Saturday’s Volleyball final left the U.S women sobbing as they headed towards the locker room after a 3-1 upset by the Brazilian team. It was the first loss to the U.S at the tournament and a second straight gold for Brazil.
Jacqueline Carvalho turned out to be the saver of the Brazilian team scoring 18 points to help her team recover form a disastrous first set of 11-21. In the next three sets, Brazil scored 25-17, 25-20 and 25-17 making sure it doesn’t walk away without its gold. "We felt we lost control in the first set, but we never lost sight of our objectives, and that was to win gold," Carvalho said according to a report by Associated Press. "We knew the U.S. is a great team, that the game would be tough. But we managed to turn it around."
The Brazilian women danced and sang as they celebrated their second Olympian gold in a row and for a second straight time against U.S. As each player would step up on the podium to receive her gold, she would leap around, yell with excitement or start dancing with the players standing next to her.
The Americans however, didn’t find their celebration amusing; nonetheless they embraced their defeat and their silver with grace. "I did tell them, 'Get your asses down from the podium' or whatever, before you celebrate. It's just a respect kind of thing," said Logan Tom, a 4-time Olympian for the U.S."A lot of them are my friends. They celebrated a little differently than I would say Americans do. So I let it slide," said Tom. "It's their culture. They can celebrate how they want to celebrate."
The loss was however, disappointing for the U.S coach, Hugh McCutcheon who had been distracted lately because of the death of a close relative. "I still believe that team is one of the best, if not the best in the world, and we weren't that today. That's what it comes down to. We train for four years, we come here for two weeks, and it comes down to two hours,” McCutcheon said according to a report by ESPN. “I don't think we played poorly tonight, I think Brazil played really well."
Japan won the bronze medal match against South Korea earlier on Saturday. U.S men weren’t successful either and lost straight sets to Italy in the quarterfinals of the tournament.