Follow former Lady Vols at the Olympics

Aug. 15, 2008


NBC Networks and Online Streaming Schedules

August 9 (Sat.):7:01 a.m.Magnuson advanced, 57.70
August 9 (Sat.):10:10 p.m.Magnuson advanced, 57.08
American Record
August 10 (Sun.):10:21 p.m.Magnuson wins Silver, 57.10
August 9 (Sat.):8:00 a.m.vs. Czech Republic, W 97-57
August 11 (Mon.):8:00 a.m.vs. China, W 108-63
August 13 (Wed.):10:15 a.m.vs. Mali, W 97-41
August 15 (Fri.):8:00 a.m.vs. Spain
August 17 (Sun.):10:15 a.m.vs. New Zealand
August 19 (Tue.):TBAQuarterfinals
August 21 (Thu.):TBASemifinals
August 23 (Sat.):7:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m.Finals
August 12 (Tue.):12:00 a.m.vs. Venezuela, W 11-0
August 13 (Wed.):12:00 a.m.vs. Australia, W 3-0
August 14 (Thu.):12:00 a.m.vs. Canada, W 8-1
August 15 (Fri.):12:00 a.m.vs. Japan, W 7-0
August 16 (Sat.):12:00 a.m.vs. Chinese Taipei
August 17 (Sun.):5:30 a.m.vs. Netherlands
August 18 (Mon.):12:00 a.m.vs. China
August 20 (Wed.):TBASemifinals
August 21 (Thu.):TBAFinals/Medal
August 16 (Sat.):12:10 p.m.
August 17 (Sun.):9:00 a.m.
August 19 (Tue.):10:10 a.m.

(All Times Eastern)

Abbott earns first Olympic win over Japan

Friday, August 15

United States' starting pitcher Monica Abbott throws against Japan in a softball game in the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008.

BEIJING - The U.S. used a four-run first inning attack on Friday afternoon en route to a 7-0 run-ahead victory against Japan at Fengtai Field. Extending its 17-game Olympic win streak, the U.S. connected on eight hits including a new Olympic record with four home runs in the contest; two of which came from Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, Calif.).

From the circle, Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) garnered her first Olympic victory tossing five complete innings allowing just one hit and retiring four batters via the strikeout.

"Today was a great day for our team," said Abbott. "Our offense is so strong and that was definitely a key because they put some runs on the board early and were ready to go. I knew it was my job to just get them back in the dugout so they could keep doing what they do so well. My arm is feeling great and it's just an amazing feeling because I am at the Olympics."

After a scoring drought against Canada on Thursday afternoon, the U.S. bats unleashed early on Japan taking a quick 4-0 advantage in the first inning.

Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) was entered as the starting pitcher but a game time decision changed things up with Abbott taking the lead in the circle in the bottom of the 1st inning.

Breaking a U.S. 15-inning hitless streak in the 2008 Olympic Games, Japanese leadoff hitter Ayumi Karino connected on a single off Abbott to begin the first inning. However, it was all Abbott and the U.S. defense as they retired the next six consecutive batters leading into the third.

To lead the third inning, Kretschman drove the ball to centerfield for her second hit of the game but the U.S. was held by Someya and crew moving to the bottom of half of the inning.

Abbott held strong in the circle as the U.S. put two more runs on the board once again from the long ball. Flowers then reached on her first single of the Olympic Games and moved to third on two ground outs before Mendoza struck once again with a towering home run to right field. Bringing Bustos to the plate, her power again overwhelmed the Japanese pitching with a rocket line-drive home run to centerfield. This continued her Olympic home run streak to four consecutive games and 11 for her Olympic career.

Click HERE to read the full game recap.

Abbott starts against Canada; Game suspended

Thursday, August 14

U.S. starting pitcher Monica Abbott throws against Canada in a softball game in the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008.

BEIJING - It wasn't the United States or Canada who was victorious today as the game was suspended in the top of the fourth inning due to rain with the U.S. trailing Canada 1-0. The team waited it out through two rain delays before the game was called. It will be resumed tomorrow Friday, August 15 following the USA vs. Japan game at Noon. Projected time is 30 minutes after the conclusion of the regularly scheduled game.

Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.) worked three complete innings, allowing no hits with three strikeouts while Lovie Jung (Fountain Valley, Calif.) recorded the sole hit of the game in the third inning with a single to right centerfield.

