From London to Rio: USA Women's Olympic Volleyball Team Then and Now

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Last week, USA Volleyball and women's national team head coach Karch Kiraly announced the roster of 12 that will compete in the Rio Olympics. This group of highly competitive and motivated women will seek to do what their 2012 counterparts couldn't: win an Olympic gold medal. Here's how the two squads compare side-by-side:

Positions 2012 2016
SETTERS Lindsey Berg Alisha Glass
Courtney Thompson Courtney Thompson
Carli Lloyd
OUTSIDE HITTERS Jordan Larson Jordan Larson
Megan Hodge Kim Hill
Logan Tom Kelsey Robinson
OPPOSITES Tayyiba Haneef-Park Karsta Lowe
Destinee Hooker Kelly Murphy
MIDDLE HITTERS Foluke Akinradewo Foluke Akinradewo
Christa Harmatto Christa Harmatto Dietzen
Danielle Scott-Arruda Rachael Adams
LIBEROS Tamari Miyashiro Kayla Banwarth
Nicole Davis
HEAD COACH Hugh McCutcheon Karch Kiraly
ASSISTANT COACHES Karch Kiraly Tom Black
Paula Weishoff David Hunt
Jamie Morrison Jamie Morrison

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Returners vs. Rookies 


The similarities between the 2012 and 2016 rosters are easy to pinpoint. Outside hitter Jordan Larson returns, along with setter Courtney Thompson and middles Christa Harmatto Dietzen and Foluke Akinradewo. The Olympic rookies are setters Alisha Glass and Carli Lloyd, outsides Kim Hill and Kelsey Robinson, middle Rachael Adams, opposites Karsta Lowe and Kelly Murphy and libero Kayla Banwarth.

Who's Missing?


Two high-profile stars left the program during this quad: Destinee Hooker and Logan Tom. Although USA Volleyball has been very silent about Hooker and Tom's departures, various leaks have indicated that both players expressed their interest in rejoining the team, but Kiraly chose to take the team in a different direction, adding young, fresh talent to the roster in place of these proven veterans.

The starting setter and libero from the London Olympics team have now both retired, with setter Lindsey Berg hanging up her jersey right after the 2012 Olympics and libero Nicole Davis announcing her retirement last summer.



Glass will serve as Berg's primary replacement, with Lloyd likely being used in the double sub. Banwarth has the starting libero position so locked down that Kiraly chose not to bring a back-up.

Youth Movement


This iteration of the U.S. Women's National Team is very young. Lowe, 23, and Kelly Murphy, 26, replaced Hooker and veteran opposite Tayyiba Haneef-Park. Hill, 26, and Robinson, 24, take the positions previously filled by Tom and Megan Hodge Easy. Larsen was one of the youngest players in London, and now at 29 is one of the veterans. The same goes for 31 year-old Thompson, 28-year-old Akinradewo and 29-year-old Dietzen.

Coach Promotion


One of the biggest changes for the USA women since London? Kiraly's ascension to the position of head coach. An assistant in London, Kiraly accepted the head coaching position after Hugh McCutcheon left his national team post to serve as head coach at Minnesota. Although he's one of the most decorated volleyball players in the world, Kiraly is young in coach years and the team's results were mixed in the first couple years of the quad. Now that the U.S. women are ranked No. 1 in the world, it looks like Karch's coaching philosophy and the culture he's created in the national team gym are paying off. But the ultimate test will come next month in Rio. Can this team win gold?


​To take an inside look in the gym of the 2016 USA Women's National Team, be sure to catch our first documentary series "​All In: USA Women's National Volleyball Team"  available exclusively on FloVolleyball. 

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