USA sweeps past Puerto Rico in women’s volleyball opener

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The United States entered the women’s volleyball competition at the Rio Olympics as one of the favorites to win gold, and on Saturday they began their tournament with a 3-0 win over Olympic debutantes Puerto Rico in a Pool B matchup at the Maracanazinho Arena.

Led by the tandem of Kelly Murphy and Kimberly Hill, with Murphy racking up 13 kills and Hill 12, the Americans won the first and third sets by a 25-17 score with the second set finishing 25-22 in their favor. Four players tallied at least eight kills in the match, with Foluke Akinradewo adding nine kills and Jordan Larson-Burbach eight for the United States, as a team the Americans finished with a total of 50 kills for the match.

Puerto Rico, which had never qualified for the Olympics in women’s volleyball prior to this year, was led offensively by Stephanie Enright and Aurea Cruz. Enright finished the match with nine kills, and Cruz added eight for Puerto Rico. Next up for them is a match against Serbia Monday night.

As for the United States, they’re scheduled to take on the Netherlands on Monday. The Dutch are also 1-0 in pool play, as they beat China three sets to two in the first match of the day at the Maracanazinho Arena.