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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 30, 2013) - The 2013 Season will go down as a period of tremendous growth and opportunity for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team under its first-year head coach Karch Kiraly. Along the way, many long-term lessons were learned as the team’s goal is to win the next point to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro and ultimately its first Olympic Games gold medal.
For the first year of the Olympic quadrennial, Kiraly used a roster primarily of non-Olympians in 2013, and it paid off with a 25-6 record against several teams playing with multiple Olympians throughout the season. A total of 10 U.S. players played in at least 68 sets (57 percent of possible sets) in 2013, and all 10 players have not been part of an Olympic Games roster.
“This year, as many teams did, we played with lots of young players,” Kiraly said. “Some players who had very little or no USA experience. We had lots of players gain great experience. Next year one of our focal points will be integrating some of those younger players with some of the players like Foluke Akinradewo, who did not get to play much with us this year. We want to continue to work on our systems. We want to play very fast with a lot of speed, maybe what you might see in the men’s game, and that will take a lot of work on our technique and our tactics and a lot of time together. We look forward to get back together next May to start that work.”
Even with its youth, the U.S. finished 13-6 (68.4 percent) against teams ranked in the top 10 in the world in 2013. Team USA won the gold medal at the Pan American Cup and NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, and the silver medal the season-ending FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. The non-Olympians accounted for 84.3 percent of all kills (12.91 of 1,531) and 84.5 percent of all points (1,733 of 2,052) scored in 2013. Further, 86.7 percent of all aces (169 of 195) and 83.7 of all blocks (273 of 326) were from non-Olympians.
For the complete season-in-review and pictorals for all 31 matches of the 2013 campaign, view the 2013 U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Yearbook by clicking the cover image on this page or click here.