Aug. 13, 2008
Women's Water Polo
The U.S. women's water polo team tied Italy, 9-9, in both teams' second preliminary-round match on Wednesday. Italy's Elisa Casanova scored a power-play goal with 22 seconds remaining to tie the top-ranked U.S. team. Former UCLA player Natalie Golda did not score any goals, registering one shot attempt in 26 minutes. Golda's former teammate, goalkeeper Jaime Hipp, did not play. The U.S. women's team is coached by former UCLA head coach Guy Baker. Following Wednesday's match, both the Americans (1-0-1) and Italians (1-0-1) learned that they are guaranteed to advance in Group A because China (1-1) upset Russia (0-2) by a 13-11 margin.
The United States completes preliminary match play against Russia, ranked No. 3 in the world, on Thursday, Aug. 14 at 11:20 p.m. (PT). The U.S.-Russia contest can be viewed live online (www.nbcolympics.com) and will be broadcast Friday on NBC-4 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The U.S. beach volleyball team of former Bruin Elaine Youngs and Nicole Branagh advanced to the round of 16 on Wednesday with a three-set victory over Cuba's Imara Esteves Ribalta and Milagros Crespo, 21-19, 13-21, 15-12.
The first set was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team leading by more than three points. With the U.S. squad down 13-12, they scored six of the next eight points to go up 18-15. The Cuban duo scored the next two points, but could not even things up, as Youngs recorded the set-clinching kill.
Youngs and Branagh led 4-2 early in the second set, but Cuba scored the next five points and didn't look back. Esteves Ribalta and Crespo's lead got to as high as nine before the eight-point victory.
The U.S. team trailed 4-3 early in set number three, but netted the next three points and never relinquished the lead. On match point, Youngs spiked down the game-winner to finish pool play undefeated.
Youngs and Branagh move on to the elimination round, which begins for them at 3 a.m. PT Friday morning against an opponent to be determined.
On the men's side, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, who are coached by Bob Alejo, defeated Argentina's Conde/Baracetti, 21-12, 21-13, to advance to the medal round.
Natasha Watley drove in the first run of Wednesday's game against Australia in the fifth inning, which proved to be the game-winner, as the United States softball team recorded its second straight no-hitter in a 3-0 victory.
The big hit for Watley came with two outs in the bottom of the fifth on a single to left-center to score Lovie Jung. The U.S. went on to score two more in the sixth to win it by three.
All four Bruins on the Olympic team were in the starting lineup, with Watley at short, Andrea Duran at third, Stacey Nuveman at catcher and Tairia Mims Flowers at first. Duran was 0-for-2 with a walk, while Nuveman and Flowers were each hitless in three at-bats.
Former Bruin Tanya Harding started for Australia and allowed three runs, four hits and three walks in five innings with four strikeouts.
Bruin alum Kim Vandenberg swam the third leg of the U.S. 4x200m relay that placed first in heat two with a time of 7:52.43. Vandenberg had a split of 1:58.31. The U.S. team had the second-fastest time during the prelim rounds and will swim for gold on Thursday morning (PST). In the 200m breast, Nicolette Teo was sixth in heat two with a time of 2:34.60. She finished the race 36th overall. Amanda Beard, who is coached by UCLA head coach Cyndi Gallagher, finished sixth in heat four with a swim of 2:27.70. She finished 18th overall, just two spots shy of making the semifinal round.
The U.S. ended its Olympic Tournament on Wednesday after losing to Nigeria, 2-1. A red card issued to left back Michael Orozco in the third minute was too much for the U.S. to overcome, although they made a valiant effort to nearly achieved the tie they needed to advance to the quarterfinals. Marvell Wynne made his third start of the Olympic Games, and Benny Feilhaber started the second half.
Marcin Matkowski and Mariusz Fyrstenberg advanced to the quarterfinals in doubles after a 1-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 win over Martin Damm/Pavel Vizner of the Czech Republic. Matkowski/Fyrstenberg will face Sweden's Simon Aspelin/Thomas Johansson on Thursday.
UCLA women's soccer head coach Jillian Ellis looks forward to a Bruin reunion when the U.S. takes on Canada in the quarterfinals. To read more from her, click HERE.
View photos of the Bruins in today's softball, swimming, men's soccer, women's water polo and beach volleyball action HERE.