Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016
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U.S. denied golden chance


Foluke Akinradewo grimaces as she embraces U.S. teammate Jordan Larson after losing to Brazil.

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LONDON -- Destinee wasn't enough.

Brazil denied the United States its first Olympic gold medal in women's volleyball Saturday in a 3-1 upset that had the Brazilians turning somersaults on the court and some American players sobbing.

It was the first loss for the United States at the tournament and the second straight gold medal for Brazil. American star Destinee Hooker, the second-best scorer at the London Olympics, was held to 14 points.

Jaqueline Carvalho had 18 points to help Brazil overcome a disastrous first set and win 11-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17.

"We felt we lost control in the first set, but we never lost sight of our objectives, and that was to win gold," Carvalho said.

The Americans were favored and started their captain, Lindsey Berg, despite a left Achilles strain earlier in the competition.

The Americans took an 11-4 lead on Hooker's ace. Brazilian coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes shouted at his players to calm down during a timeout, but two straight kills from Hooker and Foluke Akinradewo's block made it 19-7. Jordan Larson spiked for the set.

In the second set, Brazil bounced back to take an 11-6 lead on Fernanda Rodrigues' kill, sparking a thunderous ovation from the fans at Earls Court. Logan Tom's spike tied it at 12, but Brazil scored six straight and took the set.

The Brazilians went wild after taking a 6-2 lead in the third. The U.S. narrowed it to 21-19 on Hooker's kill, but it was as close as they came, and Castro's kill won the set.

With momentum now on the side of the Brazilians, Claudino's kill gave them a 13-9 in the fourth. Thaisa Menezes extended it to 23-14 before Rodrigues' match-winning kill.

Castro and Claudino leapt into the official's chair, and Brazil's coaches rushed to pile on the other players. Later, the Brazilians danced into the medal ceremony.

It was the third silver for the U.S. women. The others were in 1984 and 2008.

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