No surprises in round one; USA-Brazil and Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic in semis
Puerto Rico dominated the net and will do the same against the Dominican Republic this afternoon.
IPuerto Rico defeated Argentina in four sets; 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, and 25-19. Making her case for tournament MVP, Aurea Cruz carried Puerto Rico to victory with 24 points and four aces. Her team had a total of nine aces and looked strong throughout the match. Argentina took the second set and made the scores look close, but was clearly the inferior team.
Pinedo's serve is a thing of beauty; graceful and ferocious. But even she couldn't rally her team to victory against Puerto Rico.
Top-ranked Brazil dispatched Peru easily in three sets; 25-11, 25-19, and 25-14. The victory sets up an earlier than expected, but still much appreciated Brazil-USA Olympic final rematch. Brazil (5-1) won that match, but the US (5-0) has been the best team by far in these Pan-Am games. No team has scored more or yielded less than the Americans, But Brazil statistically has the best spiker, second and third best blockers, second best digger, and two of the top three liberos in the tournament. However, if Jordan Larson and Kristin Richards do their thing, the Brazilians' samba will come to a screeching halt. Look for the US to win to set up a rematch with Puerto Rico on the 4th of July.
In the earlier consolation matches, Canada beat Mexico in five sets and Costa Rica defeated Trinidad & Tobago in three sets.
Rather than seeing Transformers 2, check out Brazil-USA at 8 p.m. because number one versus number two in anything is bound to be special. And if you really can't get enough volleyball, Mexico plays Trinidad & Tobago at 11 a.m., Canada plays Peru at 1 p.m., and Costa Rica plays Argentina at 3 p.m. before the aforementioned semifinal matches take place between Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic and Brazil-USA.