Between Women’s Indoor Volleyball and Water Polo, there will be at least one Golden Bear in action for the next few days of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Monday (Day 10) saw Spanish Calympian Roser Tarrago’s hope to win another Olympic medal dashed when her Spain Women’s Water Polo team were upset by the Russians 12 to 10, despite a hat trick from Tarrago.
On the other side of the bracket, Calympians Dora Antal and Anna Illes and Hungary will at least (and in all likelihood) get to play for the Bronze medal after they got past Australia in their quarterfinals via penalty shootout. Antal scored both the match tying goal late in regulation as the match clinching penalty.
Hungary plays the U.S. in Wednesday's semifinals at 8:20 a.m. PT with a berth in the Gold Medal Match at stake! #CalBearsInRio— Cal W Water Polo (@CalWWPolo) August 15, 2016
Two Calympians are in action today. Former Cal Volleyball star and national player of the year, Carli Lloyd and the undefeated (but also kind of inconsistent) USA (6-0) swept Japan (2-4) in the elimination quarterfinals in straight sets. The Americans will take on the winner of Russia/Serbia on Thursday in the semifinal. At worst, USA will be playing for a Bronze medal on Saturday.
New York Times did a feature story on Carli Lloyd and her relationship with her famous Uncle (who doubled as her only father figure growing up), “Turbo” (real name Galen Tomlinson) from the original American Gladiators.
There have been strains. A combination of stress fractures in her shins and struggles fitting in with the United States national team, coached by the volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, sent Carli Lloyd into a spiral of depression. Lloyd, with Tomlinson’s encouragement, had grown up setting with quick movements of her fingers and wrists. The team wanted her to adopt a method with more arm extension — a change of form not unlike asking a pitcher to alter a throwing motion or a basketball player to adjust a shot.
Lloyd struggled. Her standing on the national team dropped in a couple of years, until it looked as if her longstanding Olympic aspirations had evaporated. She was in a kind of funk that Tomlinson had never seen.
“I remember telling her mom: ‘I’ve lost my little girl. She’s not the same,’” Tomlinson said.
But Lloyd pulled through during the past year, developing the mental toughness to match the physical prowess that she had always had. By last winter in Italy, she seemed to Tomlinson to be her old self, dedicated to trying to make the Olympic roster.
“I’m going to make their decision as hard as I can,” she said.
In July, Kiraly named his 12-member team. Three setters, instead of the usual two, made the squad. Lloyd was one of them. Kiraly said she represented a new breed of physical setter — fast enough to chase every ball, big enough to block and hit.
Good luck to Carli Lloyd and top seed Team USA, who are seeking the country’s first Gold medal in Women’s Indoor Volleyball.
[UPDATE: Apparently after a protest, hurdlers from the earlier heats who had to run in the rain got a 2nd chance to rerun. One of them ran a quicker time than Ristic and the Calympian was bumped from the semifinal.]
Also in action today is Serbian Calympian Milan Ristic in 110m hurdles. Ristic ran a time of 13.66 in his 1st round heat last night to take one of the last spot in the semifinals. The semifinals are scheduled for around 4:30 PM PT tonight. Should Ristic make it to the final, that will be at 6:45 PM PT. Good luck to Cal Track and Field alum Milan Ristic tonight.
Calympians Medal Count:
(Through Day 10)
13 Golds, 4 Silvers, 4 Bronze
7 Golds, 3 Silvers, 4 Bronze
*Runge is not one of the 50 Calympians on the Cal Athletics list, so our Calympian medal count may differ from their