Coach Hugh McCutcheon made a special point of seeking out captain Lindsey Berg for a quick hug after the U.S. women’s volleyball team advanced to the gold medal match at the London Olympics.
The Americans got an emotional boost from Berg, who returned for a 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 semifinal victory over South Korea on Thursday after missing the last match with a strained left Achilles tendon.
“It’s game time and I feel great, and I don’t care how I feel after Saturday,” Berg said of the final, when the U.S. will face Brazil for gold.
The U.S. women made it to the final at the 2008 Beijing Games but settled for the silver medal, falling 3-1 to Brazil. The team has won silver twice and bronze once since volleyball joined the Olympics in 1964. But the gold has eluded them.
Swimming: Anderson just misses out on gold in Hyde Park marathon
Eva Risztov of Hungary led most of the way in a grueling Olympic open water marathon at Hyde Park on Thursday, holding off the desperate pursuit of American Haley Anderson.
Risztov reached up with her right hand to touch the timing pad in 1 hour, 57 minutes, 38.2 seconds. She climbed out of the water, smiling and looking fresh as can be, and even flexed for the big crowd.
Anderson was right on Risztov’s left shoulder coming to the line in the 10-kilometer race but couldn’t overtake her. The American stuck up her left hand to nick the pad four-tenths of a second behind the winner, also slapping it with her right hand just to make sure.
“Of course, I’m disappointed that I missed out on gold,” said Anderson, whose sister, Alyssa, won a relay gold in the pool. “But I gave it everything I had. I’m happy with the result.”
Diving: Teammates Viola, Bell fail to advance in 10m platform
No sweet music for Brittany Viola. The daughter of former major league baseball pitcher Frank Viola missed out on the 10-meter platform diving final at the London Olympics.
Viola finished 15th in the semifinal Thursday with 300.50 points. Her teammate, Katie Bell, also failed to advance after finishing 16th with 296.80.
Viola opened the five-dive round by scoring 67.50 points on her front 3 1/2 somersaults pike, but had misses in later rounds.
“My mind felt right, my body felt right. It just didn’t come together,” she said. “Still, to be here was just incredible. I’m going to celebrate this journey. I never thought I’d be here.”