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  • Posted February 22, 2020
    RIO DE JANEIRO -- The fans chant their names, wave their flags and do a little samba in their seats whenever the Brazilians take the sand at the Copacabana Olympic beach volleyball venue. Red Wings Jerseys 2020 .If its a lot of pressure for the hometown teams, theyre handling it well.All four Brazilian teams advanced out of pool play at the Olympic tournament, and three won their first matches of the knockout round on Friday and Saturday. After a disappointing fourth-place finish as hosts of the soccer World Cup in 2014, Brazils other national sport has thrived on its hometown sand.It is not a pressure for us, said Barbara, a Rio native, who with her partner Agatha beat China on Friday to reach the quarterfinals. We are living the dream now. Inside our hearts is joy.Beach volleyball is a passion in Brazil, as much a recreational sport on the Copacabana shore as soccer or surfing or sunbathing. And that has led to Olympic success, with the country winning 11 of 30 total medals since the sport was added to the Summer Games in 1996.So dominant were the Brazilians -- and Americans, who have claimed nine medals -- that quotas were created to limit each country to two entries (per gender) in the Olympics.And when Rio de Janeiro won the rights to host the 2016 Olympics, it was only natural that the beach volleyball venue would be on Copacabana.I fell so lucky, so honored, as a first-time Olympian to be here in my home, Barbara said. I am so proud to be a part of this Olympic year at home.The fans appear to enjoy it, too.With green and yellow shirts filling the stands and Brazilian music wafting over the security barriers onto Copacabana beach beyond, the Olympic venue has been shaking at times with the cheers for the four hometown teams.Agatha and Barbara were the first to reach the quarterfinals, followed later on Friday by the defending world champions Talita and Larissa. Alison and Bruno reached the round of 8 by beating Spain on Saturday, and the party was only slightly spoiled when the No. 2 mens team, Pedro and Evandro, lost to Russia.Still, the crowd gave the Brazilians a standing ovation on their way off the court, though part of the crowd was certainly acknowledging the 21-16, 14-21, 15-10 victory by Russia as well.Here on Copacabana, they know how to play, Russias Nikita Liamin said. They know the good play, and they know how it is done.Two-time Olympian Ana Paula, who is working with the stadium entertainment crew in Rio, agreed. At one break in the match, she introduced American Randy Stoklos, a five-time world champion and volleyball hall of famer who played before the sport was added to the Olympics.We might have built this stadium, but the Brazilians really made this sport, he said to a huge cheer.All of the Brazilians knew who he was, Ana Paula said. Its because Brazil really, really loves beach volleyball. Its because volleyball -- its been in our DNA.Ana Paula said she thinks volleyball and beach volleyball have even surpassed soccer in her homeland -- in part because of the soccer teams much-lamented 7-1 loss in the World Cup semifinals. We dont talk about the World Cup, she said with a smile.By contrast, the beach volleyball players seem to be thriving under pressure.I dont think we are going to see anything like that in volleyball, said Bruno, whose uncle Oscar Schmidt is a basketball Hall of Famer and one of Brazils most celebrated athletes. The crowd is so happy, so full of happy people.And thats been a boost for all of the players -- even Brazils opponents.Spains Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez said they were excited when the pools were drawn and they knew they would be playing Agatha and Barbara.At the beginning, I felt like, `Oh, my God. The whole stadium is going to fall down on me, Liliana said after beating the Brazilians. But we wanted to play them on Copacabana.The Spaniards had already clinched a spot in the knockout round, so they didnt feel the full pressure of 12,000 fans rooting against them.When Germanys Britta Buthe and Karla Borger drew defending world champions Talita and Larissa in the playoff round of 16, their coaches tried to cheer them up.Everyone was saying, `Oh, its such a tough draw for you guys. But we were really excited, Buthe said after the Brazilians eliminated them in straight sets.We would have liked it if we would have played for it and won. We werent able to experience it, she said. But still I think this is one of our best memories, even if it did end. Red Wings Jerseys 2021 . Then the Pacers gave Oladipo and his Orlando teammates the cold shoulder. Paul Georges buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter spurred a 21-4 run, finally sending Indiana past the Magic 97-87 in a tougher-than-expected opening night matchup. Detroit Red Wings Pro Shop . Pence singled in the winning run with no outs in the ninth inning to give the Giants a 7-6 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday. .Y. -- Leading 3-0 with only 11:25 left, the Colorado Avalanche committed a seemingly meaningless penalty to give the New York Islanders a power play. COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolinas offense finally opened things up this season. Freshman quarterback Jake Bentley was a big reason why.Bentley threw for two touchdowns and 201 yards Saturday in his first college game to lead the Gamecocks to a 34-28 victory over Massachusetts. The victory matched the Gamecocks total from their dysfunctional 2015 season and was the most points they had scored this fall.We just really opened up the playbook when Jake was back there, because we know he can throw it very well, said receiver Deebo Samuel, who had eight catches for 106 yards.South Carolina coach Will Muschamp was expecting to redshirt Bentley this season before the teams mounting offensive problems -- they entered dead last in points per game in the Football Bowl Subdivision -- left the first-year coach open to any solution.Bentley proved the right answer against the Minutemen (1-7). He led the Gamecocks (3-4) to touchdowns on their first two series, and then threw a pair of pretty fade passes for TD, the first from 16 yards out to K.C. Crosby and later a 24-yarder to Bryan Edwards to lead 27-7.When UMass cut things to 34-28 with less than 5 minutes left, Bentley accounted for 30 yards to help the Gamecocks run out the clock.Muschamp said he and quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper decided Bentley had improved enough from August until now to be a positive change for the teams attack. Bentley had waited for his shot behind senior Perry Orth and fellow freshman Brandon McIlwain, who had each started three games this season.At the end of the day, we felt like he had progressed very well, he said.Bentley was not available to the media per Muschamps rules against letting freshman do interviews.Running back David Williams ran for two 1-yard TDs for South Carolina, but said he was excited about Bentleys debut.Ive just been impressed since I met, his IQ, how comfortable he is, leading the Gamecocks, Williams said.Muschamp was frustrated with his defense, especially in the second half when the Minutemen rallied.It was an excited locker room because we won, he said. But its also a locker room tthat knows it made mistakes and corrections have to be made. Detroit Red Wings Gear. UMass did its share to help with three turnovers in the opening half, two which led to two South Carolina scores.Tight end Adam Breneman had two TD catches for Massachusetts, which fell to 0-3 against Southeastern Conference teams this fall.THE TAKEAWAYMASSACHUSETTS: UMass has been outscored 131-77 in its four games this season against teams from the Power 5 conferences.SOUTH CAROLINA: Its future -- and offensive recovery -- may have started with Bentley behind center. The freshman, wholl turn 19 next month, is sure to have some bumps ahead, maybe as soon as next weeks home game against No. 18 Tennessee. But there was little benefit keeping the strong-armed Bentley on the bench if he could spark up the offense this season.SOUTH CAROLINAS RUN GAMEAfter gaining only 30 yards in a 28-14 loss to Georgia two weeks ago, Gamecock runners put up 194 yards against the Minutemen. Freshman Rico Dowdle led the way with 87 yards and Williams had 69 yards.NEAR MISSESBreneman said UMass knows how close it has come in its games with the SEC this season -- losing 24-7 to Florida and 47-35 to Mississippi State before the South Carolina game.Is it impressive that weve played with three SEC teams so far and you look back on it and see that we couldve won all three of those games if we wouldve made one less mistake, Breneman said. At the same time, at some point, being close isnt good enough. I think thats the feeling in the locker room.UP NEXTMASSACHUSETTS: The Minutemen return home to play Football Championship Subdivision opponent Wagner. The game ends the UMass home season as it finishes with games at Troy, BYU and Hawaii.SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks go back to the Southeastern Conference grinder against No. 18 Tennessee. The Gamecocks have only won two SEC games the past two seasons and will face a difficult challenge against the Vols, who are in the thick of the Eastern Division chase. ' ' '
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