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Showing posts from August, 2016

2016 Olympic Wrap-Up

The 2016 Summer Olympics concluded a week ago in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I would like to offer some statistics and closing thoughts on the women's and men's indoor competitions. The U.S. captured bronze medals in both, but could have, and perhaps should have, won a pair of gold medals.

WOMEN'S PLAY

For women's and men's play alike, there was a 12-team field, with teams divided into two pools (A and B). The U.S. women finished atop Pool B, with a 5-0 record. The top four teams in each pool advanced to an elimination tournament to determine the medal-winners. Accompanying the U.S. from Pool B were the Netherlands (4-1), Serbia (3-2), and China (2-3).

The four teams to come out of Pool A were host Brazil (5-0), Russia (4-1), Korea (3-2), and Japan (2-3). Presumably, the teams were seeded to even out the strength of the two pools as much as possible. However, when the elimination round began -- with the fourth-place team in one pool playing the first-place squad fr…

U.S. Women's Olympic Team for Rio

With the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro just one day away, there is much anticipation among volleyball fans regarding the various competitions within the sport. Kerri Walsh will be seeking her fourth straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball (this time partnered with April Ross, rather than longtime partner Misty May), but we'll save that topic for another day.

The present entry is about the U.S. women's indoor team, which is seeking its first Olympic gold medal in program history. After a shocking setback to Brazil in the final of the 2012 London Olympics, the U.S. women won their first major international title at the 2014 World Championships. The Americans then took third at the 2015 World Cup.

There appear to be several top contenders on the Rio hardwood, besides the U.S., including home-team Brazil, China, Serbia, and Russia. Don't be surprised to see semifinal and final matches coming down to decisive fifth games!

The followi…