Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics | #1 vs. #2: USA/Brazil Preview

Monday, July 30 | 8:45am (Pacific): #1 USA vs. #2 Brazil
NBC Live Extra
One of the biggest matchups of the 2012 London Olympic Games is just hours away.
Courtney Thompson and Tayyiba Haneef-Park
celebrate a point against South Korea
Earlier this year, the USA bumped Brazil from the top of the world volleyball rankings. The Americans strengthened that position by defeating Brazil twice during the 2012 World Grand Prix competition.
Monday’s showdown could be a doozy. Both teams struggled in their Olympic openers. Brazil needed five sets to defeat Turkey, an emerging power. According to our friends and contacts who watched both the USA and Brazil in London Saturday, here’s how they compare:
  • Brazil was the better passing and digging team. USA often struggled against South Korea; libero Nicole Davis had 8 passing errors, including a couple of fairly clean opportunities.
  • USA’s blockers were more dominant. Foluke Akinradewo and Christa Harmotto were particularly effective, with Tayyiba Haneef-Park helping Harmotto completely shut down the Koreans at the end of the match.
  • Both teams are effective when they set the Quick: a fast, flat delivery right to the hands of the middle blocker. USA setter Lindsey Berg, however, didn’t look to her middles very often, however.
  • Berg relies as much as she can on one hitter: Destinee Hooker. She set Hooker on the right, left and in the back. When Hooker was on, they got results. But with relatively few chances, other hitters had a tough time finding a rhythm, especially outside hitter Logan Tom.

So often, big matches like this come down to serving and serve receive. For the Americans, both Tom and Harmotto do a great job mixing their serves, and often end up on long runs. The question may be how well the USA—especially Tom and Davis—handle Brazil’s serve.

1 comment:

  1. Check olympics schedules, results and medals details here - Olympic Games 2012 Results


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