Singapore, Singapore, August 26, 2010 - Belgium won the historic first-ever girls’ Volleyball gold medal at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games by beating the United States in a hard-fought match 3-1 (17-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-12).
In front of a largely Belgium crowd in the Toa Payoh Sports Hall that included flag-waving Belgium athletes from other sports, the country improved to 3-1, while the United States earned the silver medal.
The match was like a roller coaster for both teams, with the USA starting off the match well, and Belgium dominating towards the end.
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The USA scored eight of the first 10 points in the initial set, behind a strong effort by Crystal Graff (nine points). Belgium struggled defensively. USA had to play without leading scorer Elizabeth McMahon, who broke her right arm in a non-Volleyball accident in the Youth Olympic Village, and who would have been an important player in the final.
Belgium played stronger in the second set going on a five-point run to gain a 6-3 lead, thanks to several kills by Laura Heyrman that scored 16 point for Belgium.
Belgium was unstoppable in the beginning of the third set. After the U.S. scored the first two points of the set, Belgium earned the next eight points.
The United States looked lethargic at the end of the fourth and final set compared to the energy from Belgium. Belgium scored 13 of the match’s final 16 points, and won the set by 13 points, the largest margin of victory in the nine sets that the two teams played against each other during the Youth Olympic Games.
Taylor Simpson had a game-high 18 points for the United States. Laura Heyrman led Belgium with 16 points.