Page 174-175 - YearBook_2008

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Rank
Teams
1
BRAZIL
2
USA
3
CHINA
4
CUBA
5
ITALY
JAPAN
RUSSIA
SERBIA
9
KAZAKHSTAN
POLAND
11
ALGERIA
VENEZUELA
2008
Final Standing
TheU.S. found their rhythmafter veteransetterLindsey
Berg was sent to the court and their stormy serves
destroyed the Brazilian reception. The Americans
maintained their winning momentum and widened
their lead to 22-16. Danielle Scott-Arruda helped the
U.S. take the match point 24-18 with a kill block and a
quick middle court spike, but it was Tom who sealed
the victory at 25-18 with an unanswered spike.
The Brazilians showed their true colors in the third
set by strengthening their blocking and serving. A de-
cisive Brazil took the set effortlessly, 25-13.
The fourth set was a tit-for-tat battle until 21-21,
when Kim Glass gave the advantage to Brazil with a
service error. Claudino and Castro helped Brazil take
the match points 24-21 with kill blocks, but it was
American Tom who blew the ball out, as well as their
chance to go further. Brazil won the set 25-21.
Fabiana “Fabi” de Oliveira, named Best Libero by the
FIVB at the tournament, said the gold medal was the
perfect answer to critics of their bronze medal four
years ago in Athens, when they were fancied for the
gold.
“We spent four years trying to atone for our loss (in
Athens), even though we felt it wasn’t our fault,” said
Fabi. “I think people should be more supportive. We
are part of a winning generation and today we won
this medal which was so hard to get.”
It was a double celebration for Brazil’s Marianne
Steinbrecher as she picked up the gold on her 25th
birthday.
“Today is my birthday and this is the best present I
could have ever got,” said Steinbrecher. “I thank my
team. It wasn’t easy. This is a product of all our hard
work and never giving up. To whoever criticized us,
here’s the proof we could do it”.
The Brazilian Women’s Volleyball Team became
Olympic champions for the first time after beating
USA 3-1 in the Olympic Volleyball Tournament gold-
medal match.
The seven-time FIVB World Grand Prix winners beat
USA 25-15, 18-25, 25-13, 25-21 in 1 hour, 44 minu-
tes in front of 13,000 spectators at Capital Indoor
Stadium.
USA claimed the silver medal for the second time af-
ter winning it in Los Angeles 1984, when their cur-
rent head coach “Jenny” Ping Lang won gold as a pla-
yer with China.
In the bronze-medal match, 2004 Athens Olympic
champions China won 25-16, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20
against three-time Olympic champions Cuba.
Despite recently winning their seventh World Grand
Prix title, world No. 1 Brazil had never won the
Olympics. But with ballet-like delicate passing and
quick smashing, Brazil turned the first clash between
the two teams at the Beijing Games into an artistic
victory.
The two sides fought closely in the opener before, at
10-all, when Brazil, led by ace spikers Sheilla Castro
and Fabiana Claudino, launched a stunning 10-1 run
to establish a solid foundation for victory at 20-11.
American wing spiker Logan Tom scored three points
in a row and Heather Bown added one more to pull
back to 15-23, but Paula Pequeno immediately re-
sponded with a kill spike and an ace serve to clinch
the set for Brazil 25-15.
‘Zé Roberto’
guides Brazil
to gold
2008 Women’s Olympic Games Volleyball
2008 Women’s Olympic Games Volleyball
174
The FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta awarding Brazil the gold medal
175