Olympic Volleyball 2012: Players Who Must Shine for Team USA Women to Win Gold
The United States women's volleyball team has never won an Olympic gold medal. The current squad has a tremendous opportunity to bring an end to that drought on Saturday after defeating South Korea to reach the final.
It's going to take a complete team effort for the Americans to walk away with gold. That said, there are a few players who will have a little extra pressure on their shoulders as the squad looks to complete its undefeated run.
Let's take a look at a trio of players who fall in to that category for the United States.
Tom made her Olympic debut all the way back in 2000 and has been a major part of the team ever since. The California native is the team's most versatile player with the ability to defend and attack while also providing a veteran presence on the court.
Her experience will play a key role in the gold-medal match. A lot of her teammates will be playing the biggest match of their careers, but Tom has been a part of big matches around the world for more than a decade and must keep everybody focused on the task at hand.
In terms of game play, Tom has watched her role in the offense shrink a little bit due to the emergence of younger players, but in key situations she's still a threat, and needs to prove it early.
Which player will have the best match?
It's been an amazing run for Hooker, who's an Olympic rookie but certainly hasn't played like it. Her finishing ability at the net is the biggest reason the Americans have been able to reach this point with relative ease.
Her combination of size and athleticism separates her from just about every other player in the tournament. That was on full display in the semifinals as she led the game with 24 points while the United States won in straight sets.
Even though she has looked unstoppable throughout the tournament, it's always tough to gauge how any athlete will perform when the bright lights get turned on. Hooker can't afford to suffer a drop in production for the United States to prevail.
Berg returned in the semifinals after a brief injury scare that led to her sitting out of a victory over the Dominican Republic for precautionary reasons. The team's best setter showed no signs of lingering issues against South Korea.
While there has been a lot of talk throughout the event about Hooker, Jordan Larson and Team USA's other scoring options, they owe a lot of their success to Berg's pinpoint sets. It makes putting the ball away much easier.
Getting Berg back in time for the gold-medal match is a huge boost. As long as she can avoid an injury setback, she will be a key component in the attack one again. She's another multiple-time Olympian who is well deserving of gold.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?