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Olympics: U.S. women’s volleyball team wins gold

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The U.S. women’s volleyball team won the gold medal in the Olympics early Sunday morning in Tokyo.

Team USA defeated Brazil 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 in the championship match, taking gold for the first time since the sport became part of the Games in 1964.

Just over two years ago, Team USA won the FIVB Tokyo Qualifying Tournament in Bossier City at what is now the Brookshire Grocery Arena.

Eight members of that team were on the team that won in Tokyo and three were alternates.

Gold medalists who played in the qualifying tournament were setter Jordyn Poulter (No. 2, Illinois, Aurora, Colo.) outside hitter Jordan Larson (No. 10, Nebraska, Hooper, Neb.), opposite hitter (No. 11, Annie Drews (Purdue, Elkhart, Ind.), opposite hitter Jordan Thompson (No. 12, Cincinnati, Edina, Minn.), outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (No. 14, Illinois, Champaign, Ill.), outside hitter Kim Hill (No. 15, Pepperdine, Portland, Ore.), middle hitter Haleigh Washington (No. 22, Penn State, Colorado Springs, Colo.) and outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (No. 23, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, Calif.)

Alternates were libero Megan Courtney, middle hitter Tori Dixon and setter Lauren Carlini.

The qualifying tournament got high marks from USA Volleyball officials, including head coach Karch Kiraly.

Kiraly became the second person to win gold as a player and coach. He won gold as a member of the 1984 and 1988 indoor teams and added one in beach volleyball in 1996.

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