Akinradewo to help Team USA try to earn 2016 Olympic bid


Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo is among the 14 players who will compete for the United States senior women's volleyball team as it attempts to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics beginning Thursday in Omaha.

The world's top-ranked team, the Americans (41-6 in 2015) fell just short of qualifying for the Olympics over the summer during the FIVB World Cup, finishing third.

The U.S. won four tournaments last year, earning gold at the FIVB World Grand Prix, NORCECA Continental Championship, the Pan American Games and the Pan American Cup.

The Americans, who have earned silver in each of the past two Olympics, play Canada at 5 p.m. Thursday, Puerto Rico at 5 p.m. Friday and the Dominican Republic at 6 p.m. Saturday (NBC Sports) in preliminary play.

Sacred Heart Prep grad Denise Sheldon is the team manager to U. S. coach Karch Kiraly.

"We've had a strong training block so far, with all 21 players here working very hard to make USA the strongest it can be going into the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier," Kiraly said. "We chose the travel roster in the hope of maximizing our chances to accomplish our goal of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and we're excited to begin the battle, Thursday against Canada."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA volleyball

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