Miyashiro, Thompson Make U.S. Olympic Team
July 3, 2012
SEATTLE - Courtney Thompson and Tamari Miyashiro made their share of history during their Washington careers, and now the two former teammates have accomplished another incredible milestone for themselves and for Husky volleyball, as they were named today to the 12-woman U.S. Olympic Team, and are headed for London. They are Washington's first ever U.S. Olympians in women's volleyball.
Thompson and Miyashiro are two of the 12 women selected for Team USA. Thompson is one of two setters, along with Lindsey Berg, making her third Olympics appearance. Miyashiro is one of two liberos on the roster, along with Nicole Davis, who started for the U.S. in the 2008 games. Thompson and Miyashiro are two of seven women who will be making their Olympic debuts, with just five Olympic veterans.
Thompson, the 2005 Honda Award winner at UW and Kent, Wash. native, has been a consistent member of Team USA for several years, but this is her first time making the coveted Olympic roster. She won the gold medal with Team USA just this past week in the FIVB World Grand Prix which concluded in Ningbo, China. Previously, Thompson played in the 2011 and 2007 Pan-American Games, winning bronze both times, three Pan-American Cups, and two other World Grand Prix appearances.
Miyashiro graduated in 2009 with the school record in digs, also ranking second in Pac-12 history and ninth in NCAA history. The three-time All-American and Kaneohe, Hawaii native joined Team USA shortly after graduation and has been working her way up ever since. She played in 43 of 48 sets at the recently concluded World Grand Prix, winning gold along with Thompson, and starting the final two matches at libero. Miyashiro also won gold at the 2011 World Grand Prix, silver at the 2011 World Cup, and bronze at the 2011 Pan-America Games.
"I'm just extremely excited for Court, Tama and their families," said Head Coach Jim McLaughlin, who coached both players to All-American accolades. "It's a big deal, it affects a lot of people. They've worked hard for it and earned it and it is gratifying to get a return for that work. But the work is still to be done, and they both understand that. They get to celebrate for a day and then get back to work.
From day one in their college careers, McLaughlin said the two "understood how to commit to something and how to work hard day after day. As a coach and as a friend it makes you feel really good to see players go on and fulfill their dreams after their time at UW. They will represent their country well and the University of Washington well."
Washington is one of four collegiate programs with two players on this year's Olympics roster. Penn State, Stanford, and Long Beach State also have a pair of Olympians each. Minnesota, USC, Nebraska, and Texas produced the remaining four players.
The 12-team women's volleyball Olympic Games competition will take place on alternating days at Earls Court starting July 28. The preliminary round consists of two pools of six teams playing a round-robin format with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the quarterfinal round. The U.S. is part of Pool B with No. 2 Brazil, No. 5 China, No. 6 Serbia, No. 11 Turkey and No. 15 Korea. The top pool finisher crosses over to play the fourth place team in the quarterfinals, while a drawing of lot decides the crossover matches for second- and third-place finishers. Semifinals are on Aug. 9 with the medal-round matches on Aug. 11.
The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) since November 2011, qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in the first qualification tournament by claiming silver at the 2011 FIVB World Cup held in November.
2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Volleyball Team