The U.S. women’s volleyball team, on the brink of being forced to a last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament fewer than 24 hours ago, breezed into the Tokyo 2020 field by completing its sweep through an intercontinental qualifying tournament Sunday.
The Americans, ranked third in the world, beat No. 11 Argentina 25-22, 25-17, 25-13 to close out the event in Bossier City, La., where the top nation from a group of four qualified for the Olympics.
The U.S., the only top-10 team in this field, was in real danger of not winning the group on Saturday. It trailed 16th-ranked Bulgaria two sets to one before rallying to win the last two sets.
Now the U.S. will compete in its 10th straight Olympics since the 1980 Moscow Games boycott. A new potential star emerged against Bulgaria — opposite Jordan Thompson, a rising University of Cincinnati senior who came off the bench and started the last four sets, totaling 18 kills.
The U.S. women, coached by Olympic indoor and beach champ Karch Kiraly, are seeking the program’s first Olympic title. They took bronze in Rio, entering those Games as the reigning world champions.
The U.S. took fifth at worlds last year and now sits behind Serbia and China in the world rankings.
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USA JOINS #TOKYO2020! What a great way to celebrate their Olympic Qualification in front of thousands of fans. The two time VNL Champions are going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after defeating Argentina. Match Result: 🇺🇸 USA 3-0 🇦🇷 Argentina (25-22, 25-17, 25-13) Full Match Replay 📺: volleyballworld.tv/ Match Stats 📋 & Gallery 📸: FIVB.com #FIVBOQT #RoadToTokyo #Volleyball #Olympics