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Women s Olympic Games 2004 - Press Conference

Press conference

Russia beat U.S.A. 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 15-11) - duration 2:07
20-Aug, start time: 21:30, end time: 23:37 - Attendance: 4'473
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
Russia beat USA in a classic
World number six Russia played the game of their lives to beat world number one the United States in a classic final match of the day to confirm their quarterfinal spot on Friday.

The defeat means USA must beat Cuba in their final match on Sunday. A loss will see the pre-tournament favourite dumped out in favour of the likes of China, Cuba, Russia and the winner of the match between Germany and the Dominican Republic.

The beginning of the first set found Russia to be on top of their game as they opened a 10-7 lead, but the United States proved to be more focused later on in the set and became the first team to reach 20-points. Led by Prikeba PHIPPS and Tayyiba HANEEF the US team ended up racing to a 25-20 victory.

However, Russia, the Sydney 2000 silver medallists got their act together in the second set, leading till the end thanks to efforts by Lioubov SHASHKOVA and Ekaterina GAMOVA.

Such is the quality of this US side they replied straight away in the third set. Once again, the Americans became increasingly efficient as the set went on, increasing their lead from 17-16 to 21-16. There was not much job for the USA to finish as they celebrated a third set victory.
After another Karpol classic team talk, Russia overwhelmed the US with a highly effective defense and improved attacking in the fourth set. Once they took the lead, Russia were never threatened again and they easily wrapped up the set by seven points.

With the game tied at 2-2 it was a disappointed American side who could only watch the breaks go Russia's way and 15 minutes was all it took for the former world numer one to be celebrating.

GAMOVA (28 points) and SHASHKOVA (23) led the scoring for the winners, while HANEEV (25), Logan TOM (24) and PHIPPS (15) were the top scorers for the US.

ONS sk