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Women s Olympic Games 2004 - Press Conference

Press conference

U.S.A. beat Germany 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 27-25) - duration 2:01
16-Aug, start time: 19:30, end time: 21:31 - Attendance: 2'800
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
USA wins crucial battle against persistent Germany
The United States bounced back from their opening loss to China to beat an enthusiastic German side 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 27-25) at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Monday.

All eyes were on the German team after they delivered a shock-defeat to defending Olympic champions Cuba on the opening day but favourites USA, who are the number one ranked team in the world, were up to the task to claim their first victory of the tournament.

Dominance at the net was the crucial factor for the US to win the first set. Prikeba PHIPPS' superb blocking (4 kills in the first set) was too much for the Germans. That does not mean that there was not a battle on the floor. Exactly the opposite happened. The German team showed self-confidence and good teamwork, but the Americans were more concentrated in the crucial rallies.

Not much changed in the second set. Both teams fought for each rally. It was Angelina GRUN's turn to step up for Germany and cut the margin from 17-12 to 20-19, but the US team kept their nerve to claim their second set.

Germany were determined to give their best in the fourth set. Indeed, they managed to take the early lead. But then, it was time for the US to prove their class and ability of handling difficult situations. Some great plays by PHIPPS and Tayyiba HANEEF tied the match at 20-20. Two aces by Heather BOWN of the US and Christiane FURST of Germany did not change the situation but FURST's excellent serving gave Germany the edge and the set by three points.

The fourth set was a pleasure to watch. USA took charge of the match but Germany was always able to find the answers. The US brought the game to match-point at 24-21 but strong serving by Tanja HART and attacks by GRUN and Birgit THUMM gave Germany the lead 25-24. This time it was the US to stage their comeback and thanks to two spikes by HANEEF and a serve-ace by BOWN they sealed a great victory by two points in the fourth set.

ONS sk