U.S. Women Spike Peru in Volleyball. Everyone Else Better Look Out.
|The scrappy but shorter Peruvian team outblocked the U.S.|
Drawing strength from supporters who never stopped chanting "O-le, ole, ole, ole -- Pe-ru, Pe-ru," the South American team dug every spike and tracked down every well-placed hit the U.S. could muster. With all their hustle, Peruvians made it difficult for the U.S. to score. Though the U.S. again enjoyed a height advantage, Peru outblocked the taller Americans 14-8 -- further evidence of their junkyard dog mentality.
But Jordan Larson and Kristin Richards had an answer to every Peruvian rally. When Peru trailed 23-22 in the first set, it was Larson and Richards who came up with back-to-back kills. Larson and Richards led the U.S. in scoring, with 14 and 13 points, respectively, and combined for three of the team's four service aces.
|Playing in her first international competition, Jordan Larson displayed the resolve of a 20-year veteran by rallying her team from a six-point deficit to a one-point lead in the third set.|
Tonight the U.S. will play Puerto Rico in a battle of undefeateds. The winner will get some rest because Wednesday is a scheduled off-day, and pool winners (the U.S. or Puerto Rico) receive an extra day in the form of a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Peru should have no problem against 0-4 Guatemala today and will pose a serious threat in the playoffs. Pan-American volleyball teams, you have been warned.