China rebounds to sweep Italy
In the first match of the day, China claimed three points in the preliminary with set wins of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-16 in succession.
China tallied 24 points on Italian errors while giving their counterparts only 12 points in return.
Italy’s Paola Ogechi Egonu dominated the box score with 22 points on 19 spikes.
With the sweep, China now has four points in the preliminary round, good for third behind Serbia and the U.S. in Pool B.
Italy has lost all six matches it has played in Rio.
Japan dominates Cameroon
Japan made quick work of Cameroon Monday, needing just under 70 minutes to sweep in consecutive sets 25-20, 25-15 and 25-17.
Japan was upset in the first match of the Olympics Saturday, dropping three of four sets to South Korea.
The fifth-ranked Japan squad rode a balanced approach from Miyu Nagaoka (16 points), captain Saori Kimura (13 points) and Yuki Ishii (13 points) and now ranks fourth in Group A with three points through two matches.
Cameroon has lost all six matches it has played in the Olympics, touching 20 points in just two of those matches.
U.S. survives scare against Netherlands
In what was the most gripping match of the Olympics thus far, the U.S. team narrowly hung on to outlast the Dutch team in five sets.
The Netherlands jumped out to claim the first two sets of the match, but the Americans rose to the challenge with their backs against the wall, securing the final two sets for a victory.
Both teams look poised for a spot in the quarterfinals, so could a rematch be in the cards?
Serbia holds off Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rican squad didn’t win a set on the first day of volleyball prelims and they were determined not to go down without a fight.
Puerto Rico battled Serbia to a thrilling finish in the first set Monday afternoon before ultimately losing 29-27.
From there, Serbia put some more distance between itself and Puerto Rico in the final two sets with 25-18 and 25-20 victories.
Serbia currently leads all Olympic teams with six points thanks to a pair of sweeps to begin the prelim stages. They are leading Pool B, one point ahead of the U.S.
Puerto Rico is last in Pool B with zero points on the result of six losses in six sets.