US volleyball team earns Olympic berth

The United States secured a berth at next year’s London Olympics by defeating Italy 25-23, 25-15, 22-25, 25-21 Thursday at the volleyball World Cup.

Destinee Hooker had a team-high 24 points as the Americans improved to 9-1 and moved into first place.

"Knowing we’ve qualified for the Olympics is a wonderful feeling," U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "We have one more match tomorrow, but we’re going to London, and that’s a great, great thing for us."

Italy already sealed a place at the 2012 Olympics with Wednesday’s win over Germany. Either Japan or China can secure an Olympic berth on the final day of competition Friday.

Fourth-place Japan faces the United States on Friday, while third-place China takes on Germany.

The U.S. could win the World Cup gold medal with a win over Japan.

In other matches, the Dominican Republic defeated South Korea and Brazil downed Algeria.