U.S. women’s volleyball team qualifies to defend its Olympic title at 2024 Paris Games
The U.S. women’s volleyball team qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where it will defend the program’s first Olympic title from Tokyo.
The U.S., ranked second in the world, earned its spot by going 6-1 in an eight-team Olympic qualifying tournament in Poland this past week.
Tokyo gold medalist Annie Drews had match highs of 27 points (all kills) in Sunday’s 24-26, 25-21, 25-9, 25-16 clincher over Germany.
The top two nations in each of the three concurrent Olympic qualifiers made it to Paris. Had the U.S. not finished top two, it likely would have qualified for the Games via world ranking next June.
The U.S. is coming off a fourth-place finish at last year’s world championship, where it lost to eventual champion Serbia in the semifinals.
The program’s biggest news since then was the return of Olympic MVP Jordan Larson from what she had planned to be an international retirement after the Tokyo Games.
Larson, a 36-year-old, three-time Olympian, announced her return May 4 and started every match of the Olympic qualifier.
She was joined on the 14-player qualifying roster by six more gold medalists from Tokyo, including libero and new team captain Justine Wong-Orantes. Olympic rosters are 12 players.
Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson, who like Larson owns an Olympic medal of every color, is the most accomplished player from the Tokyo Olympic team who wasn’t on the Paris Olympic qualifying roster.
The 35-year-old has not competed for the national team since the Tokyo Games.
The U.S. men bid to qualify for Paris at an eight-team tournament in Tokyo starting next Saturday.