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USA Women’s Volleyball sweeps Dominican Republic to reach fourth straight Olympic semifinal

The USA women are back in the medal round. Can they win the first gold in team history?

Team United States middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo reacts during pool B play against Turkey during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Arena. Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Without their starting right side or setter, the United States Women’s National Volleyball Team still had little trouble with the Dominican Republic in a 3-0 sweep (25-11, 25-20, 25-19) in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With opposite Jordan Thompson dressed but only to be used in emergencies, Annie Drews stepped in on the right pin and dominated with 21 kills on 36 attacks. We’re supposed to tell you how many errors she had as well so we can give a hitting percentage, but for some reason those aren’t being tracked at these Olympics. But there weren’t a lot, trust us.

Starting setter Jordyn Poulter was also dressed but only semi-available, so former two-time NCAA champion at Penn State Micha Hancock stepped in with aplomb. Her 37 assists showed great timing and chemistry with teammates she hasn’t played with as much as the backup quarterback.

Where the USWVNT has struggled in serve receive at times in this tournament, they were particularly solid against the DR by not allowing an ace and scoring six of their own. America also won the battle at the net with eight blocks to five for the Dominicans.

With the win, the USA will take on the winner of the Serbia-Italy match in the semifinals. Women’s volleyball has been an Olympic sport since 1964, but the USA has yet to win gold. They’ve managed three silvers (1984, 2008, 2012) and two bronze medals (1992, 2016) in program history.