Despite being without setter Jordyn Poulter and opposite hitter Jordan Thompson, the United States women’s volleyball team handled the Domincan Republic with relative ease, winning 3-0 in the quarterfinal matchup.
The U.S. team now will play in the semifinals, where they can punch their ticket to the gold medal game. It’s the United States’ fourth straight Olympic semifinal appearance.
In the first set, the U.S. and their attack game got out to a fast start and never looked back. It was a close 6-3 set in favor of the U.S. early, but the Americans outscored the Dominican Republic 19-8 to win Set 1 by a score of 25-11. The U.S. attack was 13-for-27 in their attempts, with Andrea Drews and Michelle Bartsch-Hackley each getting five attack points in the set.
The second set was not as easy for the Americans. After going up 5-3, the U.S. never let the Domincan Republic get closer than three points, but the Domincans did not go down without a fight, even when the U.S. was one point away from taking the set. Up 24-16 and needing just one point to close it out, the Dominicans went on a 4-0 run before a Drews attack point ended the set.
While the U.S. did not let the Dominican Republic lead in either of the first two sets, it was a much tighter affair in the third. The Dominican Republic kept it close, cutting it to just a 17-16 lead for the U.S. But the Americans went on an 8-3 run to close out the set, winning 25-19 and advancing to the semifinals.
Drews was sensational on the attack, securing 21 points on 36 attempts, with 10 of those points coming in the final set. Bartsch-Hackley added 13 points and Haleigh Washington had seven attack points and two blocks.
Micha Hancock, the replacement setter for Poulter, finished the match with 37 sets, six digs and a block.
For the Dominican Republic, Brayelin Martínez led the team with 16 points, 15 coming on the attack. Prisilla Rivera finished with seven attack points and Jineiry Martinez had three attack points and three blocks.
The U.S. will face the winner of Serbia and Italy in the semifinals. The United States came from down 2-1 to defeat Italy 3-2 in the last match of group play.
That match will take place Friday, Aug. 6 at 8 a.m. ET.
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