The Russian Olympic Committee's Ksenlia Smirnova cheers after a point won against the United States during a women's volleyball match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on July 31, where the ROC beat Team USA in straight sets, 25-20, 25-12, 25-19. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. women's indoor volleyball team advanced to the gold medal match at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday after routing Serbia in straight sets in the semifinals.
The Americans, who have never won gold in the event, are now guaranteed their fourth consecutive medal in indoor women's volleyball after winning bronze in Rio in 2016 and silvers in both London in 2012 and Beijing in 2008.
Andrea Drews led with 17 points, including 3 aces, and Jordan Larson had 15 with 2 aces in the win. Serbian star Tijana Boskovic netted 19 points, but no one else on her team scored more than 6.
The Americans pulled off the win despite being without hitter Jordan Thompson due to injury.
Setter Jodryn Poulter was back from injury and led in her department with 32 sets and 5 digs.
Team USA won 25-19 in the first set, 25-15 in the second and 25-23 in the third.
The Americans were strong throughout the court, forcing Serbia to constantly try to claw back into the game.
After 9-8 in the first set, the Americans went on a pair of 4-point runs before reaching set point at 20-12.
Serbia put together 5 straight points before American Foluke Akinradewo ultimately clinched the opening set for Team USA.
The second set was more of the same, with Team USA going on a 3-point run before Serbia did the same. With offensive powers and strong blocking at the net, Team USA extended their lead and forced Serbia to commit errors.
The Americans kept Boskovic to only 6 points in the second set.
In the final set, the Americans went up 7-3 early and forced the Serbians to fight for each point, often calling for challenges on points against them.
Serbia kept it close afterward, but the Americans were able to hold them off for the win.
Team USA will play the winner between Brazil and Korea in the gold medal match on Sunday.