Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 10, 2016 - Two teams are still unbeaten in Pool B of the volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and they will lock horns in a battle to stay that way on Wednesday. USA and Serbia will go face to face at the Maracanazinho for the third match of the third competition day.
Having shut out Puerto Rico on Saturday, the United States came across a much tougher challenge on Monday, but managed to emerge victorious from the spectacular 3-2 (18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8) five-setter with the Netherlands. Kelly Murphy outscored all her teammates with an 18-point contribution.
“The way we played in the fifth set give us some kind of relief. We really gave a great effort in defence in the tie-breaker and I feel proud of my teammates,” Foluke Akinradewo said. “Our pool is so strong.”
Coach Karch Kiraly agreed, “Our pool is so strong that I do not expect any team to leave undefeated from the first round. We still have to play Serbia, then Italy and then China. I think the key in this pool will be how to manage adversity.”
After the 3-0 against Italy on day 1, Serbia added another straight-set victory to their record – 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-20) over Puerto Rico. Brankica Mihajlovic top scored 16 points, all in offence. The Serbs top the current standings in Pool B with a perfect record of 6-0 sets so far.
Despite the excellent results, Serbia’s coach Zoran Terzic is mindful about what lies ahead for his team. “We need to play better if we want to win one of the medals. Our next opponent will be USA and then China and the Netherlands. The pool is very strong,” he said.
The most recent encounter between USA and Serbia took place at FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2015 in Japan. On August 23, in Matsumoto, the European squad outpowered the world champions for a 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-6) upset.