(WCIA) — Team USA volleyball won their first match of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, beating Argentina 3-0, with two former Illini in the starting lineup. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Jordyn Poulter are playing with Team USA this summer, along with former Illini Erin Virtue who is coaching for the team.
Poulter had 37 assists, and nine digs in her Olympic debut. Her stint with Team USA comes after a decorated Illini career, where she was named an AVCA First-Team All-American and the Big Ten Setter of the Year in 2018. Illini head coach Chris Tamas says he always expected Poulter to become an Olympian.
“When we first started coaching her, we talked with USA and we said hey, she’s got every intangible you need,” says Tamas. “It was just a matter of if she can keep setting her way into getting better and better and she did. She’s a great person and teammate. She’s gonna do great with USA both now, and beyond.”
USA plays their next match on Monday. They’ll face China at 9 p.m. CT.