United States women remain unbeaten in volleyball play


World top-ranked United States defeated Italy, 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, to remain the only undefeated team of Pool B in the women's volleyball tournament at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The American team already qualified to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 win-loss record, handed Italy their fourth loss in a row.

Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo and Kimberly Hill led a balanced offence by the winners with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Karsta Lowe and Rachael Adams contributed 12 and 10 in the victory.

Italy is a good team and we obviously didn't play our best volleyball, but we did a good job of fighting through to the end and playing one point at a time," Hill said. “I think that just shows the character as a team that we're always willing to fight even if we're way down, we can always come back and win."

Paola Egonu carried much of the load of the Italian attack with 20 points and a low 20 percentage of effectiveness in her attempts.

USA held the advantage in attacks 66-44 but also gave away 30 points with errors to 24 by the Italian team that was better in blocks 14-5.

Two spikes by Akinradewo opened a three-point gap for USA in the first set for 15-12 and the Americans sealed it 25-22 with a spike by Larson.

In the second set, Adams and Hill scored with spikes around a kill blocked by Murphy to give USA a 21-18 lead. A failed-serve by Del Core closed the actions at 25-22.

Italy led as many as eight points 16-8 in the third set but USA came within one point but Egonu sealed for the Italian side 25-23 with a big spike.

Italy erased a three-point deficit to tie the fourth set at 20-all only to see USA winning the next five points to seal their fourth victory.

Beach volleyball

After winning their pool Wednesday, American Olympic medalists April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings returned to the 12,000-season “Coliseu on Copacabana” early Saturday morning to oust Laura Giombini and Marta Menegatti of Italy.

With their 21-10, 21-16 win in 36 minutes over Giombini and Menegatti, it marked the third time on Copacabana that Ross and Walsh Jennings have won a match at the start of a new day with the others being over pairs from Australia and China.

The victory also advanced the Americans to the Rio Olympic quarterfinals where Ross and Walsh Jennings will play the winner of a late night Saturday match between Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia and Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska of Poland.

The Rio 2016 Olympics is also Ross and Walsh Jennings third tournament in the past 11 months on Copacabana.

With Walsh Jennings playing with right shoulder problems, the American pair placed ninth last September’s Rio “test” events. In mid-March, Ross and Walsh Jennings returned to Copacabana to win the Rio Grand Slam by defeating Brzostek and Kolosinska in the finals.


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