Thompson Leads U.S. National Volleyball Team To Bronze Medal At Pan Am Games

July 19, 2007

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil- Former Washington standout Courtney Thompson led the U.S. Women's National Volleyball team to a third place finish at the XV Pan American Games held at Maracanãzinho Gymnasium Thursday with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-22) sweep over Peru in the bronze-medal game in front of 2,130 fans. Team USA has finished third in the tournament in the last three events held every fourth year.

Team USA advanced to the medal round by defeating Costa Rica 3-0 and Puerto Rico 3-1, before concluding Pool B action with a 3-0 loss to Cuba. The U.S. lost to Brazil 25-13, 25-20, 25-20 on July 18 in the semifinal round.

'I think as a team we improved a lot during the tournament,' Thompson said. 'We got better every match. Today was pretty rough and it was not our prettiest match, but we hung in their and got a win.'

Thompson started all three sets for the Americans, leading the team with 29 sets and three aces, while adding 11 digs. Thompson, who has been training with the U.S. National Team since the spring, worked her way up to a starting position during the tournament after not appearing in the U.S. opener and coming off the bench the next day vs. Puerto Rico.

'I was just excited to get a chance,' Thompson said. 'That is what I have been waiting for, but you have to be patient in being the new one. I thought I would get an opportunity at some time. All I could do is prepare as best as I know how. I sure have enjoyed playing this week and I had a great team around me.'

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