China lost in women’s volleyball to the United States in straight sets for the second time in a row on Tuesday.
Putting the reigning Olympic champions in jeopardy of missing out on the knockout rounds.
The Americans, who took home the bronze medal in Rio in 2016, have five Olympic medals in the competition but never gold.
After defeating Argentina in their opening match, their 29-27 25-22 25-21 victory propelled them to the top of Pool B without dropping a set.
Team USA women’s volleyball stuns No. 1 China in straight sets
The United States defeated China Tuesday at Ariake Arena in Japan in a match between the two teams that took home gold and bronze at the last Olympics.
Team USA improved to 2-0 thanks to hard-hitting opposite Jordan Thompson’s amazing 34 points, the most any player.
Male or female, has so far scored in a game at the Tokyo Games, while China dropped to an unexpected, if not startling, 0-2.
China lost unexpectedly to Turkey in straight sets (25-21, 25-14, 25-14) in the opening preliminary match.
Zhang Changning, an outside hitter, scored 13 points, whereas Zhu Ting, a captain and the Rio Games tournament’s MVP, only scored four and had to be replaced.
Meanwhile, the United States defeated Argentina 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-20), with outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Thompson playing key roles.
China came back from 22-24 down to win the first set 29-27 for the United States.
Jordyn Poulter, the setter, played a crucial role in the pivotal moments, and Thompson contributed 12 points and four blocks.
U.S. Women’s Volleyball Hands China 2nd Straight Loss at Tokyo Olympics
The anticipated matchup between the top two women’s volleyball teams in the world at the Olympics ended up being a one-sided contest.
Tuesday’s pool-play match saw the U.S. women defeat the reigning gold champion China 29-27, 25-22, 25-21.
Leaving the Chinese looking to win their first set of the competition following two consecutive sweeps to start the Games.
Turkey also whitewashed China in the opening round, but five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, when China lost three of five pool-play games.
Before bouncing back to win gold, China demonstrated how little the pool-play matches may mean.
As U.S. coach Karch Kiraly was keen to point out, that’s identical to what happened in London in 2012 when Brazil finished fourth in its pool before winning gold.
The record will reflect that the Chinese women’s volleyball team played two matches at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and lost two of them.
They suffered a further 3-0 defeat at the hands of the top-ranked USA team at the Ariake Arena, moving up to second place in group B behind only the mediocre Argentina.
That does not fully convey the situation for the Olympic gold medalists from Rio 2016 and, along with the US, the favourites to capture the gold at these Games.