COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 5, 2015) – USA Volleyball has been selected to host the NORCECA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament, which will be held Jan. 7‐9, 2016, at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.
The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world and reigning world champions, will host the four‐team round robin with No. 7 Dominican Republic, No. 15 Puerto Rico and No. 16 Canada. The tournament winner will earn NORCECA’s berth into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“We are thrilled to hear that Lincoln will host our zone Olympic qualifier,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “It’s truly an honor and a privilege ‐ and a phenomenal opportunity ‐ to play on an American court, in front of thousands of USA fans, with these four teams battling for a ticket to the Rio Olympics. We can’t wait to get back there, after getting to play ‐ and win ‐ the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals in Nebraska just a few months ago.”
The U.S. will face Canada on Jan. 7, followed by Puerto Rico on Jan. 8 and Dominican Republic on Jan. 9. All three USA matches will be played at 7 p.m. CT, while the non-USA match will be contested at 5 p.m. CT. The schedule needs final approval through NORCECA.
Prices for all-session reserved tickets range from $21-$81 dollars plus applicable taxes, while day session reserved seat prices range from $10-$30 dollars plus applicable taxes. Students, military and senior citizens can receive a $3 discount on day session tickets only.
Tickets will go on sale Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. CT and will be available through Ticket Master and Pinnacle Bank Arena. The tournament schedule will be announced later this month. USA Volleyball is partnering with the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau to produce the event.
“We are very excited to host the NORCECA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Lincoln, capitalizing on a passionate community that loves volleyball on all levels, including the national prominence of the Husker Women’s Volleyball program,” said Jeff Maul, executive director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau. “An international event of this magnitude and impact allows our city to continue its growth as a sports destination by showcasing the new developments and revitalized sports venues we have to offer.”
The tournament field was determined by the top four teams from the recent eight‐team NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship held in Mexico. Team USA captured the title with a four‐set win over Dominican Republic, while Puerto Rico won the bronze medal over Canada.
Team USA finished the 2015 season with a 41‐6 overall record that included gold medals in four tournaments and one bronze medal. The U.S. Women won the FIVB World Grand Prix, NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, the Pan American Games and the Pan American Cup. The Americans finished third at the FIVB World Cup, one spot shy of earning a 2016 Olympic Games berth in the first qualification tournament.
Pinnacle Bank Arena, which opened in September 2013, has a 15,500‐seating capacity.
The U.S. Women have captured the silver medal at the two most recent Olympic Games held in Beijing (2008) and London (2012). The Americans won the 2014 FIVB World Championship, the first time they won gold in any of the three triple crown events (Olympic Games, World Championship or FIVB World Cup).
Proposed NORCECA Olympic Qualification Schedule (needs final NORCECA approval)
Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m. CT
USA vs. Canada, 7 p.m. CT
Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m. CT
USA vs. Puerto Rico, 7 p.m. CT
Canada vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m. CT
USA vs. Dominican Republic, 7 p.m. CT