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Netherlands forces U.S. to scramble for victory

The U.S. women's volleyball team got a big scare from the Netherlands Monday night, needing Tara Cross-Battle's powerful spikes to pull out a four-set victory in their second match of pool play.

Tammy Liley and Elaina Oden also had strong hitting performances to keep Team USA from blowing its home-court advantage against the second-to-last team to qualify for the games. The Americans won 12-15, 15-10, 17-15, 15-7.

The fourth set, which ended with three-time Olympian Paula Weishoff scoring the last three points, was the only one in which Team USA didn't trail.

The win kept the United States, the defending bronze medalist, even with China at 2-0 and the only undefeated teams in Pool A. They'll meet Wednesday night.

In the late match, second-ranked Brazil upset defending Olympic champion Cuba 15-11, 15-10, 15-4. China won a tense five-set victory over South Korea 17-16, 16-14, 2-15, 13-15, 15-13. It was the first time this Olympics that a match required the fifth-set tiebreaker, in which points are scored on every serve.

The match lasted nearly three hours, and the crowd at the Omni gave both teams a standing ovation when it ended.

Japan (1-1) raced past Ukraine (0-2) 15-9, 15-5, 15-4. At Athens, Ga., Russia overwhelmed Canada 15-1, 15-7, 15-9.

Team USA plays China Wednesday night. China swept a four-match series with Team USA in Southern California in May, but the Americans beat China in straight sets on June 16.

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