London.– The women’s volleyball tournament of the 2012 London Games serves off on Saturday with six matches at the iconic Earls Court venue as Brazil begin the defense of the Olympic throne and pre-tournament favourites USA their quest for a first ever gold medal in the competition.
Since volleyball was accepted as part of the Olympic program in 1964 during the Tokyo Games, only Japan (2), the former Soviet Union (4) and Cuba (3) have been able to win more than once in twelve editions.
Algeria, Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Italy Japan and Russia compete in Pool A, while Pool B consists of teams Brazil, China, Korea, Serbia, Turkey and United States.
The opening day features the match of Italy vs Dominican Republic. The Dominicans claimed a 3-2 victory the first time they played Italy during the 1978 FIVB World Championship only to see the squadra azurra dominating in the next eleven contests while conceding only three sets in the process.
In 2010, thirty-two years later during the World Grand Prix the Dominicans were able to hand a loss to the Italians also in five sets. The 14-2 win-loss record of Italy in head-to-head matches with Dominican Republic, perfectly illustrate the match- up of consistency against instability.