China blows out Puerto Rico
China got the wake-up call it needed in the loss to the Netherlands on the opening day of play Saturday.
The No. 3-ranked squad in the world has now won six straight sets, feasting on the lesser competition of Pool B (Italy and Puerto Rico).
The three-set sweep of Puerto Rico Wednesday (25-20, 25-17, 25-18) assures China a spot in the quarterfinals with seven points in Pool B.
Zhu Ting led the way for the Chinese squad with 20 points on 16 spikes as the only player to net double digit points.
China earned 24 points on Puerto Rico errors and tallied 35 blocks in the three sets.
The Netherlands keeps cruising along
The Dutch women’s volleyball team won’t slow down.
One of the major unknowns of the tournament has suddenly turned into the biggest wild card, as the No. 11-ranked Netherlands squad has put the world on notice in its first Olympics in 20 years.
After upsetting China and taking the U.S. to the brink, the Netherlands stormed back with a sweep Wednesday morning, taking down Italy 25-21, 25-20 and 25-20.
Netherlands captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues injured her ankle against the U.S. Monday and missed the match against Italy, but her team had no issues handling an Italian squad that has now lost all nine sets it has played in Rio.
New acting captain Anne Buijs had a huge match for the Netherlands with 19 points on 18 spikes as her team converted on 49 of 95 spikes, including 16 of 30 spikes in the deciding third set.
With the three-set sweep, the Netherlands all but clinched a trip to the quarterfinals, earning six points in three matches.
The top four teams from each pool advance to the quarterfinals round and Italy and Puerto Rico currently sit at zero points through three matches.