decision” . Karch is the best person to make the decision and if he chose wrong then that’s ok because even though he’s the GOAT he is still human and trying to do the best job he can for team USA .

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