Tuesday, July 21, 2015

National Team | Former Washington volleyball stars in US National Team spotlight this week

Thompson, Miyashiro, Vansant and Hagglund competing in World Grand Prix and Pan Am Games
USA libero Natalie Hagglund (10) encourages teammates in a 3-2 Pan Am Games loss to Brazil in Toronto

Four former Washington All-Americans—setter Courtney Thompson, libero Tama Miyashiro, outside hitter Krista Vansant and setter Jenna Hagglund—are wearing USA uniforms this week as two international competitions approach medal rounds.

Olympians Thompson and Miyashiro are with the USA squad in Omaha, one of six teams in the final round of the month-long World Grand Prix. They’ll play five matches in the next five days; all will be available for viewing via NBC’s universalsports.com website, with the final two matches possibly available on over-the-air broadcast (we’ll let you know.)

2015 World Grand Prix Finals | Omaha  
Wed, July 22
6:05PM (Pacific)
USA vs. Japan
Thu, July 23
6:05PM (Pacific)
USA vs. Italy
Fri, July 24
6:05PM (Pacific)
USA vs. Russia
Sat, July 25
3:00PM (Pacific)
USA vs. Brazil
Sun, July 26
1:00PM (Pacific)
USA vs. China
Vansant and Hagglund are members of the USA team in Toronto, advancing to Wednesday’s quarterfinals of the 2015 Pan Am Games. Last night, USA dropped a 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22, 15-11) decision to Brazil, behind Vansant’s team-leading 18 kills. Hagglund had considerable playing time in the match, double-subbing with fellow setter Carli Lloyd, and occasionally staying in the rotation in the front row.

Like volleyball at every level, the USA/Brazil match was ultimately decided by serving and passing. Holding a 2-1 set lead in the fourth set, USA committed three service errors in a row, and five for the set. USA responded most of the rest of the way with easy serves right to Brazil’s libero, allowing the Brazilians to use all their attack options. At the same time, USA’s passing grew worse, ensuring that Brazil could consistently employ double and triple blocks.

In the Pan Am Games quarterfinals, USA will face Cuba Wednesday at 12:30PM (Pacific Time.) The match should be available on ESPN3.

See also: USA Women’s Volleyball Road to Rio
Part One: setters and opposites
Part Two: outside hitters and liberos
Part Three: middles


  • If you’ve been watching the Pan Am Games coverage on ESPN3, the broadcast team might have caught your attention. If gaffes make you smile, then there’s plenty to grin about with Charles Parkinson and Dorothy Franco-Reed at the microphone. Parkinson coaches men’s volleyball at Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia. He’s been broadcasting beach and indoor volleyball for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation since 1990, and no one pronounces “libero” quite like he does (rhymes with “fibber-oh”). Franco-Reed, an ESPN volleyball freelancer, played volleyball and basketball at Alabama, where she also coached volleyball from 1989-95 (and played team handball at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.) She and Parkinson have the good grace to apologize when they repeatedly misidentify players and are confused about rotations and substitutions (particularly the setter/opposite double substitution.) Frankly, the modern international women’s volleyball game seems to baffle them both, and when you’re not laughing, you might be a bit sad. Volleyball—now the most popular team sport for high school girls in the USA (and essentially tied with basketball at the collegiate level)—hasn’t yet earned enough respect at ESPN and CBC to draw announcers with better broadcast knowledge and skills.

1 comment:

  1. thanks Jack for keeping us up to date, its great fun watching our former huskies playing well in the "bigs"


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