Abbott made her first Olympic start in the circle for the Red, White and Blue and had a tough first outing. She was called for an illegal pitch for her first pitch facing leadoff hitter Melanie Matthews. Another illegal pitch would be called before Matthews hit a deep fly ball that Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) caught then dropped for her first-ever National team error in over 100 games played. The error allowed Matthews to reach second base.

Erin McClean would draw a walk, including another Abbott illegal pitch, with Matthews advancing to third on the illegal pitch. A sac fly by Jennifer Yee was enough for Matthews to score, breaking up a 12-inning shut out streak during these `08 Games. Then it was six straight up and down through the first two innings for Team USA before the rain began just 32 minutes into play starting an hour and 47 minute rain delay.

The teams resumed play and it was evident both teams were ready to take the field, Canada to defend their lead and the U.S. to make a comeback. The game was resumed at the bottom of the second with Canadian Megan Timpf up to bat with an 0-1 count and no outs. The rain delay seemed to settle the Olympic rookie as Abbott sat down two batters with strike outs and a ground out to close out the inning.

Click HERE to read the full game recap.

USA Women Crush Mali 97-41

Wednesday, August 13

Box Score (PDF) | Quotes | Photos

USA's Candace Parker, left, steals the ball from Mali forward Diana Gandega during the first quarter of their women's preliminary basketball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.
BEIJING - The 2008 U.S. Women's Olympic Team needed just 10 minutes to build a double-digit lead and went on to secure a 97-41 win against overmatched Mali Wednesday night at Wukesong Arena in Beijing, China.

Lisa Leslie set a U.S. Olympic record going 7-for-7 from the field as the women's team continued its unblemished run through the Beijing Games. Katie Smith (2000) and former Lady Vol Nikki McCray (1996) held the record for highest field goal percentage, each going 6-for-6 from the field.

Kara Lawson had a strong all-around game with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting with seven assists, three steals and two rebounds. Tamika Catchings connected on all three of her field goals, finishing with seven points, four rebounds and three assists. Parker was one of five players to reach double figures as she picked up 10 points with a couple of rebounds and a pair of steals and assists.

Mali was missing it's top player Hamchetou Maiga-Ba, who injured her ankle in a loss to the Czech Republic on Monday. Even with Maiga-Ba, the winless Mali team would have been hard-pressed to be competitive against the U.S.

However, for a brief two-minute stretch in the first quarter Mali gave its fans something to cheer about. Trailing 7-0, Mali rattled off eight straight points, hitting two deep 3-pointers. Aminata Sininta's 3 with 5:34 left in the period gave Mali an 8-7 lead and forced U.S. coach Anne Donovan to call a timeout.

It didn't last long as the Americans responded with a 17-4 run to close the quarter as seven different players scored. The U.S. (3-0) continued the spurt scoring the first eight points of the second quarter to build the advantage to 32-12 and led 51-28 at the half.

The Americans play Spain next on Friday.

Click HERE to read the rest of the game report.

Abbott pitches in relief in Olympic debut

Wednesday, August 13

Monica Abbott (AP)

BEIJING - Former Lady Vol All-American Monica Abbott pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 fifth inning as the USA Softball team opened the 2008 Olympic Games by making a statement in breaking an Olympic record for most runs scored in a game by a single team and tying an Olympic record with three homeruns. The three-time defending Gold Medal winning team captured an 11-0 victory in five innings against Olympic rookie team Venezuela. Breaking its own previous record which was 10 runs from the 2004 Olympic Games, the U.S. used 11 hits including three home runs and a base clearing double to improve to a 15-game win Olympic win streak dating back to 2000.

Abbott and starter Jennie Finch combined on the no-hit performance

Up next the U.S. will battle a familiar foe in 2004 Olympic silver medal winning team Australia. The U.S. is 20-7 overall against Australia in major international competition (Olympics, World Championships, and World Cups). Game time is Noon on Wednesday, August 13

Click HERE to read the full game recap.

Magnuson appears on the Today Show

Monday, August 11

Fresh off of her Olympic Silver Medal winning performance in the 100m butterfly, Christine Magnuson was interviewd on the Monday morning Today Show.

View the Today Show interview.

USA Women Easily Dismantle Host China, 108-63

Monday, August 11

Box Score (PDF) | Quotes | Photos

US Kara Lawson puts up a shot against China during the first quarter of their women's preliminary basketball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Monday, Aug. 11, 2008.
BEIJING - The U.S. women's basketball team quickly dashed any hopes China had of an upset, avenging a loss in April with the second American drubbing of the Chinese in as many nights.

