London, Great Britain, July 30, 2012 – The women’s volleyball tournament of the 2012 London Olympic Games continues on Monday with six competitive matches at Earls Court Complex where thousands of fans have enjoyed the outstanding atmosphere and the athleticism of the players.
The morning session, starting at 9:30 local time, features the appealing matches of China v Turkey and Serbia Korea. In the afternoon, starting at 14:45, Dominican Republic meet Russia while world ranked No. 1 United States play No. 2 and defending champions Brazil. The evening schedule has Italy v Japan and hosts Great Britain v Algeria at 20:00.
China v Turkey
The first match of Monday promises to be an exciting one as World No. 3 China square off against the 8th ranked Turkey. After a slow start in their debut on Saturday, the Asian team demolished Serbia in three one-sided sets while the Turkish battled up to the limit before going down against Brazil in five dramatic sets. Good news for the Chinese side is that Yimei Wang seems to be fully recovered from her ankle surgery while on the other side Turkey’s main weapons proved to be working by the book. These two teams have only met three times before with Turkey winning the last two by 3-1 results.
Serbia v Korea
After taking the first set against China in opening day, Serbia team just collapsed and was an easy victim for the Asian side. On the other hand, Korea offered big resistance to World No. 1 United Stated before succumbing to the powerful Americans. Jovana Brakocevic, one of the key Serbian players still is not completely healthy from an injury and without her the Serbian squad walks gingerly. The side of Zoran Terzic must find a way to stop Kim Yeon-Koung, who hammered 29 points in the loss to USA. History, however, favors Serbia since the Koreans had not been able to take one single set from the European team in four previous matches.
Dominican Republic v Russia
After losing to Italy in their first match, things does not become easier for the Dominican Republic team as they now have to challenge the towering world champions Russia in their second appearance. The Russians, currently ranked No. 9 in the world, opened their campaign with a straight-set victory over hosts Great Britain with Natalia Gonchareva and Ekaterina Gamova as the most productive players. On the other side, veteran Milagros Cabral was the lone bright point for the Dominican team in the loss to the hands of Italy. Russia lead 6-0 their head-to-head series.
United States v Brazil
One of the most anticipated matches of the preliminary round is the classic clash between the top two teams in the world as No. 1 United States are pitted with the defending Olympic champions Brazil. Both teams had to use all their resources to succeed in day one when faced strong challenges from the opponents. The Americans clinched a 3-1 victory over Korea while the South Americans were able to prevail in their five-set battle with Turkey. Brazil’s Sheila Castro and USA’s Destinee Hooker, as expected, topped the attack of their forces in opening day. The Brazilians have a slight 21-20 advantage in their historical contests but don’t forget the Americans have won the last four times.
Italy v Japan
These two teams have played twenty-five times before with the Italians showing a 16-9 win-loss historical record. The mark, however, can be misleading since the two sides have shared evenly the last eight matches dating back to 2008. Last year they faced twice with Japan nailing a 3-0 victory during the final round of the World Grand Prix while Italy answered back with a 3-1 triumph at the World Cup. The two Saoris –Kimura and the less famous Sakoda- were instrumental in the victory of Japan against Algeria and Simona Gioli buried the hopes of Dominican Republic with a 19-point performance that included six blocks and 13-for-22 in her spike attempts.
Great Britain v Algeria
Both teams are coming from 3-0 defeats in their Olympic debut and their best chances of clinching a victory in the 2012 edition of the Games reside in this match. Zohra Bensalem was the top scorer for Algeria with nine points in their loss to Japan while British captain Lynne Beattie was able to score 11 against Russia. The two teams have never played each other so technically there is not any advantage for either side. However, the support of the fans should give the British the so called home-court advantage.
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