With the Women’s Nations League completed and the U.S. confirmed as the top team in the world, the business of Olympic qualifying is on this weekend. There are 11 spots available in the 12-team Olympic tournament, with host Japan already assured of a spot.
So six teams will emerge as the winners of four-team tournaments this weekend and advance to Tokko, with the remaining five to be decided next year in continental qualifying. This week’s events (with Nations League final placing if involved)
● Pool A (in Wroclaw/POL): Serbia (13), Puerto Rico, Thailand (12), Poland (5)
● Pool B (in Ningbo/CHN): China (3), Turkey (4), Germany (10), Czech Rep.
● Pool C (in Shreveport/USA): United States (1), Argentina, Bulgaria (16), Kazakhstan
● Pool D (in Uberlandia/BRA): Brazil (2), Dominican Rep. (8), Cameroon, Azerbaijan
● Pool E (in Kaliningrad/RUS): Russia (14), Korea (15) , Canada, Mexico
● Pool F (in Catania/ITA): Italy (6), Belgium (7), Netherlands (11), Kenya
The U.S. games will be played at the CenturyLink Center, which is actually in Bossier City, Louisiana, just outside of Shreveport. Coach Karch Kiraly has 12 of the 14 players who won the Nations League final on the squad, including 2019 Most Valuable Player Annie Drews (outside hitter), 2018 Most Valuable Player Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (outside), 2019 Best Libero Megan Courtney and 2019 co-Best Middle Blocker Haleigh Washington.
The Shreveport schedule:
● 2 August: Argentina vs. Bulgaria (4 p.m. Eastern)
● 2 August: U.S. vs. Kazakhstan (7 p.m. Eastern, on NBC’s Olympic Channel)
● 3 August: U.S. vs. Bulgaria (6 p.m. Eastern, on NBC’s Olympic Channel)
● 3 August: Kazakhstan vs. Argentina (9 p.m. Eastern)
● 4 August: U.S. vs. Argentina (2 p.m. Eastern, on NBC)
● 4 August: Kazakhstan vs. Bulgaria (5 p.m. Eastern)
Look for results here.