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2010 Girls' Youth Olympic Games
21 - 26 August 2010

 Press Release
USA advances to the final to face Belgium again

USA team clinched a berth in the finals as Crystal Graff and Lauren Teknipp celebrate
Singapore, Singapore, August 24, 2010 - USA scored a straight sets (25-20, 25-23, 25-23) win over Japan in the second semifinal of the girls tournament at the Youth Olympic Games on Tuesday as they booked their spot in the final against Belgium.

The match was characterized with lots of saved balls from the quicker Japan and the enthusiastic crowd in Toa Payoh Sports Hall showed their appreciation. 

The first set confirmed the power of the Japan defense, and in the beginning they could control the spikes from USA´s Elizabeth McMahon.

The second set was characterized by the taps of spiker Karaki Saaya, who succeeded in passing the great block of USA several times for scored points. USA lost their energy and Japan took advantage of this to score several points up to 20-18 but USA managed to close the door.

In the last set the two teams were under pressure and made some mistakes especially in serving. The defense was again the best skill of Japan and the libero Yoko Onuma saved some spectacular balls. For the USA, spiker McMahon and the central Lauren Teknipp were essential for winning the set.

Tomorrow afternoon Japan will play against Peru for the bronze medal, while USA will play on Thursday against Belgium in a rematch of the longest match of the tournament so far (2.06h) which finished with victory for the USA. 

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