The United States women’s volleyball team lost another key player to injury on Sunday night.
But this time, they were able to overcome it.
After setter Jordyn Poulter exited with an apparent ankle injury, the U.S. battled back to beat Italy 3-2 to close out the preliminary round.
The teams split the first two sets, with Italy taking the first 25-21 and the U.S. winning the second 25-16. Early in the third set, Poulter suffered an injury when she landed awkwardly on a block attempt. She had to be helped off the floor, and the United States would drop the set in a thriller, 27-25.
But Team USA refused to go away, winning the fourth set in impressive fashion, 25-16. They then sealed the comeback win over Italy with a 15-12 effort in the fifth set.
The U.S. was already without star Jordan Thompson, who left Friday’s loss to the Russian Olympic Committee with an ankle injury. Thompson’s status for the quarterfinals is unknown, but the team is hopeful she will be able to return at some point during the knockout rounds.
Andrea Drews stepped up in Thompson’s absence, leading the United States with 19 spikes and 22 total points. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley added 13 spikes and 17 points.
With the win and ROC’s loss to Turkey, Team USA has clinched the top spot in Pool B, as it holds the tiebreaker over Italy. With that, the U.S. will face the No. 4 seed from Pool A in the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals begin on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.