Surprises abound on Day 4 of women’s volleyball prelims

China’s woes continue

The No. 3 team in the world hasn’t looked worthy of that ranking in Rio.

China lost for the second time in four matches Friday, getting swept out of the Maracanãzinho arena by Serbia (25-19, 25-19, 25-22).

The loss ensures China will finish Day 4 with only seven points – and likely fourth place – in Pool B.

China will still have a shot to medal, but it will need to right the ship before quarterfinals begin and now have to go through the top-ranked U.S. team on the final day of prelims Sunday.

Serbia, meanwhile, continues to impress as the No. 6-ranked team in the world. 

The Serbian squad has collected nine points in four matches including three sweeps (over Italy, Puerto Rico and now China). They did, however, lose in four sets to America on Wednesday and sit in second place in Pool B.

Argentina, Cameroon finally earn points

Argentina and Cameroon entered play Friday with a combined 18 losses in 18 sets of play at the Rio Olympics.

Of course, both teams wound up in a closely-contested battle that went to five sets and took just shy of two hours.

Argentina took home two points, winning in the fifth set (19-25, 25-19, 26-28, 25-21, 15-13).

Since the match went to five sets, Cameroon earned a point, as well, but the hope for either team advancing to the quarterfinals is slim.

Italy challenges Team USA

The U.S. women’s volleyball team had a tougher time than anticipated Friday, going up against an Italian squad that had lost all nine sets it had played in Rio on the first three days of competition.

Top-ranked Team USA won in four sets (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20), but Italy took them to the brink, forcing a closely-contested battle with the No. 1 seed in Pool B.

Italy’s effort still didn’t earn them a point and they ended the fourth day of prelims with zero points and no hope of advancing to the quarterfinals.