Huskies Help USA To Bronze At Pan-Am Games
Oct. 21, 2011
SEATTLE - Washington All-Americans Courtney Thompson and Tamari Miyashiro are taking home new medals for their collection as the two helped Team USA win bronze at the Pan-American Games, which just concluded on Thursday in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Thompson, the Husky career assists leader, and Miyashiro, the school record-holder for digs, helped lead the Americans to a 4-1 run, as the U.S. was perfect through pool play before falling to Cuba in four sets in the semifinals, then bouncing back to beat the Dominican Republic in the bronze medal match. Thompson also earned bronze with Team USA in the 2007 Pan-Am Games. It's the second medal of the year for Miyashiro, who earned gold at the prestigious FIVB World Grand Prix back in August.
Miyashiro was the starting libero throughout the tournament for the Americans, while Thompson split time with former Cal setter Carli Lloyd. Lloyd started and led U.S. wins over Puerto Rico and Peru, then Thompson played the whole win over Mexico to end pool play. In the semis, Lloyd got the start but the USA fell into an 0-2 hole until Thompson came in and led the team to a third set win, but Cuba won in four. Lloyd credited Thompson, saying she "really changed the momentum of the game. She called a good offense."
Again in the bronze medal match, the U.S. found itself down a set when Thompson came in to set, and her experience paid off again, as from there the Americans took the next three sets, 25-16, 25-20, and 25-19.
"I love this game and I love this team," Thompson said. "It is easy to get fired up for something like this. We really wanted a medal. You can watch film and hear about it, but until you are in the arena, you don't know.
Washington was one of four programs with multiple alumni on the Team USA roster. Stanford has three grads, while UW, California, and Minnesota feature two apiece.
Also just announced was the preliminary Team USA roster for the upcoming FIVB World Cup to be held in Japan this November. The tournament is the first chance for 2012 Olympic Games qualification. Thompson and Miyashiro are both included on the initial list of twenty athletes. That will be trimmed to fourteen by head coach Hugh McCutcheon prior to departing.
Information from USAVolleyball.org contributed to this report.