Olympic Volleyball 2012: What to Watch for in Brazil, USA Women's Gold Final

Luis BatlleContributor IAugust 11, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09:  Thaisa Menezes #6 and Adenizia Silva #5 of Brazil celebrate the win over Japan during the Women's Volleyball semifinal match on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at Earls Court on August 9, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Fans of the sport have to be thrilled that the two best teams in volleyball are set to meet in the 2012 London Olympics.

Brazil and Team USA will meet in the women's volleyball gold-medal final in arguably the most promising matchup at the Games.

There are certain factors that will play a key role in the outcome of this game, including both the play of the front line and each team's star players.

These are the three things in particular that fans must take note of in this epic final.


Can Brazil Handle the Tom, Larson, Hooker Tandem?

In Team USA's previous 3-1 win over Brazil in Group B play, Logan Tom, Jordan Larson and Destinee Hooker played a tremendous match at the net.

The three combined for 50 spikes and 53 points in the match, easily surpassing the 29 spikes and 36 points put up by Brazil's Fabiana Claudino, Thaisa Menezes and Sheilla Castro.

Logan led the way for the team with a whopping 22 spikes and 23 points in the contest. Her proficiency was critical to the team's win and its ability to keep Brazil to no closer than four points in each set they won.

If the Americans can continue to dominate the net game and score points, it will be especially difficult for Brazil to overcome this explosive team up front.


Brazil's Experience

They may have been swept away by the United States in meeting No. 1, but the second encounter will undoubtedly have a more competitive result.

Brazil is far too experienced and battle-tested to give up the gold medal match to Team USA with any sort of ease.

These are the gold medal winners at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and they will not be taken from their throne without a fight. Players like Castro were major contributors during the team's 08' run and will be making a strong impact in this match as well.


The Sheilla Castro, Destinee Hooker Battle

Sheila Castro has experience and Destinee Hooker has the numbers advantage.

But who will win this epic bout?

Hooker has dialed in a whopping 147 points on 123 spikes while Castro has posted 125 points on 106 spikes. But it is Castro that has the gold medal from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Based on the figures, it would seem Hooker will get the best of Castro in this gold-medal match. But at the same rate, championship experience is never something to overlook. Castro could very well kick into gear at the right time in this contest.