TOKYO :The U.S. women's volleyball team defeated world champions and Rio silver medallists Serbia in straight sets on Friday to reach the Olympic final where they face Brazil, who beat South Korea.
The United States, who took bronze in 2016, won 25-19 25-15 25-23 at Ariake Arena, with opposite Andrea Drews scoring 17 points and outside hitter Jordan Larson 15.
U.S. captain Larson said it took her team time to settle, "but once we got passing under control, we were able to run strong offence. Our blocking and defence was another good spot," she said.
Ace U.S. spiker Jordan Thompson took no part in the match due to an ankle injury.
"We are lucky that we have lots of people who can take over the match. Anybody can be top scorer and I think that's what makes us very dangerous," Larson said.
The United States have won three silver and two bronze medals in the event, but never gold. "Hopefully I will complete the series," said the 34-year-old Larson who, playing in her third Olympics, has a silver and a bronze so far.
Meanwhile their opponents in Sunday's final will be going for their third women's volleyball title.
Second-ranked Brazil, who had sealed a straight-sets victory over South Korea in the preliminary round, again overpowered the same opponents, winning 25-16 25-16 25-16 in 82 minutes with outside hitter Fernanda Rodrigues scoring 17 points.
A slew of blocks and powerful serves also broke Korea's rhythm.
Serbia's head coach Zoran Terzic said his team would do their best to pick themselves up for the bronze medal match after Friday's disappointing loss.
"I don't know what, but something was missing, maybe some energy," he said. "But ok, we'll try to recover energy and smiles for the next game."
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Peter Rutherford and John Stonestreet)