The top four teams in the biennial NORCECA Championship will qualify for the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament set to take place in January at a site to be determined. The winner of the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament will earn a spot in the 12-team Olympic Games field. The second- and third-place teams in the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament will compete in World Olympic Qualification Tournaments in May.
“We learned some valuable lessons during the World Cup several weeks ago, and plan to use that knowledge to make us better at the NORCECA Continental Championships next week in Mexico,” said head coach Karch Charles Kiraly said. “This is part of a journey filled with challenges, including the process of qualifying, all leading toward the Rio Olympic Games. Ultimately, the more challenges we learn to overcome and even to embrace, the better team we can become.”
So for the first step in the second chance to qualify for the Olympics, Team USA is placed in Pool A of the NORCECA Championship. The Americans open the tournament against Costa Rica on Sept. 27, followed by Canada on Sept. 28 and Cuba on Sept. 29. The winner of Pool A and Pool B (Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago) advance directly to the semifinals on Oct. 1 while the second- and third-place teams in each pool compete in crossover quarterfinals on Sept. 30. The medal round and final classification match are set for Oct. 2.
USA squad includes:
Setters: Alisha Glass and Molly Kreklow
Liberos: Kayla Banwarth and Natalie Hagglund
Opposites: Nicole Fawcett and Karsta Lowe
Middle blockers: Rachael Adams, Foluke Akinradewo, Tori Dixon and Lauren Gibbemeyer
Receivers: Megan Easy, Jordan Larson-Burbach, Kelsey Robinson and Krista Vansant.
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