The U.S. women’s volleyball team punched its ticket to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo on Sunday after sweeping Argentina to take first place the Pool C qualifying tournament.
The third-ranked American team won decisively, 25-22, 25-17, 25-13, in front of a home crowd at Bossier City, La.
This will be the 10th straight Olympics that the U.S. women’s volleyball team has made, although they are still seeking their first gold medal. They earned bronze at the 2016 games after winning back-to-back silvers in 2012 and 2008. The U.S. also won gold at the world championships in 2014.
Sunday’s big win came just one day after a narrow win over No. 16 Bulgaria. After falling down 2-1, they had to win the final two sets to keep their hopes alive. A loss in this tournament would have forced them to earn an Olympic bid next summer.
“We can be really proud of the way we fought through here, especially the challenge Bulgaria that threw at us, down two sets to one, and the nice response we put together,” coach Karch Kiraly said. “This is huge for the program. Everyone knows now we're headed to Tokyo. We’ve got that ticket locked in, and it makes it that much closer as we look at the distance.”
The U.S. women’s team should have more experience this time around with stars Kelsey Robinson, Jordan Larson and Kim Hill returning. On top of that, the team adds Tori Dixon, who celebrated her birthday win a win on Sunday, after she missed the 2016 games with a torn ACL.
The team’s rising star has been University of Cincinnati phenom Jordan Thompson, who led the team with 16 points plus 13 kills, two aces and a block on Sunday.
Currently ranked third in the world, the United States is only behind Serbia and China, which won gold in 2016. Brazil, which won in both 2008 and 2012, is one spot behind the U.S.
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