Miyashiro Talks USA Volleyball Cup

By Bill Kauffman | June 26, 2014, 12:41 p.m. (ET)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 26, 2014) – U.S. Women's National Team libero Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii), a 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist, looks forward to a return trip home as Team USA hosts Brazil as part of the USA Volleyball Cup - the hottest volleyball ticket this summer - at the University of Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Center on July 11 and July 12.

"When I was growing up, there was a lot of support in the volleyball community," Miyashiro said. "The Hawaiians love volleyball. I think we play the sport with a lot of passion and watch the sport with a lot of passion too. I think they understand the game, which is nice to be around. I think they can appreciate the game itself. They have that respect the game deserves."

"The first thing that comes to mind is the history," Miyashiro said about impressions of the series with Brazil and the USA Volleyball Cup. "We have played them a lot, they have got us a couple time and we have got them a bunch. It is two of the best teams in the world. We have been pretty close to the top for a long time. It is a bunch of really good volleyball players playing at a really high level. I think this is a pretty unique experience for the sport itself in our country."

Watch the full interview in the media player above.

In addition, Team USA plays Brazil at UC Irvine on July 5 and University of Southern California on July 6 to open the USA Volleyball Cup. For ticket information, visit usavolleyballcup.com.

The USA Volleyball Cup, which began in 2013, is an initiative to draw elite international teams to the United States to compete in an annual tour series with the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Volleyball Teams. Such events help foster local community ties to the two National Team programs and the City of Anaheim where the teams train, as well as other communities around the United States to promote the team.

“These matches are going to be epic,” U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “And we’re bringing them to epic volleyball country – we are honored to bring this special rivalry edition of the USA Volleyball Cup to of one of the most fervent, knowledgeable volleyball audiences in the country: Honolulu, where volleyball is part of the fabric of life. We’d love your support Hawaii - we need you pulling for us and making us better.”

The U.S. Women last played in Hawaii as part of the 1996 FIVB World Grand Prix second preliminary round weekend with Netherlands, Japan and Cuba. In the previous year, Team USA hosted Japan, China and Cuba in a World Grand Prix opening preliminary round weekend.

Since the conclusion of the 2008 Olympic Games, the U.S. and Brazil have occupied the top two spots in the world ranking. Team USA overtook Brazil in the rankings following the 2011 FIVB World Cup. However, Brazil regained the top spot in September 2013 on the heels of its second straight Olympic Games gold medal victory over the Americans in 2012 and ending Team USA’s three-year run on the FIVB World Grand Prix titles late last summer.

Brazil’s last trip to the United States was in 2009 as it captured the 2009 Pan American Cup in Miami. The Brazilians last touring series in the United States was part of a three-match U.S. Olympic Team Exhibition series in Colorado Springs prior to the 2008 Olympic Games. All three contests went five sets with Brazil winning two of three. Since 2010, the U.S. has made three separate trips to face Brazil in front of standing-room only crowds including a 2010 four-match tour and preliminary round pools in the 2012 and 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Beverage producer KonaRed is an official supplier for the USA Volleyball Cup.