Olympics 2012 Women's Volleyball: USA Defeats Brazil in Group Match

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Jul 30, 2012 02:27 PM EDT
USA Volleyball
The U.S. women's volleyball team defeated Brazil in four sets on Monday to improve to 2-0.(Photo : Ivan Alvarado / Reuters) "

It won't qualify as revenge for 2008 - that will have to come in the medal round - but the U.S. women's indoor volleyball team scored an impressive early victory in group play at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, defeating 2008 gold medalist Brazil in four sets to win their Group B match. In a highly anticipated battle, the U.S. sent a strong signal that 2012 could be the year the team claims its first ever gold medal in the sport.

The two teams, ranked first and second in the world, battled back and forth in the opening set, with neither country leading by more than a point until the U.S. took a 6-4 lead. Brazil tied the match again at 7-7 on a U.S. miscue, and then took an 8-7 lead heading into a technical timeout. The Brazilians took two-point leads of their own at 9-7 and 10-8 before the Americans tied it up at 10. The U.S. then rallied from an 11-10 deficit to win the next three points, forcing a Brazil timeout. The Americans won the first point after the timeout, but the Brazilians rallied back to within one at 14-13. They would not be able to retake the lead, however, as the U.S. won the first set by a 25-18 margin. The U.S. continued to cruise in the second set, opening up a nine-point lead at 16-7 and never letting the Brazilians get any closer than seven points the rest of the way, finally winning 25-17.

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In the third set, Brazil opened strong, taking an early 8-3 lead, but the U.S. rallied back to tie at 15-15, and the teams battled neck and neck into the 20s. The Brazilians took a 23-21 lead, and survived a foul on a serve to win the third set, 25-22, staying alive in the match.

The U.S. took an early lead in the fourth set, although Brazil was consistently able to stop the Americans from breaking the game open, battling back from an 18-14 deficit to make it 18-16 and continuing to stay close at 22-20. They could only stay close for so long, however, as the Americans finished off the win, taking the fourth set by a 25-21 margin to finish the match.

For the match, the U.S. went 66/143 on spikes and 71/99 on digs. They also kept their service errors to seven, compared to 15 for Brazil.

Up next for the U.S. is a matchup with China, scheduled for Wednesday at 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET in the U.S.). Meanwhile, Brazil will face South Korea on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET in the U.S.).

 

 

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