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United States of America                  Click here to download Team Profile in pdf format

The USA Women’s National Volleyball Team has nearly completed its third year of the quadrennial intent on building upon the success it has enjoyed with head coach Toshi Yoshida, since 2000. In 2001 the United States captured the gold medal at the World Grand Prix, followed in 2002 by the silver medal at the Women’s Volleyball World Championship. But 2003 is seen as the most important year because teams can begin qualifying for the 12 available slots at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.  The first qualifier being the World Cup in Japan. So far USA collected bronze at the 2003 World Grand Prix and at the Pan Am Games before claiming the gold medal at the NORCECA Continental Championships.
Despite the recent success, Yoshida insists that the players maintain their focus on the ultimate goal—winning a gold medal in Greece.
 

Everybody thinks the USA is good enough to maintain this level,” Yoshida revealed.  “But I don’t think so.  The players know, I know, everybody knows: We have to keep working hard.
“I think last year it looks like we did a really good job, but we did not peak,” he continued.  “We can be better.  That is my prediction…I think 2002 wasn’t too bad.  But you have to be careful.  Anything can happen.”
This season Yoshida
has had everyone back from the team he took to the 2002 World Championships, including the tournament’s Best Blocker Danielle Scott; outside hitters Logan Tom, Keba Phipps and Tayyiba Haneef; middle blocker Heather Bown; and libero Stacy Sykora.  All but Haneef have prior Olympic experience.
“The World Championships taught me that volleyball is not only skills, it’s not only systems, but you really need heart and soul,” said Yoshida.  “That tournament, mentally and psychologically, we were very good, I have to say.  We had a very good chemistry together.  That’s why we achieved and went pretty far.  Without heart and soul we would have done very badly, I think.”
Achieving
further success at the 2003 World Cup will not be easy.  But if the players can perform with the same heart and soul that they poured into every match of the most important tournament of the last three seasons, then qualifying for the Olympics, which goes to the top three placegetters at the World Cup, should be well within their reach.

 

“The World Championships taught me that
volleyball is not only skills, it’s not only systems,
but you really need heart and soul.”
USA Head Coach, Toshi Yoshida