Great Britain’s first window of opportunity to qualify for the quarter-finals of the women’s volleyball competition was shut by the Dominican Republic as they lost 9-25, 18-25, 19-25 on Friday evening.
Monday’s first-ever Games win over Algeria had put Audrey Cooper’s unheralded side in such a position where one more success would put them through to the last eight – a result that for them would be the equivalent of a gold medal. With the well-regarded Japan to play in their last game, this encounter was considered to be Britain’s best chance of snaring that precious second win, but the Dominicans proved immovable at the net and were consistently able to put long runs of points together to stifle both the home players and the crowd.
A win over Algeria in their final game will put the victors through, but all is not lost for Britain. Victory against Japan and favourable results elsewhere could do the trick but, by seeing off Algeria, the squad have already achieved their goal.
Owing to the precarious nature of the table, it went without saying that a strong start was needed for a British side, but the Dominicans opened up an early 7-2 lead. When Grace Carter served long it was 8-3 and despite a surge inspired by
Savanah Leaf, an impressive run of 12 straight points on Karla Echenique Medina’s serve took the set away from Britain.