Friday, July 28th marked the last day of volleyball competition for the 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey. The USA Women’s team suffered a heartbreaking loss to Italy on Wednesday in the semifinal and matched up against Ukraine in the bronze medal match.
From the start, the US team was dominant, determined to medal after suffering defeat in the semifinal. The US jumped out to an early lead in the first set with aggressive serving and a well spread offense, led by Sarah Tubert. Towards the end of the set, a serving streak by Abby Garrity gave Team USA an insurmountable lead and they took the set 25-16.
The second set started off as an even battle, each team gaining a small lead at a few points early on. However, Team USA pulled away again with a serving run from Garrity, supported by solid defense and blocking on the US side. The set finished 25-12.
The third set started off with Team USA asserting their dominance, leading 8-1 at the first technical timeout with Ludmilla Mounty-Weinstock serving. It seemed there was no stopping the US defense and transition combination. Down most of the set, Ukraine started staging a late comeback with their best server at the line. However, the US team showed their resilience and overcame, finishing out the set 25-22 with a solo block by Sarah Tubert to capture the bronze medal.
This bronze medal victory also marks the 1,000th medal given to Americans at the Deaflympics since 1924.