Russia and Italy keep immaculate record as Turkey scores first Olympic win
2012 Olympic Games
London, Great Britain, August 1, 2012. World top-ranked USA are the leaders of Pool B after prevailing in a well fought battle against China on Wednesday evening at Earls Court. In the other matches of Pool B Turkey grabbed their first win by downing Serbia in straight sets while Korea claimed their second triumph by upsetting Olympic defending champions Brazil in the last match of the evening.
In Pool A, world champions Russia and world cup monarchs Italy kept their perfect records at 3-0 with full 9 points following straight-set wins over Algeria and Great Britain respectively. In the other match of the group, Japan nailed an important 3-0 victory over Dominican Republic.
Friday’s schedule presents Brazil against China and Japan versus Russia in the morning session, followed by the afternoon matches of Turkey-Korea and Dominican Republic-Great Britain. The action concludes with United States playing Serbia and Algeria meeting Italy in the evening program.
Japan vs. Dominican Republic 3-0
The Japanese team utilized their traditional fast pace and game variety to sink winless Dominican Republic to a 0-3 record in Pool A. The Asian side claimed a straight-set (25-20, 25-19, and 25-23) win to improve to 2-1 in the tournament and 11-2 lifetime, including last five matches, against the Dominican side. The defeated team hurt their chances with 22 unforced errors to only 11 by the winners. Yukiko Ebata and Saori Kimura topped the scoring charts of Japan with 14 and 13 points respectively while Ai Otomo and Mai Yamaguchi contributed 9 and 8 in the balanced offence of the Asian side. Dominican Republic’s Prisilla Rivera and Bethania De La Cruz finished with 16 and 15 respectively.
Russia vs. Algeria 3-0
Russia kept their win-loss record unblemished in three outings following a cruising victory in straight sets (25-7, 25-14, and 25-15) victory over winless Algeria in Pool A. Lioubov Shashkova led the team of coach Sergey Ovchinnikov with 12 points while Maria Perepelkina went 9-for-12 in her spike attempts to finish with 11 tallies. Nataliya Goncharova registered 10 points and Maria Borisenko contributed 9. Safia Boukhima finished with 6 points for Algeria. In a match that lasted just 63 minutes, Russia out-blocked Algeria 13-1 with Borisenko and super veteran Evgenia Estes leading the path with five and four respectively. The winning side was successful in 42 of 70 kills attempted for an average of 60 percent.
Turkey vs. Serbia 3-0
Neslihan Darnel and Gözde Sonsirma each registered 14 points to carry Turkey to a straight-set (25-20, 25-12, and 25-21) win over Serbia in Pool B. It was Turkey’s first ever victory at the Olympics while Serbia dropped their third consecutive match. The team coached by Brazilian Marco Aurelio Motta blanked the European champions in the aces category 8-0 and held a slight margin in blocks (7-5). Neriman Ozsoy and Bahar Toksoy contributed 9 and 8 points respectively to the Turkish success with Toksoy serving for three aces. Brankica Mihajlovic was the only Serbian player to reach double figures in the charts with 10 points while Jovana Brakocevic chipped in with 9. Turkey improved to a 3-0 lifetime mark against Serbia.
Italy vs. Great Britain 3-0
Italy continued their victorious march by scoring a 3-0 (27-25, 25-12, and 25-12) win over hosts Great Britain. The team of Massimo Barbolini overcame a British challenge in the opening set to cruise the rest of the way while improving to a 3-0 win-loss record in Pool A. The home girls are now 1-2. Carolina Costagrande, Lucia Bosetti and Simona Gioli notched 12, 11 and 10 points respectively to spearhead a balanced Italian attack that saw Antonella Del Core and Jenny Barazza contributing 9 and 8 tallies. Great Britain’s Lynne Beattie and Ciara Michel finished with 11 and 10 points. Italy held advantages in blocks (10-7) and aces (6-3) and Costagrande landed 10 of her 17 spikes.
United States vs. China 3-0
Top world-ranked United States took sole possession of first place in Pool B following their 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, and 31-29) well battled triumph over No. 3 China. It was the eighth consecutive victory for USA over China who last defeated the Americans in the 2007 World Grand Prix. The Asians lead the overall head-to-head contests 32-22. The Americans, who held a 10-8 advantage in the blocking department, improved to 3-0 while China saw their record fall to 2-1. Destinee Hooker and Megan Hodge hammered 22 and 18 points respectively to top the American attack while Foluke Akinradewo and Logan Tom chipped in with 10 and 9. Zheng Chunlei had 10 for China and teammate Chu Junling added nine points.
Korea vs. Brazil 3-0
Emerging Korea scored a major upset by defeating the Olympic defending champions in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, and 25-21) in the last match of Wednesday at Earls Court. The victory earned Korea a 2-1 win-loss record in Pool B while Brazil now stands at 1-2. It was the first victory of Korea over Brazil since the 2003 World Grand Prix snapping a 13-game losing streak to the hands of the Brazilians. Once again, superstar Kim Yeon-Koung was unstoppable as she topped all the players in the match by scoring 21 points while Han Song-Yi added 16. Brazil’s Sheilla Castro finished with 16 points and Fabiana Claudino and Fernanda Rodrigues each closed with 10.
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