Purdue athlete Annie Drews, with a Japan twist

I just highlighted volleyball for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. One of the Purdue athletes being highlighted by the university is Annie Drews. She is a member of Team USA in volleyball, a Mishawaka Penn graduate (not to be confused with Adam Driver’s Mishawaka High School), and a Purdue graduate.

Life in Japan for the Olympics won’t be hard for her as she was the Japan V-League championship game MVP playing for the JT Marvelous team. おめでとうございます!

I had never heard of JT Marvelous … but it sure sounds Japanese. It seems JT Marvelous is in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan and the JT stand for Japan Tobacco Ltd. Why not light up after a match? Go JT Marvelous.

Nishinomiya is the home of the  Koshien Stadium (use this link for the official website of the stadium), used by the Hanshin Tigers and also the home of the two annual high school baseball tournaments. When I lived in Japan I would watch the high school tournament on TV when I could, and would always get teary-eyed at the end of a game watching all these kids who gave it their all trying so hard not to cry but more often than not sobbing heavily.

I dare you to watch this video and not get tears in your eyes.

I guess I’ve been through Nishinomiya as it is between Kobe and Osaka, but I didn’t pay attention.

Sorry Annie Drews for making a post about you turn into a walk down memory lane in Japan. But that’s why I’m blogging, making these discoveries and sharing them.

Sports spotlight – volleyball

Some of the matchups for some of the events are starting to come out. When we bought tickets, we chose events like “Volleyball – Men’s Preliminary Round (2 matches).” There was no guarantee what teams we would see, or if the matches would even be close. Our tickets for volleyball are on July 31, from 9:00 am to 12:50 pm. Early morning for sure. The other day the volleyball schedule came out. What’s happening in the morning of July 31?

Looking at the official schedule …

source – https://tokyo2020.org/en/games/schedule/olympic/

Looking specifically at volleyball,

Source – https://tokyo2020.org/en/games/schedule/olympic/20200731_VVO.html

We get to see two North American teams versus two South American teams, and we get to see the US play against Brazil.

The top ten in the world rankings in men’s volleyball show Brazil as number one, the US as number 3, and Canada as number 10. It should be an excellent match between the US and Brazil and could be a preview of the finals.

Source – https://www.fivb.com/en/volleyball/rankings/seniorworldrankingmen


Source – https://www.volleyball.world/en/volleyball/olympics/2020/competition/formula

For the Olympics, in both men’s and women’s volleyball, there are only twelve teams competing. They are divided in two pools, each with six teams. The top four teams of each pool then advance to the quarterfinals. Interestingly, only four out of twelve teams do not advance to the single elimination tournament.  The way the semi-finals are arranged, the top two teams in a single group could meet again in the semifinals.

Source – https://www.volleyball.world/en/volleyball/olympics/2020/competition/formula
source – https://www.volleyball.world/en/volleyball/olympics/2020/competition/formula

The pools are ordered by number of victories, then by ranking points, then by set ratio, then by points ratio. Three points are given to the match victor if they win by a 3-0 set score, or a 3-1 set score. If they win by a 3-2 set score, the winner gets two points and the loser gets one point. If there is a tie in the ranking points, the next order is set ratio, where the ratio of sets won to sets lost breaks a tie. If there is still at tie, the ratio if points won to point lost sets the order. If there is a STILL a tie, then, “the priority will be given to the team which won the last match between them. When the tie in points ratio is between three or more teams, a new classification of these teams in the terms of points 1, 2 and 3 will be made taking into consideration only the matches in which they were opposed to each other.”

Follow along with the international federation on their Tokyo 2020 website

Qualification for the Olympics began in August 2019, when the top 24 teams in the world participated in six intercontinental qualification tournaments in six pools across the globe. The six winners of each pool qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games. In January of this year, five continental qualification tournaments were held, and the winner of each of those tournaments filled the twelve team qualification pool. Japan, as the host, automatically qualified.

The men’s qualification path was …

source – https://www.volleyball.world/volleyball/olympics/2020/-/media/2020/fivb-competition/olympic-games/volleyball/qualification-process/

We also have tickets to a men’s semifinal match and the men’s finals.