LONDON — Across the board, from coaches to players, the U.S. women’s volleyball team said resting starters or taking a look at different playing combinations was never a consideration Sunday night.
That, despite already having clinched a quarterfinals berth against Dominican Republic, playing – and ultimately beating – Turkey at full strength was the only way to prepare.
That decision could come at a cost.
Setter Lindsey Berg, a three-time Olympian and one of this team’s foundation pieces, left midway through the third set of Team USA’s straight sets victory with an injury to her lower left extremity. Berg spent the remainder of the match icing the injury, her left leg elevated.
Berg limped through the media mixed zone afterward and gritted her way through a positive outlook for Tuesday’s quarterfinal match. But U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon, who added he had “no idea” if Berg could play, said Berg “felt something pop” and that the team is “concerned” about her status.
Speculation that Berg – who had 24 sets, five digs and one spike before exiting – suffered an Achilles injury has not been confirmed.
Berg emphasized she had never experienced this type of pain before in her lengthy career. She wouldn’t reveal the nature of the injury. Asked if she felt she could play Tuesday, she forced a smile.
“I sure hope so,” she said.
The U.S. finished pool play unbeaten in five matches and posted its third consecutive straight sets victory. The defending gold medalists rallied from a 13-7 first-set deficit to win 27-25 and cruised to 25-16 and 25-19 victories to eliminate Turkey, which needed to win to advance.
Destinee Hooker continued her assault on this tournament with 17 spikes. Foluke Akinradewo added nine spikes and five kills.