Two former Washington Huskies named to U.S. Olympic women's volleyball team
Courtney Thompson and Tamari Miyashiro, both former Washington Huskies, landed spots U.S. Olympic volleyball team.
Special to The Seattle Times
Courtney Thompson walked into the office of USA Volleyball head coach Hugh McCutcheon Tuesday morning to learn her Olympic fate.
"The first thing he said to me was, that they've selected me for the roster," said Thompson. "And I stared at him blankly for about a minute. Just letting it sink in.
"It was pretty overwhelming."
As Thompson left the meeting, she saw Tamari Miyashiro, her former Washington teammate, waiting to hear whether she, too, had made the cut.
"It was emotional," Miyashiro said, "because we really didn't have to say any words to describe how proud of each other we were.
"We shed a couple tears."
Moments later, Miyashiro got the same good news, meaning that two of the dozen 2012 volleyball Olympians are former Huskies.
"It's a great, great day," Washington coach Jim McLaughlin said. "I'm just fired up."
For the past month, both players have been on the bubble. Thompson, a former Kentlake star, had to beat out a much taller player, former Penn State setter Alicia Glass. And Miyashiro had to convince her coaches that the team needs her defensive skills more than it needs an additional hitter.
"Deep down inside," said Miyashiro, "I know how much work I put in."
"There's only so much you can control," says Thompson. "You do everything you can, and you're confident in how you're playing."
McLaughlin credits Miyashiro's work rate and willingness to learn. And, he says, Thompson competes harder than any player he's ever coached.
"I think ability is always part of the equation," McLaughlin said, "but maybe the most important part is the intangibles. And Courtney has that in place better than anybody. She is a great teammate. And she makes the people around her better."
Lindsey Berg of Minnesota is the other setter on the roster, while Nicole Davis of USC joins Miyashiro as libero/defensive specialist. Stanford's Logan Tom, Nebraska's Jordan Larson and Penn State's Megan Hodge are the outside hitters; Destinee Hooker of Texas and Tayyiba Haneef-Park of Long Beach State are the opposite hitters. Middle blockers are Stanford's Foluke Akinradewo, Penn State's Christa Harmotto and Long Beach State's Danielle Scott-Arruda, who will be making her fifth Olympic appearance.
For more coverage, see Seattle Times News Partner site Volleyblog Seattle, http://volleyblogseattle.blogspot.com/