TOKYO - Top-ranked United States crushed the Dominican Republic in straight sets on Wednesday to reach the women's Olympic volleyball semi-finals, while South Korea stunned Turkey in a thrilling full-set match, securing a spot in the top four.
U.S. opposite Andrea Drews scored 21 points to lead the team to a comprehensive quarter-final victory over the Caribbean side at Tokyo's Ariake Arena, with the 2016 bronze medalists winning 25-11 25-20 25-19.
Drews was supported at the net by Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, who had 13 points, while Haleigh Washington added 10.
Injured ace spiker Jordan Thompson, who sprained her ankle on Saturday, came back on the bench, but was not brought on as a substitute.
"I felt confident coming in this match because of our team," Drews said. "I think a big focus on our side is staying disciplined with the plans that we make," she said when asked about the plan for the next stage on Friday.
Earlier, South Korea edged Turkey, which had made its first quarter-final appearance, in a five-setter with a 17-25 25-17 28-26 18-25 15-13 win, advancing to the semi-finals for the first time since 2012.
Captain Kim Yeon-koung lead the way with 28 points while their clever serves made Turkey difficult to perform stable and powerful offence.
"This victory was probably due to the fact that we had played against them in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) before this tournament and we knew their strategy," Kim said.
"We had strong serves and our rich experience also helped."
South Korea took advantage of some mistakes Turkey made in tight points, Korea's head coach, Stefano Lavarini, said.
"The girls were impressive. They were really focusing on the moment and that made a difference."
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
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