Saturday, August 9, 2008

10:30AM: Women's Volleyball, Japan vs. United States

We join the action in progress with the United States up 1-0 and trailing by four points in the second set.

11:47AM - So the final score: United States 3, Japan 1. It was a fierce match between both sides but it came down to which team had more aggressiveness and that was the United States.

Thanks for joining us here on NOW Sports for our live blog coverage. Sorry for the lack of details, I promise I'll be more prepared next time. Remember to go to for a full recap of Day 1 and come back here to our LIVE EVENT BLOG for more live blogging of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

11:45AM - With three match points, the United States uses its powerful block behind Heather Bown and Kim Willoughby to clinch the match. We've heard so many names throughout this game and that just shows you the incredible depth from this team.

11:42AM - Heather Bown providing very strong defense for the United States and now we are seeing a double substitution for the United States, one on the front court and another in the back. The blocking is really winning points for the U.S. and it couldn't have come at a better time.

11:40AM - Japan now stands at five points away from tying this match. Sykora is in for the United States and the substitution pays off as the U.S. ties the game. Sykora has a lot of enthusiasm and it is very evident in her game.

11:36AM - Now the U.S. trying to make a comeback here. They are now down by two points, 16-14, heading into the technical timeout...

11:32AM - The Americans in a bit of a hole and now they are playing more aggressively. An ace serve and a kill in the last two points and things could really change here for the Americans if they don't think of some way to counter attack.

11:24AM - Early in thr fourth set and what we're seeing is Japan trying to win points they way that they have been winning them throughout this match, that is through kills and defensive blocks. But when the U.S. is able to counterattack those blocks and Japan is caught off guard, then the Japanese team will most likely be in big trouble.

11:21AM - Back with the fourth set as the United States looks to wrap things up at Capital Indoor Gymnasium. The United States is ranked higher than Japan (US ranked 4th, Japan ranked 5th). So far we've seen what we expected to see from each team. Both sides are playing more aggresively and the last set came down to who can come out more offensively and that was the United States in set three.

11:19AM - The U.S. has finally pulled through and has five set points...and the block by Bown clinches the third set and they are 25 points away from a win over Japan.

11:12AM - The United States so far has been just trying to battle back but they haven't taken much of a lead and it just shows how close and competitive it is between these two teams and how hard it is to stay consistent. I think the United States is just trying to play more agressively and trying to find a perfect placement of the ball.

11:07AM - What a rally on both sides, too bad it ended at the net. Now its tied at 12-12. Both teams are doing so well at saving balls, moving around the court and reading the other team's plays.

11:01AM - Still a close match but a service error might hurt the United States in the long run if it remains this close...Oh but Japan makes a service error as well. It is still very close.

10:56AM - What a great defensive block by Japan, that front line is really strong and I'm not sure if the United States can keep up. It's still pretty close.

10:54AM - The two have started the third set and are currently tied at 1-1.

10:50AM - Japan has tied it at one set each and this should be an interesting match from here on out. The first two sets were pretty much so that both teams can feel each other out as they adjusted to each other's tactics. Now, we're going to see both teams try to read the opponent's plays.

10:49AM - Hanneth-Park is such a force out there for the United States and she's definitely been a contributor to how the United States is trying to catch up with Japan. But the Japanese are two points away and U.S. coach Jenny Lang-Ping calls a timeout.

10:48AM - Amazing blocks from the United States as the lead has been trimmed down to one.

10:45AM - Timeout is taken as the United States is trying to close the gap. It is now 19-16 and Japan needs to refocus a bit before they slip up. Japan needs to cover more of the court because the United States will take advantage of any opportunity that they find.

10:43AM - Japan has really been putting up a lot of great defensive plays and stops but the United States is able to get the point and they trail 18-14.

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