China to play USA for GOLD at the Rio 2016 Paralympics! London 2012 Gold Medal rematch!

MATCH REPORT – Day 7 – Thursday, September 15th


They have met in the finals of the 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental, the 2014 and 2010 World Championships, and the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.  And now, China and USA will again face each other for the GOLD medal here at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games!

Canada vs Rwanda (Women) – 7/8th position

CAN and RWA each ranked 4th in their respective pools and contested for the 7th position in this, their final, Paralympic match.

CAN got off to a quick start. RWA came back strong but trailed 8-5 at the first technical timeout. There was massive cheering as RWA drew level at 9 all. An ace from Heidi Peters (CAN) helped CAN on their way to a 16-12 lead. RWA closed the gap with some good blocking and passionate play although a RWA hitting error and a spike from Peters gave CAN the set win 25-21.

Four aces from Jennifer Oakes (CAN) set CAN off on an ideal 8-3 start. RWA started to make a comeback, but further aces from Danielle Ellis (CAN) extended CAN’s lead to 16-11. Super spikes from Alice Musabyemariya and Zaninka Nikuze gave RWA confidence but too many unforced errors and pressure from CAN resulted in a CAN set win 25-15.

RWA initially started well, although CAN soon overtook and dominated most of the set, first 8-5, then 16-5. CAN serving pressure and unforced errors were again holding RWA back. Then RWA made a passionate fight back and managed to close the gap with a number of spikes and serves, however the lead was too much and CAN won the set 25-20. CAN secured themselves a well-deserved match win and 7th place in the women’s competition.

There was a strong CAN support group and plenty of cheers for the RWA team as the stadium filled up even after the match had started.

There was fantastic serving from CAN with a total of 21 aces. Top servers, all from CAN, were Danielle Ellis (8), Heidi Peters (7) and Jennifer Oakes (5). Top spiker from CAN was Heidi Peters with 7 spikes and Liliane Mukobwankawe from RWA with 6.

Final Score CAN – RWA 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-20)

Netherlands vs Iran (Women) – 5th/6th Place

The matched promised to be very competitive with these two teams fighting out for 5th place.

Masoumeh Zarei Barouti (IRI) scored the first point with a back court hit and Zahra Abdi (IRI) aced to help give IRI a 8-4 lead. NED made a number of handling errors and IRI pushed ahead to 16-11. An ace from Eshrat Kordestani (IRI) and a monster block from Johanna Van Der Bilt (NED) kept the game tight. Mis-communication from NED and another ace from IRI finally gave IRI the set 25-21.

It was close in the 2nd set as teams traded points. IRI found a gap with a tip to lead 8-6. IRI looked strong as NED substituted players to try and find a solution, although it didn’t help as IRI led 16-8 with good spiking from Barouti (IRI). Barouti was on fire as she served an ace and IRI run away to take the set 25-13.

IRI edged ahead at the 1st technical timeout 8-7. NED had regained energy and contested every point. IRI still only led by 1 point at the 2nd technical timeout 16-15. A good spike from Karin van Der Haar (NED) and an ace from Hong Zhao (NED) brought the teams level at 22 all and then suddenly NED claimed victory 25-23.

Van Der Haar started the 4th set with an ace and NED looked like a new team as they led 8-2. Two aces from Captain Elvira Stinissen (NED) and a monster block from the team favoured NED 16-10. Van Der Haar aced again and NED stormed ahead to 25-15.

The 5th set was primed for battle. It was tense as NED levelled it 6 all and then went on to take a 3 point lead at 11-8. It looked like NED’s game, but Nasrin Farhadi (IRI) spiked and IRI got a run of points before Zahra Abdi (IRI) sealed it with a beautiful spike for the set 15-13. IRI take 5th place for the women at the Paralympics!

IRI and NED kept the fans entertained during sets with this mammoth 5 set match and kiss cam kept the fans entertained between sets. The fans were loving it.

Final Score NED vs IRI 2-3 (21-25, 13-25, 25-23, 25-15, 13-15)

Ukraine vs China (Women) – Semi-Final

The first semi final match of the 2016 Paralympics is world ranked 1, CHN, against world ranked 3, UKR.

It was fairly close in the beginning of the set. Margaryta Pryvalykhina (UKR) got a good swipe out although CHN found more holes in the UKR defence and led 8-6. 7 UKR monster blocked and then CHN extended their lead with good defence and heavy spikes, 16-11. Three aces from Meiling Zhao (CHN) and UKR were struggling. Lijun Zhang nailed a line shot and then aced for CHN to win the 1st set 25-14.

Both teams traded points early in the 2nd set and then CHN turned up the power on their spikes and had UKR falling all over the court. CHN led 8-5, but UKR came back to 10 all as CHN’s concentration slipped and Larysa Klochkova (UKR) super spiked for UKR to lead 16-13. CHN equalled UKR’s score of 22 and then went on to take the set 25-22 after a UKR miss-hit.

UKR found tips effective to score points, however CHN remained strong and in the lead. Excellent defensive dives and digs kept CHN in points that most teams would have lost, with 16-13 at the 2nd technical timeout. Great swipe outs from Limei Su and Zhang and CHN lengthened their lead. UKR had some brilliant spikes, including a headshot by Pryvalykhina, but CHN took the set 25-20 and secured themselves a place in the gold medal match.

Close to 5000 people came to enjoy this semi-final match and see some of the best female teams in the world compete.

Yohong Sheng top scored for CHN with 19 points, including 15 spikes and 3 blocks. Margaryta Pryvalykhina top scored for UKR with 14 points (12 spikes, 2 blocks).

Final Score UKR – CHN 0-3 (14-25, 23-25, 20-25)

Brazil vs United States (Women) – Semi-Final

This is the second semi-final match of the tournament for women as USA battles it out with host nation, BRA, for a chance at Gold in the finals.

BRA got off to a shaky start with a number of faults and trailed 8-5. Lora Webster (USA) spiked and Camilla de Castro (BRA) responded with one too for BRA. The USA team raised their game and went on spiking killing spree to lead 16-9. The BRA coach calmed down after he received a yellow card. Nathalie de Lima Silva (BRA) nailed a spike, however the USA continued to confidently take the set 25-13.

Jani Batista and de Silva super spiked for BRA and Janaina Cunha aced to put BRA in close contention with the USA 8-7. USA errors gave BRA a two point lead, but at the 2nd technical timeout it was still USA ahead by 1 point, 16-15. USA stretched their winning margin by 6 points before BRA got back into the game. BRA were 4 points down on set point and stunned the crowd by drawing even 24 all. It was a cliff-hanger as BRA had set point and then lost it 28-26.

It looked like BRA had found a burst of energy. They hustled for every ball with some great diving saves to come out 8-3 on top at the 1st technical. It wasn’t to last. USA attacked hard and a few BRA errors meant they were on the losing side of 16-11. A good block from Camila de Castro (BRA) halted the USA briefly. Katie Holloway responded with a block out and then USA took the final point to win 25-18 and secure their spot in the gold medal match.

It is a London 2012 repeat with China vs USA in the finals.

Top scorer for the USA was Heather Erickson with 14 (11 spikes, 3 blocks). Janaina Cunha was top scorer also with 14 points for BRA (10 spikes, 2 blocks, 2 serves). Top blocker for the match was Lora Webster with 4.

Final Score BRA – USA (13-25, 26-28, 18-25)

Day 8 matches – Friday, September 16th

13.30 USA v CHN Men
15.30 GER v UKR Men
18.30 EGY v BIH Men
20.30  BRA v IRI Men

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