The United States’ women’s volleyball team has never won a gold medal in Olympic competition, but with the way things are shaping up right now in Tokyo, they could achieve that goal by going on a revenge tour against two teams that have kept them from winning the ultimate prize in several recent Olympics.
You can watch the match at the following link, or tune in live on USA Network.
Team USA will start things out on Thursday (Friday morning in Tokyo) with a semifinal match against Serbia. The Serbian squad beat the US in the semifinals of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, so this rematch could potentially give the US a chance at revenge.
If the United States wins, they could potentially face Brazil in the gold medal match on Saturday. That would be a rematch of the gold medal matches from 2008 and 2012, both of which were won by the Brazilians.
A big component of the United States’ roster during the tournament has been the play of University of Illinois graduate Michelle Bartsch-Hackley. The skilled outside hitter has put up back-to-back strong performances, accounting for 17 total points in the Americans’ win over Italy to finish up the preliminary round.
She then followed that up with a 13-point performance in a straight-sets victory in the quarterfinals over the Dominican Republic.
Unfortunately for Bartsch-Hackley, she will likely not be joined by fellow Illini alum Jordan Poulter, who suffered an injury in the victory over Italy when she stepped on a teammate’s foot.
The match will get underway at 11 p.m. Central time Thursday night.