Rio #19 – 8 Teams left for Gold
Greetings From Rio,
Yesterday the Men’s Pool concluded with some amazing play and perhaps one of the most surprising outcomes in our entire tournament.
The U.S.A. began our coverage manhandling a very weak team from Mexico. The win put the American’s at 3-2 in pool play clinching them a spot in the quarterfinals, a place that seemed almost impossible after they started the Olympics with 2 crushing defeats by Canada and Italy. Again, it was a pure team effort but the play of Max Holt, Matt Anderson and Aaron Russell (all from Penn State) was the catalyst to this easy win. A big surprise for the Americans was the play of Murphy Troy, from USC, he had only snifffed the court for a couple of serves over the first 4 matches but against Mexico his serves, blocks and kills were tremendous. The Americans will enter the quarters as a two seed.
Our second match featured two teams on the other side of the pool, Russia vs Iran, though both teams had already qualified for the quarterfinals, only one team showed up with any heart, as Russia demolished the Iranians in 3 sets.
The last two matches of the night defined the day and set up the final match ups of the quaterfinals. First, Canada handed Italy it’s only loss in pool play, a meaningless match for the Italians, but one that earned Canada a spot in the quarters as a result of the 3-1 win.
Canada’s victory also left ONLY one more spot in quarters that would be decided in the final, late night match, France vs Brazil. The host country, who started the tournament 2-0 lost it’s next two matches, leaving the French match as a Loser go home tournament. Feeding off of one of the loudest crowds I have ever heard the Brazilians kept its medal hopes alive winning in 4 sets with unyielding power from outside hitters Wallace and Lucarelli, 2 of the best players on Earth.
Here’s what it sounded like after the final point, not a soul left the building until well after 1:00 am and the celebration continuted into the streets:
The Men’s Quarterfinals start tomorrow (Wednesday):
• Canada (2) vs Russia (2) 9:00 AM/ET
• USA (3) vs Poland (3) 1:00 AM/ET (NBC)
• Italy (1) vs Iran (4) 5:00 PM/ET (NBCSN)
• Brazil (4) vs Aregentina (1) 9:15 PM/ET (TBD)
Our team is slated to air two of the 4 men’s matches but will not be shocked to get the final match of the night as an add on.
The women’s quaterfinals started today and we have ALL 4 matches LIVE on the NBC family of networks.
In our first match today the Dutch team took down South Korea in 4 sets, knocking out one of the best Women’s Players on the Planet, Yeon Koung Kim, the leading scorer in London and number 3 scorer entering the quarters …
Women’s Quarterfinal Remaining Schedule is as follows:
• USA (1) vs Japan (4) 1:00 PM/ET (NBC)
• Russia (2) vs Serbia (3) 5:00 PM/ET (CNBC)
• Brazil (1) vs China (4) 9:15 PM/ET (NBCSN)
The USA Women are seeking it’s first Gold Medal in Olympics history and it is lining up to be a meeting with Brazil for the top spot on the podium … At least that’s what we are hoping because that will make for the best show.
Pink Floyd said, “There is no pain you are receiving,” which is true for our production team. We have produced over 36 hours of content in 10 days and have put in at least twice that much in set up, pre-production and meetings over that same time, so its safe to say that we are all “Comfortably Numb!”
One more LONG one today and we start to slow down (just a bit). Perhaps our analyst and all around funny man Kevin Barnett has the solution …
Congratulations to my team for making it through thus far, it will get easier and WAY more exciting as we are days away from handing out medals. I am proud to be a part of this team!
Love to all,