Tuesday, July 3, 2012
U.S. women's volleyball roster set
Danielle Scott-Arruda has been included on the 12-player roster for the U.S. women's volleyball team that will play in London, making her the squad's first five-time Olympian.
The roster, announced Tuesday afternoon, was submitted to the U.S. Olympic Committee for approval.
The 39-year-old Scott-Arruda is the first U.S. volleyball player, male or female, to make five Olympic teams.
"Just being on this team and with this group, I feel very honored," Scott-Arruda said "Five-time Olympian? Yes, it's an achievement. But what we hope to do this summer is what I'm focusing on."
Other repeat Olympians named to the squad include setter Lindsey Berg, outside hitter Logan Tom and opposite Tayyiba Haneef-Park. Newcomers include opposite Destinee Hooker and outside hitter Jordan Larson.
The U.S. women's team is ranked No. 1 in the world going into the London Games.
"We've developed a lot of depth in this program over the course of the Olympic quadrennial and, as you would expect, it was very difficult to determine the final composition of this team," coach Hugh McCutcheon said in a statement. "However, after a lot of time and deliberation, we all believe that the group we've selected gives our program the best possible chance of being successful in London."
Missing from the roster was libero Stacy Sykora, who had been to three Olympics and had been training with the national team.
Sykora suffered a brain injury last year in a bus accident while playing professionally in Brazil. While she wanted to return to the Olympics, she told The Associated Press in May that she was still having trouble with some aspects of her vision.
Also missing from the team that won the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games was outside hitter Kim Glass.
The U.S. women on Sunday won their third straight title in the international FIVB World Grand Prix with a sweep of China in three sets. Brazil was runner-up in the tournament's round-robin final round in Ningbo, China.
Megan Hodge, who was named most valuable player of the tournament, also made the Olympic roster. Scott-Arruda was team captain for the Grand Prix.
The other player names to the team were setter Courtney Thompson, middle blockers Foluke Akinradewo and Christa Harmotto, and liberos Nicole Davis and Tamari Miyashiro.
"I think our strength is that we have so much talent at each position. Besides the skills, I think everyone is focusing on being the best team we can be," Scott-Arruda said. "That's what you need to be successful in volleyball. You can't do it by yourself."
The U.S. women have never won gold in indoor volleyball, which became an Olympic sport in 1964. In 2008, they lost to Brazil in the final.
The United States will have a final tuneup for London later this month, hosting three matches against Bulgaria in Southern California. The first will be at Anaheim's Canyon High School on July 14, and the other two at USC's Galen Center on July 16 and 18.