Team USA Women’s Volleyball had their final pool play match today, Saturday, July 22nd, facing Brazil, a rematch of the 2016 Pan Am Games, held in Washington DC. The US strong serving proved overpowering and led them to a straight set 3-0 victory over Brazil (25-9 25-14 25-15).
From the start of the first set, USA served aggressively, not allowing Brazil to get into any type of offensive rhythm, led by a strong serving run from Abby Garrity. The second set started off as a closer battle, Brazil coming out fired up and ready. However, the US eventually capitalized on a serving run from Sarah Tubert, leading them to a 25-14 victory. The final set was much the same story as the first set, with Garrity and Tubert, again dominating from the service line to close out the match 25-15.
Team USA is now guaranteed the top spot in Group B and will play the fourth place team from Group A on Tuesday July 25th at 5:30 PM.
It was back to Mustafa Daglistani Sports Hall for Team USA Men’s Volleyball. The men were refreshed and primed for a lively match against Russia. The sports hall is a beautiful facility which is only a few years old. It is one of the many high quality venues that made Samsun such a great choice for the 23rd Summer Deaflympics.
Today was match 4 of the preliminary rounds. The Russian team has a roster of serious athletes who are fierce competitors. They came out strong in the 1st set. The US men trailed throughout, but their blocking was very effective and they showed a lot of hustle. The set was won by Russia, 25-21.
In the 2nd set, the US team came back cool and collected, ready for battle. The US men again trailed by a few points throughout the set, but held their own. Powerful hitting by veteran Mike Bruning and solid blocking by Eric Vincent and Ethan Bell kept the score close. Russia narrowly won the set with a score of 25-23.
After a slow start to the 3rd set, Russia and America stayed within a point of each other. The appreciative crowd stayed in the edge of their seats. The exciting back and forth scoring eventually led to a nail biting finish, with Russia winning 28-26.
Today’s match, regardless of the outcome, felt like a true Olympic experience. The arena was packed with fans cheering and flags flying. The dedicated American spectator section was dwarfed by a huge group of Russian supporters. There’s nothing quite like sitting in the middle of 1,000 Russians doing the wave! Yet the spirit of the Deaflympics was evident – competition with respect and the true sense of international brotherhood. What a rewarding experience for athletes, coaches, staff and volleyball enthusiasts!
The US team will not play for the next two days. Preliminary competition ends on Sunday. Results will be then be tabulated to determine the schedule of the quarterfinal matches which begin on Tuesday.
Watch the game video of Men’s Volleyball vs Russia:
Out near the Black Sea, in the Round of 16 Women’s Singles Tennis, Amanda Wu of Great Neck, NY walked into the Court 4 to face a match against the No. 3 seeded player, Jana Janosikova of Slovakia. The latter won the 2016 Slovakia Deaf Tennis Open and her victory increased her ICSD tennis ranking.
Surprisingly, serving in the first four games broke even, but Janosikova got the fifth game and then won the first game. Then they resumed playing tennis under the hot sun until the seventh game of the second set when Wu called for a medical time out. Afterward, Wu picked up the second winning game but lost the match. The final score was 6-2, 6-2.
This loss could end Team USA’s chance of winning any Deaflympics medal, but these two Americans are in high spirits for the 2018 Edition of the Dresse Cup for Deaf Men and the Maere Cup for Deaf Women.
Team USA Swimming Qualifies Athletes for Finals in Five Events
Today’s meet was a strong showing from Team USA as athletes swam the Men’s 100 Freestyle, Women’s 200 Breast, Men’s 200 Backstroke, Women’s 200 IM, and Men’s 50 Butterfly. Many athletes had best times in their events, and three athletes qualified for five events at finals.
In the Men’s 100 Freestyle, Tyler Brown got the team started with a strong swim of 1:00.02, very close to his seed time of 1:00.99, placing 42nd. Matthew Zou swam 1:00.08, placing 40th; and Matthew Hopkins had a new Personal Record in this event, dropping 4.54 seconds with a time of 55.46, placing 13th. Finally, Matthew Klotz earned the fourth seed for finals with a time of 52.81.
In the Men’s 50 Butterfly, Tyler Brown had one of the biggest drops of the morning going from a seed time of 34.67 to a finish time of 29.16, placing Matthew Hopkins went from a seed time of 38.50 to a finish time of 28.48 for the biggest drop of the day! Finally, Matthew Klotz qualified 4th for finals in the 50 Fly with a time of 25.89.
Men’s 100 Freestyle
Tyler Brown, 1:00.99, 42nd place
Matthew Zou, 1:00.08, 40th place
Matthew Hopkins, 55.46 seconds, 13th place, new Personal Record
Matthew Klotz, 52.81 seconds, 4th place Q
Women’s 200 Breaststroke
Molly Likins, 2:54.26, 8th place* Q
Men’s 200 Backstrok
Matthew Klotz, 2:09.25, 1st place Q
Matthew Hopkins, 2:25.56, 11th place, new Personal Record
Matthew Zou, 2:29.12, 13th place, new Personal Record
Women’s 200 IM
Emily Massengale, 2:30.91, 3rd place* Q, new Personal Record
Molly Likins, 2:42.42, 15th place, new Personal Record
Men’s 50 Butterfly
Matthew Klotz, 25.89, 4th place* Q|
Matthew Hopkins, 28.48, 29th place, new Personal Record
Tyler Brown, 29.16, 33rd place, new Personal Record
Highlights for the second round of Golf:
Allen John of Germany shot 63 and broke the course record. He is seeded #1 for the match play. He will tee off against Mehemet Demir.
American woman Kaylin Yost improved four strokes than yesterday with 69. She birdied the last three holes. She is seeded #2 and she will play the match on Monday.
American Mike Finneran shot 85 which seeded him at 8th and will play against Paul Neumann of Germany. Today was not his day and he looks forward to playing better tomorrow.
The top 16 male golfers are seeded and will play match rounds. Eight will advance to the next round which will play on Monday.