U.S. volleyball team defeats Italy in full-set battle despite Thompson’s absence

Tokyo — The United States defeated Italy in a seesaw five-set battle at Ariake Arena on Monday to take the lead in Pool B in the women’s volleyball qualifying, overcoming the absence of injured ace spike Jordan Thompson and another injury.

After spraining his ankle on Saturday, Thompson saw setter Jordyn Poulter suffering the same injury in the third set and being removed from the court in a wheelchair.

In the end, the best team in the world won in close quarters, winning 21–25 25–16 25–27 25–16 15-12 and advancing to the quarterfinals.

Andrea Drews on the other side of the United States led with 22 points, with the other four finishing in double digits.

“We were together as a team,” said US head coach Karch Kiraly after the match.

“We have a lot of trust in each other and have run a very good game plan,” he said, with Thompson recovering and hopes she might come back during the tournament. I added that.

Drews has high ambitions for her first Olympics.

“Of course, our ultimate goal is to get the money,” said the 27-year-old. “We have never done that and we are really working hard and hard to do it.”

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team was crushed by Turkey, dropping to 4th place in Pool B and Turkey finishing in 3rd place. Turkey dodged ROC with a full set driven by 16 blocks.

“I wanted to win this game before the finals. [knockout] Turkish captain Eda Erdem added that their determination helped them win.

Previously, world champion Serbia overwhelmed South Korea with a quick straight set of 25–18 25–27 25–15 with 10 blocks and 13 serve ace.

“I’m happy with today’s performance. Our serve and block were very good,” said Serbian opposition spiker Tyana Boscovich.

“We are really excited and confident. Of course, we want to go to the semi-finals,” he said.

Yuka Obayashi