Jordan Thompson jumped high over the net and sent a loud spike to end the match
TOKYO – Jordan Thompson jumped high over the net and sent a strong spike to end the match.
It provided the perfect punctuation mark for an impressive Olympic volleyball debut for the U.S. team’s star opposite hitter.
The 6-foot-4 Thompson posted a game-high 20 points, including 18 on attacking the net, as she set the tone for an American team seeking their first gold medal in the game.
Coach Kirch Kirali called him “invincible” and Argentina probably wouldn’t disagree after a match that the United States easily won 25–20, 25–19, 25–20.
“It was a bit nervous in the first set but we started getting into the groove in the second set,” Thompson said. “We played with a lot of energy but with a calm energy and I think it was great.”
Thompson and another Olympic newcomer, setter Jordyn Poulter, had excellent chemistry in their first matches. Poulter had a game-high 37 sets as she often got Thompson to get the ball in the proper places to lead the US on points
Gaining that confidence in the opening match was crucial for the newcomers as the competition will be tough the next time the Americans take to court on Tuesday against defending champions China.
“I think it’s really cool because the storm will only be tough once we have China and a lot of great teams in our pool,” Kirali said. “I think it’s good to get off on a solid foot. (They) were able to find a good connection on the different sets. They are working hard on that. We will be facing a better team against China, so those connections should be taken into account.” It would be helpful to continue.”
Thompson tried basketball, but opted for volleyball after reaching eighth grade because he didn’t like contact, but said that basketball exercises he did with his father as a child improved his hand-eye coordination and Helped build other skills that helped him thrive. in your new game.
“My dad, he was really helpful,” Thompson said. “He wanted me to play a sport. My parents supported my decision to play volleyball and continue it. They are very happy with how it ended.”
The only real hiccup in the match for the Americans was the multiple delays in the opening set, caused by problems at the scorer’s table, leaving Kiraly to his heart at times.
But it did nothing to slow down his team.
“It’s a little disappointing how many minutes delays are due to software or operator issues,” he said. “We all hope that by then those kinks will be worked out. That’s how it will happen. What I like best is that every time we come out of one of those unusually long delays, our team Was ready to go off the bat.