ionship curse to rise in the rankings to ...in
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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Faces buried in hands and tears falling, the Brazilian womens volleyball team lost to China in a five-set quarterfinal match Tuesday.It was another heartbreaking defeat for the home country, only hours after the Brazilian womens soccer team fell in a penalty shootout to Sweden?at the Maracana Stadium. China rallied after losing the first set to stun the two-time defending champion Brazilians 15-13 in the decisive fifth.As China celebrated the biggest upset yet and quieted a stunned crowd, Brazil captain Fabiana pulled her team together in a huddle. Although Fabianas kill saved one match point to make it 14-13 in the third, Brazil had a pair of costly service errors late.Brazil had been the heavy favorite to face the United States in a potential gold-medal match after beating the Americans in the championship match in each of the past two Olympics. Meanwhile, a young China team that had been far from steady at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics played its best, most consistent match yet.Karch Kiralys top-ranked Americans moved one step closer to their goal of capturing the programs first volleyball gold by defeating familiar opponent Japan in straight sets to reach the semifinals.?For an American team that knows Japan so well, patience was an absolute must. Against the best defensive team in the world, balls are going to come back across the net.Before we go into any match with Japan, we have to know we need to have a lot of patience, outside hitter Kim Hill said.The unbeaten U.S. (6-0) won 25-16, 25-23, 25-22 and has dropped just five sets all tournament. The Americans will face Serbia, a straight-sets winner over Russia, in Thursdays semifinals at Maracanazinho Arena.Our approach is the same every time, so that didnt even really feel like an Olympic quarterfinal match, Kiraly said. Thats good. Were just playing volleyball against Japan.The U.S. has faced Japan more than any other team since 1983. The Americans have won the past three meetings on the Olympic stage against Japan, including opening the 2008 Beijing Games with a four-set victory and sweeping Japan in a match at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.They have a lot of fight in them, so it took a lot of patience on our end and regrouping and resetting, middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo said. I was proud of the team. We were able to get it out in three sets.China will face the upstart Netherlands women, who beat South Korea in four sets. The Dutch are in their first Olympics in 20 years and went 4-1 in group play behind the Americans.Japan, one of the top defensive teams in the world, had a 7-0 run in the third set before the Americans closed it out. Now, the U.S. is two wins from gold.I dont have any expectations. Others may have them, but I dont, said Kiraly, who is the only person to win gold as a player in beach and indoor volleyball and who is now looking to become the first to win gold as a coach and player.Serbia lost in four sets to the U.S. during pool play but pulled off a surprising, five-set victory at last years World Cup in Japan, and that forced the Americans to qualify for Rio in January in Lincoln, Nebraska.The most important thing is to keep smiling on the court and stay relaxed, and anybody can be beaten, Serbias Jovana Stevanovic said. Cheap NBA Jerseys Free Shipping . General manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he wants to see Gaboriks contributions go beyond the scoresheet before considering a long-term deal for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. Cheap Stitched NBA Jerseys . Westbrook has missed 27 games since having a procedure on Dec. 27 to deal with swelling in his injured right knee — the third operation on the knee in nine months. http://www.cheapnbajerseysnike.com/ . The Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday that the veteran forward will return to the teams line-up on Saturday night when the Habs visit the Nashville Predators. Wholesale NBA Jerseys Outlet . Denis Coderre, the former federal MP who was elected mayor on Nov. 3, has drawn the ire of some Montreal Canadiens. During last nights game he tweeted: "Hello? Can we get a one-way ticket to (minor-league) Hamilton for David Desharnais please. Nike NBA Jerseys From China .ca NFL Power Rankings, overtaking the Denver Broncos and remaining ahead of NFC competition San Francisco, Carolina and New Orleans. This story is part of ESPN The Magazines Oct. 31 NBA Preview Issue. Subscribe today!Cleveland CavaliersOverall:?13 Title track: T19 Ownership: 38 Coaching: 39 Players: 21 Fan relations: 16 Affordability: 41 Stadium experience: 29 Bang for the buck: 12 Change from last year: +31The Cavaliers broke their citys 50-plus year championship curse to rise in the rankings to ... No. 13?! There always has to be something unlucky about Cleveland, doesnt there? Triskaidekaphobia aside, LeBron James & Co.s epic comeback against the Golden State Warriors to capture the Larry OBrien Trophy rightfully has this group up 31 spots in our standings, knocking on the door for consideration as a top-10 franchise in sports.Whats goodNow that the titleless drought has been lifted in Cleveland, its not so incomprehensible for the Cavs to have the gumption to do it in back-to-back years. They jumped up 32 spots from a season ago in title track, tying with James favorite baseball team in the New York Yankees for No. 19. And make no mistake -- James himself has plenty to do with the Cavs No. 21 ranking in players, up 94 spots from two years ago. The Cavs also rocketed up the charts in bang for the buck, moving up 36 spots to No. 12 overall. It seems like the chance to see a play like James chhase-down block in Game 7 of the NBA Finals live always makes the price of admission worth it.ddddddddddddWhats badHeres a first: Theres not much to complain about as a Cleveland fan. The Cavs lowest ranking came in affordability, though, at 41st. Its still in the top third of teams. And their average ticket price -- of $48.12, seven bucks below the league average -- is lower than 17 teams who arent NBA champs. Best of all? At Quicken Loans Arena, you can fill up on league-low beers, at just $4 a pop for 12 ounces, and $3 hot dogs (also a league-low).Whats newNobody who voted in these rankings is missing David Blatt: Tyronn Lues promotion from associate head coach to the top dog represented the biggest improvement in any category for Cleveland, as its coaching rank jumped 51 spots to No. 39. Lue became the first midseason replacement ever to guide his team to the title and started off his first-ever postseason 10-0, besting Pat Rileys previous mark. Curiously, the Cavs remained No. 7 in the NBA in the players ranking, while lesser teams like Boston, Memphis and Portland all moved up ahead of them.Next: Memphis Grizzlies?| Full rankings cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '