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These five teams join the U.S., Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Cameroon, China and Serbia, which qualified through the 2015 World Cup or their respective Continental Olympic Qualification Tournaments.
The Italian team finished atop the field in Tokyo with a 6-1 record, and lost only to the Netherlands. The Dutch went 5-2 to finish second, and dropped matches to Korea and Japan. Japan (5-2) pulled off a miraculous five-set victory over Thailand, which included some controversial decisions by the referee, and won the final match of the tournament against the Netherlands 20-25, 25-13, 21-25, 32-30, 15-11.
The Puerto Rican women will compete in their first Olympics thanks to an undefeated performance in San Juan. The host of the qualifier swept opponents Columbia, Kenya and Algeria to secure the final 2016 Olympic berth. Current and former NCAA stars Aury Cruz (Florida, 2000-2003), Daly Santana (Minnesota, 2012-2015) and Paulina Prieto-Cerame (Texas, 2014-present) are members of the Puerto Rican national team.
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With the 12 teams decided, the FIVB released the pools for the women’s indoor volleyball competition in Rio. Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world, will face China, Serbia, Italy, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico in Pool B, while host country Brazil, Russia, Japan, Korea, Argentina and Cameroon make up Pool A. The top four teams from each pool advance into the elimination rounds of the Olympics.