Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic volleyball

Watching these Olympic games I am forced to admit it: Life is very, very good for US American volleyball enthusiasts like myself.

Do you people realize that the USA has reached the finals for every single volleyball event in these Olympic games? And two events, men's and women's beach volleyball, have already yielded gold to the US teams. As far as the indoor events go, the women swept Cuba (a team to which they lost during pool play) a few days ago, and the men held off a powerful Russia team last night to reach the Gold Medal game.

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this is a first ever for US volleyball. We could very likely win all four volleyball Gold Medals.

And besides, isn't volleyball just awesome? I know a lot of people are on the fence about volleyball, but I'm begging you to follow my lead and just dive into it. The blocking, the digging, the cut shots--I promise your life will be enriched as a result of your new found interest.

If anyone needs proof of how exciting volleyball games can be, one need look no further than the past few days at these Olympic games to see a bounty of thrilling examples.

Last night, for instance, the men's volleyball team, including BYU alum Ryan Millar, held off the powerful Russians to advance to the gold medal game. It was the first time in nine years that the United States beat Russia in volleyball. USA went up two sets to none quickly, but had to hold off Russia until the fifth set to finally put them away.

The other night the women's team crushed Cuba three sets to zero. Cuba swept the United States earlier in the games, but USA exacted sweet, sweet revenge and advanced to the gold medal game for the first time in 24 years.

In beach volleyball Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor completely obliterated every team they faced. Not only did they not lose a game, they didn't even lose a set. They dominated the Chinese team of Tian Ja/Wang in the pouring rain to capture the gold medal. The next day Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers put a similar beat down on the Brazilian team of Araujo/Fabio. This game went to three sets, but in the third set Dalhausser shut the Brazilians down with something like 800 blocks, including the game-and-gold-medal-winner.

If you've missed these games then you are not fit to live, frankly. But there's still time to make up for it: the women's and men's gold medal matches are today and tomorrow respectively.


Justin said...

I am not what you would call a volleyball enthusiast, but I did watch the Men's Beach final last night. It was a pretty good game. And if I can enjoy watching the occasional volleyball game, I think anyone can. Your point is well taken.

Eliot said...

I was up past 3 am watching the men's indoor team beat the Russians. It was like Rocky IV II. The game against Serbia (before Russia) was pretty good too.

Also, US men's head coach Hugh McCutcheon is a BYU alum and former assistant coach. Carl McGown, former BYU head coach, is the team's scout, I believe.

dadlak said...

At first I thought NBC was going overboard with volleyball coverage, but the more I watched it the more I enjoyed it. Were you able to watch the women's indoor final against Brazil? I couldn't find it in Louisiana. Check out my Olympics coverage at