United States of America
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The USA Women’s National Volleyball
nearly completed its third year of the quadrennial intent
on building upon the success it has enjoyed with head coach Toshi Yoshida,
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
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.
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
This season Yoshida
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
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
further success at the 2003
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
then qualifying for the
Olympics, which goes to the top three placegetters at
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