The U.S. women’s volleyball team took gold in its final match against Brazil, winning in a three-set sweep and earning their first Olympic title since the sport was introduced at the Games in 1964.
In the first set, the U.S. started off hot, going on a 4-0 run with points from outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, middle blocker Haleigh Washington and opposite Jordan Larson. Brazil swiftly responded, closing the gap to an American lead of 8-7. Led by Larson and Bartsch-Hackley, who finished the first set with six and eight points, respectively, the U.S. won 25-21.
Brazil came out strong in the second set, taking a 3-1 lead with points from outside hitter Rosamaria Montibeller and middle blocker Caroline de Oliveira Saad Gattaz. But the U.S. gained the lead and pulled ahead 11-8 after an ace from opposite Annie Drews and several key attack points from middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo. They took the second set, 25-20.
The two teams exchanged leads early in the third set, but Brazil pulled ahead 6-4 after an attack point from outside hitter Gabriela Braga Guimaraes. But the lead was short-lived, and the U.S. went on a 5-1 run led by Larson and Akinradewo to go up 9-7. The U.S. sealed their victory on the second match point and took the third 25-14.