Beal Blog: On to the Semis

Oct. 10, 2014, 6:46 p.m. (ET)

Doug Beal is the CEO of USA Volleyball. He is in Milan, Italy, for the finals of the FIVB Women's World Championship

MILAN, Italy (Oct. 10, 2014) – It is with great pleasure that I can inform you the USA Women have advanced to the World Championship final four!! 

Alisha Glass, Doug Beal and Courtney Thompson
  Doug Beal, center, talks with Alisha Glass, left, and Courtney
  Thompson following their match against Russia on Oct. 9.

The match between Italy and Russia is still going on as I write this. But Italy dominated Russia, winning the first two sets at 12, and 17. Regardless of the ultimate result of the match, the USA will advance ahead of Russia based on points (the somewhat bizarre and arcane system the FIVB uses as the first determiner of teams’ ranking). 

The USA has three points and the best Russia can do if it comes back and wins the match 3-2 is to get 2!!  So we are in and the semifinal lineup for tomorrow has USA vs. Brazil in the first match and Italy vs. China in the second. Be sure to watch the match LIVE on or later in the afternoon on Universal Sports.

The energy in the arena on Friday for Italy was spectacular; a full house of 12,500 or so and loud, hot and full of energy. The Italian women responded and totally dominated the Russians when it mattered.  The third set went to Russia with Italy playing only one starter, and Russia leads the fourthth as I write this – none of which matters. 

Earlier on Friday, Brazil beat the Dominican Republic quite handily, 3-0 and the South Americans will be a handful tomorrow. Right now, the USA team is meeting and reviewing some Brazil video in preparation for the semifinal.

I am looking forward to a great finish of this championship. This is a USA team that clearly deserved to be in the final four with its play throughout this very long event.  Italy just won the match 3-1 to settle the entire issue. Should be a great match tomorrow!!!  DB