GOLD for USA Women over China at Rio 2016!

MATCH REPORT – Day 9 – Saturday, September 17th

USA Golden in match against China!

China has won every single gold medal match since women first started playing Sitting Volleyball in the Paralympics in 2004. The USA looked to change that and make history in this Rio 2016 gold medal match.

It was fast and furious as the teams fought to establish a lead. The USA were dominant and led 8-3 and then CHN dropped concentration and energy as they made a number of service faults and the USA continued finding gaps to push ahead 16-6. Heather Erickson (USA) super spiked and Nicky Nieves (USA) aced and the points kept coming. Kaleo Kanahele (USA) 2nd timed the ball to give USA the set 25-12.

Yuhong Zhao’s spike went long and the USA looked like they were enjoying themselves  as the points racked up 8-2. Erickson spiked for the kill and Monique Burkland (USA) applied pressure with her serve. CHN couldn’t seem to do anything right and repeated hitting errors meant they trailed 16-4 at the second technical timeout. CHN looked beat as USA romped home to a 25-12 set win again.

Xufei Zhang (CHN) aced and Yanan Wang (CHN) blocked to get CHN off to a good start in the 3rd set. Nieves (USA) shut CHN down with a monster block and Burkland (USA) spiked to give USA a 8-4 lead. Webster (USA) blocked as USA continued giving CHN a pounding 16-7. It didn’t look like there was any way for CHN to come back. Katie Holloway spiked, Burkland spiked, Erickson spiked and the USA completely dominated to take the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.

The USA women made history in winning the gold medal! They can be proud of a well-played match were all players were on form and contributed to this resounding win.

Top spiker for the match was Monique Burkland (USA) with 11. Top blocker was Lora Webster (USA) with 5 and top server was Kaleo Kanahele with two aces. CHN’s top scorer was Yuhong Sheng with 6 points (4 spikes and 2 blocks)

Final Score USA vs CHN 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-18)

Bronze Medal Match (Women) – Brazil vs Ukraine

Brazil women win bronze and their first ever sitting volleyball medal and in front of a home crowd!

UKR took on BRA for the women’s bronze medal match. BRA hoped the home crowd advantage would help them towards victory.

Tetyana Huranska’s (UKR) serving kept BRA on the back foot. Nathalie da Silva (BRA) scored a headshot and then another spike and BRA took the lead 8-7. Camila de Castro (BRA) got a good block, but both teams gave each other points on service errors. BRA were winning 16-10 and then UKR started buckling under the pressure. Janaina Cunha (BRA) nailed a great spike and UKR made too many mistakes to remain competitive. BRA won the 1st set convincingly 25-12.

Cunha (BRA) was on serving form and aced. UKR received a yellow card and then a setting error gave BRA the lead 8-6. Despite serving errors from UKR, point scoring off solid blocking and spiking were enough to give them the lead at the second technical timeout 16-14. It was tense as BRA drew 20 all on an ace from De Silva (BRA). BRA moved defiantly ahead. The score was 24-22 and then Cunha (BRA) nailed a fantastic spike to give BRA the 2nd set 25-22.

The crowd were firmly behind their home team. Break-dancing between sets kept them enthusiastic and cheering for the match.

It was tight as each team scored one point after the other. Players were diving across the court to save balls and there was plenty of hard spikes. BRA were up 8-7 and trading continued until a great back court tip and ace gave BRA the advantage 16-11. BRA raced ahead and UKR looked defeated. A full capacity crowd of 8,500 cheered as first Cunha spiked and then tipped to give BRA the set win 25-20 and the match 3-0.

BRA women win bronze and their first ever sitting volleyball medal and in front of a home crowd!

Janaina Cunha (BRA) was by far the top scorer with 22 points (17 spikes, 3 blocks, 2 serves). Ilona Yudina scored most for UKR with 12 points (7 spikes, 5 blocks)

Final Score BRA vs UKR 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-20)

Day 10 matches – Sunday, September 18th

9.30 BRA vs EGY Men
12.00  BIH vs IRI Men

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