By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

The U.S Women’s Tokyo Olympic Gold medal winning volleyball team will play in SoCal this weekend. They will take on Turkey at the Pyramid on the campus at Long Beach State Saturday 7:30.  

“It will feel good to play in front of the family and friends,” said Justine Wong-Orantes of Cypress. “I have a lot of people that have supported me for a long time.”  

The 26-year-old libero played prep at Los Alamitos High where she helped lead the Griffiths to a CIF Championship. She went on to Nebraska and won a National Championship also.  

This week the team competed in Hermosillo, Mexico (at press time) they a had win over Peru 3-1 (25-13, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17) and Puerto Rico  (25-19, 25-16, 25-22) as part of the Pan American Cup.   There have been some changes since Tokyo but the heart of the team is still there. and Puerto Rico.  

Outside hitter Dani Drews led all scorers with 19 points on 15 kills, two blocks and two aces against Peru.   

“It was a very exciting first game for this group,” Drews said. “There was a little of those first-game jitters, which caused us to grind into some ups and downs; but we were able to stay strong as a team and to stay together to end up with the win.” The team previously won Gold at this event in 2017,2018 and 2019.  

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