Russia and United States conclude prelims with spotless record
2012 Olympic Games
London, Great Britain, August 5, 2012. Reigning world champions Russia and world No. 1 ranked USA both qualified to the quarterfinals of the Olympic Games women’s volleyball tournament with an impeccable 5-0 win-loss record in Pools A and B respectively.
On Tuesday, Russia will play Brazil, the fourth placed in Pool B, and United States will be pitted with Dominican Republic who finished in fourth position in Pool A. Following a drawing of lots ceremony at Earls Court, it was determined that Italy will play Korea and Japan are to meet China in the other quarterfinal matches.
Russia prevailed against Italy in a five-set thrilling battle with the duo of Nataliya Goncharova and Ekaterina Gamova combining to score a total of 64 points. On the other hand, Destinee Hooker and Foluke Akinradewo led the American win over Turkey in straight sets despite a well fought first set.
In Sunday’s action, China edged Korea in five sets, Dominican Republic and Brazil sealed their tickets to the final-eight round by defeating winless Algeria and Serbia respectively and Japan downed hosts Great Britain.
Dominican Republic vs. Algeria 3-0
The Dominican Republic claimed a straight-set win (25-15, 25-16, and 25-13) over Algeria to advance to the quarterfinals of the Olympic Games women’s volleyball tournament. As the fourth placed team in Pool A, the Dominicans will play Pool B leaders United States in one of the quarterfinals scheduled on Tuesday. It was the second victory against three losses for the Dominican side while Algeria concluded the tournament without wins in five outings. The winners held a 10-4 margin in blocks. Prisilla Rivera was the best scorer of Dominican Republic with a match-high 21 points, followed by Milagros Cabral and Gina Mambru with 14 and 12 respectively. Zohra Bensalem finished with 13 points for Algeria.
China vs. Korea 3-2
China edged Korea in five grueling sets (28-26, 22-25, 25-19, 22-25, and 15-10) as both teams secured berths in the quarterfinals phase of the Olympic Games women’s volleyball. China finished second in Pool B behind United States with a 3-2 mark and 9 points while Korea collected one valuable point to secure third place with their 2-3 win-loss record and 8 points. Hui Ruoqi led five Chinese players with double digits in the scores with 20 points, followed by Chu Jinling who finished with 14. Yang Junjing and Ma Yunwen each contributed 12 tallies and Zhang Lei added 12. Korea’s Kim Yeon-Koung registered a match-high 32 points, including three blocks and two aces, and Han Song-Yi added 16. Yang Hyo-Jin and Kim Hee-Jin tallied 14 and 13 respectively with Yang totaling five blocks. The winners edged the defeated side in blocks (13-12) and service aces (7-6).
Japan vs. Great Britain 3-0
Japan beat Great Britain (25-19, 25-14, and 25-12) as the fifth and final round of women's volleyball preliminary matches took place at Earls Court on Sunday. Saori Kimura and Yukiko Ebata each tallied 14 points for Japan while Risa Shinnabe chipped in with 12, including three blocks. Great Britain had Lynne Beattie with 8 points as their best scorer. Both teams scored 7 blocks and Japan served three aces to one by the home team. Japan finish third in the group and progress to the quarterfinals to play China there. Great Britain are eliminated, but can be proud of their win over Algeria in the competition.
Russia vs. Italy 3-2
Nataliya Goncharova and Ekaterina Gamova collected 33 and 31 points respectively to carry Russia to a five-set (26-28, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16, 15-11) victory over Italy in a match between undefeated teams in Pool A in the fifth and final round of the women’s preliminary matches. Russia finished on top of the group and will play Brazil in the 1/4 finals. Goncharova had 5 blocks and three aces and the towering Gamova collected three blocks. Veteran Liubov Shashkova, who started in the last three sets, contributed 10 points to the victory. Simona Gioli had 5 blocks among her 21 points for Italy, followed by Lucia Bosetti with 19. Carolina Costagrande and Valentina Arrighetti added 13 and 12 in the losing effort.
United States vs. Turkey 3-0
World No. 1 United States completed a perfect tour around the preliminary round of the Olympic women’s volleyball tournament by defeating Turkey in straight sets (27-25, 25-16, and 25-19) to finish atop of Pool B with a 5-0 win-loss record. The winners held an 11-6 margin in the blocking category and only committed nine unforced errors for the whole match to 18 by the Turkish team. Destinee Hooker once again was the top scorer for the American side with 19 points while Foluke Akinradewo contributed 15, including a match-high five blocks. Jordan Larson and Christa Harmotto chipped in with 9 apiece to the victory. Neriman Ozsoy and Neslihan Darnel had 14 and 11 points for Turkey while Busra Cansu notched nine.
Brazil vs. Serbia 3-0
Olympic defending champions Brazil cruised to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, and 25-16) victory over Serbia to complete the list of teams qualified to the quarterfinals of the women’s volleyball tournament at the London Olympic Games. The South Americans outscored the Serbians in blocks (13-2) and in aces (6-1) while committing only 10 unforced errors for the match. Thaisa Menezes paced Brazil with 14 points, including a match-high five blocks while Sheilla Castro finished with 12 points and four serving aces. Fabiana Claudino had four blocks among her 10 points and Jaqueline Carvalho chipped in with 10 tallies. Ivana Djerisilo had 11 points and Brankica Mihajlovic added 10 for Serbia.
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