Defending champion Brazil defeats Russia 3-2



LONDON (AP) — Defending champion Brazil denied Russia match point six times before winning 3-2 Tuesday and advancing to the women’s volleyball semifinals at the London Games.

Brazil has reached the semifinals in the last seven Olympics. The team’s only gold medal came at the Beijing Games when it went undefeated and beat the United States in the final.

Fernanda Rodrigues’ ace set up Fabiana Claudino’s kill for the 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 21-19 victory. Brazil’s coaches joined the players in a celebration at Earls Court.

Brazil advances to Thursday’s semifinal against Japan, which outlasted China 3-2 (28-26, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 18-16) in an earlier quarterfinal.

Russia has won four gold medals in women’s volleyball since the sport joined the Olympics sport in 1964, but none since 1988.