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American stars in early preparation for international season

 

Foluke Akinradewo (right) and Jordan Larson are among the players who are training in California

Anaheim, California, February 19, 2020 – The USA women’s national team is wasting no time heading into the 2020 international volleyball season and head coach Karch Kiraly is already working with six players at the American Sports Centres in Anaheim, California.

The coach, an Olympic volleyball and beach volleyball champion during his playing career, currently has opposite Annie Drews, outside hitter and team captain Jordan Larson and middle blockers Foluke Akinradewo, Rachael Adams, Hannah Tapp and Tori Dixon all training at the facility.


Drews is fresh from the best season of her career, one in which she helped the Americans win gold at the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, when she was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Finals in China. At club level, she led JT Marvelous to the Japanese league title and also took home the MVP award.

Larson and Akinradewo are longtime members of the USA team and were part of the rosters that won silver at the London 2012 Olympics and bronze at the Rio 2016 Games. Adams was also part of the campaign in Brazil.

Larson and Dixon have both concluded their club seasons in China while Akinradewo, who had a baby in November, and Adams aren’t under contract with any clubs at the moment. Drews and Tapp are enjoying a break in the Japanese club season, but will both return to their teams at the end of the month to compete in the Emperor’s Cup in late March.


The American team has also scheduled joint training sessions with Japan from March 14-21 in California. As part of the training camp, the teams will play an exhibition match on March 20 at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, California. The USA team for that match is likely to be composed mostly of collegiate players.

In 2020, the Americans will try to win the Volleyball Nations League for the third consecutive time and will fight for their fourth-straight Olympic medal after taking silver at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and bronze in Rio 2016. USA are in Pool B at the Tokyo Olympics and will play against defending champions China, Russia, Italy, Argentina and Turkey in the first round of the tournament.

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