In 2019, Jordan Thompson finished her college volleyball career as an all-America for Cincinnati. This summer, the Edina native will play in her first Olympics after being named Monday to the 12-player U.S. women's volleyball roster for the Tokyo Summer Games.
Thompson, 24, was the only Minnesotan selected to the team. Former Gophers Tori Dixon, Hannah Tapp and Sarah Wilhite Parsons are among six alternates. A 6-4 opposite, Thompson is one of eight first-time Olympians to make the roster.
Following a standout career at Edina High School and the Northern Lights club, Thompson starred at Cincinnati. The three-time American Athletic Conference player of the year amassed 2,664 kills, seventh-most in NCAA Division I history, and her 6.27 kills per set as a senior set an NCAA single-season record. Thompson broke another NCAA mark with 50 kills in a match, the most by any women's player during the rally-scoring era.
Thompson has been part of the U.S. women's national team since 2019. She began her pro career in Turkey last year and currently is playing for the U.S. in the Volleyball Nations League tournament in Italy, the only major international competition before the Olympics. The Americans are ranked No. 1 in the world and earned the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.
Coach Karch Kiraly called it "a bittersweet moment'' to announce the Olympic roster. Thompson and the three former Gophers are part of a group of 23 women on the U.S. national team, which Kiraly said has "done amazing work in the last 14 months'' to prepare for the Olympics.
Outside hitter Jordan Larson and middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson made the Olympic team for the third time, while outside hitters Kim Hill and Kelsey Robinson are two-time Olympians. Eight of the 12 played college volleyball in the Big Ten, with Nebraska, Penn State, Illinois and Purdue alumnae on the roster.
"Ultimately, we coaches are elated for this Olympic roster selection,'' Kiraly said. "Each one of the 12 contributes unique skills and qualities that make her the right person for the job. This collection of special people who are elite volleyball players is poised to make a fierce Olympic run.''