LINCOLN, Neb. -- A couple of weeks back, just before Christmas and before the Americans had actually reconvened in California from their club teams overseas, U.S. Captain Courtney Thompson sent a team email to her teammates through a clean message:
"Let"s perform this." Time to qualify because that Rio. Now.
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Some responded every in significant tones, rather in humor. Some pondered the words and also offered no reply.
On Saturday night, every one delivered.
The top-ranked Americans beat the Dominican Republic 25-19, 25-19, 25-18 to wrap up a berth in the 12-team Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro.Nati Harnik/AP PhotoFour months after a major miss, the U.S. Women"s volleyball team is Olympic-bound at last.
The top-ranked Americans defeated the Dominican Republic 25-19, 25-19, 25-18 come wrap up a berth in the 12-team Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, climate ran approximately the arena slapping hands v anyone that was willing.
"It has actually been awesome. Before we stepped foot out of every the nations we were play professionally in, Courtney Thompson sent us an e-mail like: `Hey, as soon as we step into this gym when we return to California, we need to be on. Us don"t want to waste days trying to get comfortable with each other or trying to figure things out," center blocker Rachael Adams recalled of the note. "We want to communicate and be like: Hey, this is wrong, this is right, let"s solve this. We don"t desire it to drag on." ... We"re really diligent in what we"re doing and also how we"re functioning together. It"s really the best it"s been in a while. That method a lot."
Coach Karch Kiraly"s team concentrated on gift a "family" an initial was required into a second-chance qualifier after shedding twice at last year"s world Cup in Japan because that bronze, with the top two teams securing your spots then because that the Rio Games.
That"s the only loss because that the U.S. In that is last seven tournaments. This week, Kiraly emphasize his players had to "earn it" together no other country would hand lock anything.
Meeting increase once much more to qualify came to be the many positive outcome for this tight-knit group, which has appreciated the past two weeks with each other to improve as separation, personal, instance players and as a unit with open interaction off the court and also detailed occupational on it.
The american were figured out to carry out it ideal this time.
"We"ve been going in ~ this because that a lengthy time and I think it"s vital to sometimes acquire reminded about how special this is, not only what we get to do but how we get to carry out it and with this special group of people," Thompson said after the enhance of the winning email. "We really want to maximize these 2 weeks. It come out that a disappointment yet it"s a vast blessing. We"ve adopted every minute that it. Honestly, we"re every sad it"s over. We desire to store going."
The U.S. Dropped a collection in Friday night"s win versus Puerto Rico, come which Kiraly said, "That was more than likely the ideal thing that could have occurred to us for Puerto Rico come come ago and punch us about a little."
Several hours before Saturday"s clincher, Thompson posted on Twitter: "Love this family -- fired up because that one much more match!"
In fact, she and also her teammates additionally did something kind Friday to include injured teammate Tama Miyashiro. Lock contacted Miyashiro and told her she needed to acquire to Nebraska to clock the Americans shot to qualify -- and all pitched in come pay her ticket to get here. So, there was Miyashiro at Pinnacle bank Arena because that the unique night amid all the chants the "U-S-A!" native a group of 10,213.
"What a fabulous atmosphere here, a substantial crowd walk crazy because that USA," Kiraly said. "We were very fortunate to get to hold this and also book our ticket for Rio."
The Americans will go your separate means again Sunday, most ago to their global club teams prior to meeting back up come feather in southern California to resume training for Rio.
Thompson"s team members appreciated the setter"s caring indigenous in that note -- no to mention the much-needed push.
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"She"s such a an excellent leader and she kind of came out appropriate off the bat and also was like, `Let"s do this, we only have two weeks together, let"s number it out quickly, let"s have actually some fun," Natalie Hagglund said. "That"s precisely what we did. I"m really proud of this team for being may be to dominate that therefore quickly."
Next up for the U.S. Is bringing back the program"s an initial Olympic yellow medal. The Americans lost in the championship in ~ the previous two Olympics to Brazil, settling because that silver.
"We yes, really hit gold no qualifying because that the people Cup and also being here," Adams said. "Because if we had actually qualified native the human being Cup we would not have actually been may be to prosper in this way. It"s really amazing."