The United States women's volleyball team fell just short of its goal for the 2012 London Olympics, losing to Brazil in the gold medal match.
The Americans opened strong and took the first set by a convincing score of 25-11. But the Brazilians seized momentum and refused to relinquish control going forward, winning three straight sets by scores of 25-17, 25-20 and 25-17, via NBCOlympics.com.
This is the second consecutive gold medal in the event for Brazil, who entered the tournament ranked second in the world behind the Americans. This is also second consecutive time the Americans have earned silver after losing to the Brazilians.
The two teams met earlier during group play, with the Americans emerging victorious in four sets. The United States looked extremely strong at that stage in the tournament, but were unable to sustain their form with the gold medal on the line.
The team stormed through to the finals, winning all its matches and only dropping sets to Brazil and Korea.
Brazil appeared to be fading following its loss to the Americans, with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of South Korea. But the team started to build momentum and continued to get stronger from that point on, clearly hitting its peak in the second set of the gold medal match.
Jaqueline Carvalho was the standout for the Brazilians, recording 18 kills throughout the match.
For the United States, Destinee Hooker was stifled and held to a relatively disappointing 13 kills, while Logan Tom chipped in 11 more.
This is an exceptionally disappointing result for Tom, 31, who has played on the team in every Olympics since 2000. This team gave her the best chance at gold she’s had in her career, but the London tournament ended exactly the same as the one Beijing.
Still, the United States is loaded with young talent and will be ready for Round 3 on the Brazilans’ home court in four years.