Sports


More gold for swimmers, wins for volleyball and water polo

 

Talk about sharing the wealth, the United States women's 4x200 free relay team did exactly that on Wednesday night in winning the gold medal at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio.

Allison Schmitt was the lone American to participate in the morning relay and in the final, meaning that six women will receive a gold medal. It was a nice touch to include veteran Missy Franklin, Cierra Runge and Melanie Margalis as part of the qualifying race.


Tony Azevedo
Leah Smith, Stanford grad Maya DiRado and incoming Cardinal freshman Katie Ledecky joined Schmitt for the finals.

“I am grateful for where I am right now," Schmitt said. “My emotions are so high. We had a great group of girls in this relay."

Ledecky overcame a small deficit on the anchor leg to help the U.S. win in 7:43.03. She went 1:53.74 over the final 200 meters.

It was the fourth medal for Ledecky, after the 200 meter and 400 meter free titles, and the silver medal in the 4x100m free relay. Ledecky is also favored in the 800 meter free.

For DiRado, who has already announced this is her final meet, earning her first gold medal in a team event had to feel special. She also has a silver medal and a bronze medal.

Ledecky joined four other Stanford affiliates who have won at least four medals in a single Olympics: Jenny Thompson (2000), Summer Sanders (1992), Sharon Stouder Clark (1964) and Chris von Saltza Olmstead (1960).

Stanford junior Simone Manuel qualified for the finals of the 100 meter free, finishing second overall in the prelims with a time of 53.32. She was first in the semifinals at 53.11.

Cardinal grad Andi Murez, competing for Israel, placed 30th overall in the prelims of the 100 free.

Women's volleyball

The United States became the first team to seal a spot in the quarterfinals of the women's volleyball tournament at Rio 2016 Olympic Games by defeating Serbia, 25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 25-19, in a match between the only undefeated sides in Pool B on Wednesday.

USA improved to a 3-0 win-loss mark with two other teams in the same pool, Italy and Puerto Rico, already with 0-3 marks.

Rachael Adams had 18 points, including four aces, as the best offensive American player, followed by Cardinal grad Foluke Akinradewo, who scored four blocks among her 16 points. Kimberly Hill and Jordan Larson contributed 12 and 11 points in the victory.

“I am really proud of my team," Akinradeo said. “We played with better rhythm than in the other two matches. We are the first team to qualify to the next round and that is good for our confidence but now we have to focus on Italy, our next opponent."

Akinradewo scored with three spikes and three blocks to lead the United States to claim first set 25-17.

Serbia recovered to win the second set with the good defense at the net led by Boskovic and Mihajlovic carrying the load of the attack.

Hill broke a tie at 8-8 with a spike and United States took a lead they did not relinquish. Akinradewo finished on fire scoring four of the last five points for the 25-18 score in the third set.

In the fourth USA opened a four-point gap for 16-10 with two opponent errors and a ace by Adams. The set concluded by a six-point difference. (FIVB)

Beach volleyball

April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings protected their seeding by securing the Pool C title by defeating Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland in three sets.

With their 21-13, 22-24, 15-12 win in 65 minutes over the Swiss pair to secure their three match win of the competition, Ross and Walsh Jennings maintained their third-seeding when the 16-team elimination bracket is played Friday and Saturday. The win was the Americans fourth international victory over Forrer and Verge-Depre in as many matches.

Ross and Walsh Jennings controlled the first set throughout by jumping out to 4-0 and 8-1 leads. The second set featured 13 ties and three lead changes with two hitting errors by the Americans on the final two serves by the Swiss giving Forrer and Verge-Depre the match tie.

The third and deciding set had eight more ties and five lead changes with a medical time out for Forrer with the Americans leading 10-9. After the break, the Swiss tied the set at 10-10 and Ross then scored two-straight points on an attack and service winner to give the Americans the lead for good at 12-10. The Swiss trailed 13-12 when Ross had another successful attack and the Americans won the match on a fault by Verge-Depre.

“It was a hard-fought match, so we deserved a victory lap," Walsh-Jennings said. “Those girls are so good and at this competition for a reason. We expect to dominate them but are prepared to battle and today we battled." (FIVB)

Men's water polo

The U.S. Olympic team turned to its defense to earn its first win at the 2016 Olympic Games, beating France, 6-3, on Wednesday.

Josh Samuels scored three goals to lead the offense but it was the defense, anchored by McQuin Baron's 11 saves that set the tone. Team USA held France scoreless for the entire second and third quarter on the way to the win.

"In 2012 we were were 3-0 and and all of the sudden we fell apart," American captain and Stanford grad Tony Azevedo said. “It was a good two wake up calls for us, and we came out with a solid win. Offensively we weren't there but we did our strength which is defense, counter attack, we stayed united and played as a team. That's what I wanted and what the team wanted and that's gonna get us going to the next game."

The United States returns to play on Friday when they meet Montenegro in the second to last group play match. (USA water polo)

Men's rugby

East Alto Palo resident Folau Niua and the U.S. Olympic team split a pair of games Wednesday, losing to Fiji, 24-19, and coming back to beat Brazil, 24-12.

The Americans play for ninth place on Thurday.

Men's gymnastics

Incoming Stanford freshman David Jessen, competing for Czech Republic, placed 47th in the individual all-around category with a score of 79.681.

Jessen's best finish was 35th with a 14.316 on the horizontal bars.

Rowing

Competition was postponed Wednesday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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