U.S. Beach Teams Drop Two Matches At Youth Olympics
NANJING, China (Aug. 17, 2014) - Saturday night’s spectacular opening ceremony, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, IOC President Thomas Bach and United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon in attendance, marked the start of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The double-gender beach volleyball event started on Sunday morning with the first pool matches.
Team USA finished the opening day of play in the Preliminary Round with two defeats.
In the women’s competition, Skylar Caputo (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Suzanne “Zana” Muno (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) went down in straight sets to Brazilian tandem Ana Patricia and Eduarda (18-21, 11-21). The US girls didn’t find any solution to Ana Patricia’s solid blocking performance to expect a comeback in the second set.
In the men’s tournament, Torey “T.J.” DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Louis Richard (Redondo Beach, Calif.) started their Olympic campaign at night when they played against Indonesia’s Licardo and Ashfiya at 9 p.m. (local time) under the projectors of the Nanjing Sports Park Complex. They were defeated 0-2 (14-21, 20-22) despite entertaining the crowd with some great rallies.
"It’s a very good team. We've never played them before, Richard said after the game. "We tried to get adjusted but they played amazingly. We had a room until the end but didn't succeed."
The late start was a new experience for the two teammates, who admittedly were nervous before the start of the match.
"I’ve never played before at night, and it’s kind of cool to be able to have lights on and it is just a great experience," DeFalco said.
"I felt anxious throughout the day [waiting for the game]," Richard added. "But it was great to be able to have a rest and take a nap in the afternoon."
Caputo and Muno were set to face Sierra Leone's pair for their second match of the competition, but beach volleyball teams from Sierra Leone, along with those from Nigeria, were confirmed as being forced to withdraw from the Youth Olympics due to ‘force majeure’. As a result, it was announced that all their matches will be treated as forfeits according to FIVB Specific Competition Regulation. With this forfeit, Team USA will be awarded two points for the win and a score of 2-0 (0-0 and 0-0). The U.S. squad will take on Swiss pair Rorher and Gerson for Tuesday’s night session at 9 p.m. (local time).
DeFalco and Richard will be back on the court at night once again, as they will play against Rwanda’s Ndagano and Ndayisabye at 7 p.m. (local time).
For full match schedules and results, visit the FIVB website here.