Volleyball Olympic qualifier draws international crowd to Shreveport-Bossier City

Volleyball Olympic qualifier draws international crowd to Shreveport-Bossier City

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - The first ever U.S. women’s volleyball Olympic qualifier is bringing fans from across the world to Shreveport-Bossier City.

USA women are facing Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Argentina in a three day tournament at the CenturyLink Center. The winner will receive an invitation to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

People from across the country have traveled to see Team USA play in the qualifier.

“We couldn’t believe that this would ever happen in Louisiana,” Kristina Taren says. “We made a special trip from New Orleans to catch all the action this weekend.”

Taren has a daughter name Elizabeth that hopes to one day make the USA women’s volleyball roster. Her daughter says she was inspired meeting and seeing the athletes compete.

“I’m a defensive specialist and would love to be like Mary Lake,” Taren says.

Both high school and college athletes have traveled to see the matches and learn from the best volleyball players in the world.

“I’m an outside hitter and this is my first experience because this is something I would one day like to do," University of Arkansas Fort Smith volleyball player Rachel Williams says.

Several people who are from other countries but reside in the United States came to the event. Many of them wore their national team jerseys and colors.

This qualifier is bringing national recognition to the area and helping spur tourism.

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