Friday, August 9, 2013

National Team | Courtney Thompson leads USA to World Grand Prix volleyball victory

Washington alum sets USA to a 3-0 win against Algeria
  • #1 USA def. #14 Algeria 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-11)
  • next: #1 USA vs. #20 Netherlands | August 10, 2013 | Belgrade, Serbia

From her Belgrade hotel Thursday morning, Courtney Thompson texted a simple message: “I can’t wait to play.”

USA setter Courtney Thompson celebrates after a solo block against Algeria in World Grand Prix pool play in Belgrade, Serbia

On Friday, she got her chance. Thompson started two sets and played in all three as #1 USA routed #14 Algeria 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-11). Thompson spread her sets evenly, finding particular success with her opposites. She kept up the fast tempo emphasized this summer by USA head coach Karch Kiraly, helping her hitters end rallies quickly.

With Thompson at the controls, USA hit an eye-popping 76% in the third set. The 5-8 Olympian from Kent and the University of Washington even had a block in the second set.

Courtney Thompson addresses teammates between points during the third set of play against Algeria

The match was the fourth of nine pool-play matches in the World Grand Prix, and the first of three in Belgrade, Serbia. USA is now 3-1, with two more matches this weekend against #20 Netherlands and #9 Serbia.

After playing almost every minute of each of the first three pool matches in Brazil, Washington alum Tama Miyashiro stays on the roster for the Serbian round. Against Algeria, her fellow libero Kayla Banwarth got the call, playing all three sets.

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