Former Lady Vols Candace Parker scored 12, while Tamika Catchings added five and Kara Lawson four as the USA Women's basketball teamed routed China, 108-63, for their second win in Olympic pool play.

Parker connected on six of seven field goals with five rebounds in 18 minutes. Lawson handed out five assists with three rounds and Catchings had five rebounds and two steals.

Tina Thompson scored 13 of her 27 points during a 23-0 run in the first quarter and the U.S. routed China, taking the boisterous crowd out of the game early.

After the scoring run, the women never looked back.

Bian Lan finally ended China's 6 1/2 minute scoreless drought early in the second quarter with a jumper that rattled around the rim before dropping in. China missed 12 straight shots and turned the ball over three times during its drought.

The U.S. (2-0) didn't stop at its 22-point lead, extending its advantage to 61-27 at the half. The Americans cruised the rest of the way.

China figured to be the toughest test for the Americans in their pool. Up next will be a matchup with Mali (0-2), which lost Hamchetou Maiga of the Houston Comets to an ankle injury in the third quarter of a 81-47 loss to the Czechs.

Click HERE to read the rest of the game report.

Christine Magnuson wins Silver medal

Sunday, August 10

VIDEO: 100m Butterfly Final | Magnuson on Today Show

Gold medalist Lisbeth Trickett, center, silver winner Christine Magnuson, right, of the United States and bronze winner Jessicah Schipper of Australia smile with their medals during an awarding ceremony of the women's 100-meter butterfly in the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Monday, Aug. 11, 2008.
BEIJING - Christine Magnuson captured the silver medal in the 100m butterfly on Sunday night at the National Aquatics Center at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Magnuson finished second behind Australia'>s Libby Trickett in a time of 57.10. Trickett won the gold in 56.73, while fellow Aussie Jessicah Schipper grabbed the bronze in 57.25.

Magnuson was third at the halfway mark, touching the wall .02 behind Schipper at 26.95, but was able to edge her out for the silver.

Magnuson, using her unique side-breathing technique, became the first former Lady Vol to win an individual swimming medal in the Olympics. Julia Stowers won a relay gold in 2000 before attending Tennessee.

In the semifinals on Saturday night, the Tinley Park, Ill., native broke Natalie Coughlina's American record by swimming a time of 57.08. CoughlinâÂÂÂ?TMs old record was 57.34.

Magnuson opened her first-ever Olympic competition by winning her preliminary heat in the 100m fly in 57.70 on Saturday morning.

Magnuson's previous career best before the Olympics night was 57.50, which she set in the semifinals of the Olympic Trials in June.

She has a chance to grab another medal later in the week. Magnuson will probably swim the butterfly leg of the 4x100 medley relay. The medley relay heats begin Friday morning and the finals will be Saturday night.

Magnuson captured the 100m fly title at the Olympic Trials by swimming 58.11 in the finals. She was a 26-time All-American at Tennessee and just wrapped up her eligibility this past season.

She won the NCAA Championship in the 100y fly and was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Year this past winter.

Former Lady Vol Fabiola Molina ends 18th in 100m backstroke

Sunday, August 10

BEIJING Former Lady Vol Fabiola Molina finished fifth in her 100m backstroke preliminary heat and 18th overall in the event on Sunday morning at the National Aquatics Center at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Molina, representing Brazil, swam a time of 1:01.00 in Heat 7 and was just .30 away from qualifying to the semifinals.

Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe won Heat 7 and set a new Olympic Record at 59.00.

Of the 49 entrants in the 100m back, Molina, 33, was the oldest competitor by at least five years.

A five-time All-American at UT from 1995-98, Molina also competed at the 2000 Olympics in Athens, Greece. She finished 24th in the 100m backstroke and 36th in the 100m butterfly at her first Olympics.

Earlier this summer, Molina set a South American Record in the 100m back when she won the Croatian Open Championship in 1:00.79.

Magnuson sets American Record in 100 Fly at 57.08

Christine Magnuson (AP)

Saturday, August 9

VIDEO: Magnuson's American Record swim

BEIJING - Christine Magnuson broke the American record in the 100m butterfly, while qualifying for the finals in the event on Saturday night at the National Aquatics Center at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Magnuson swam a time of a 57.08 to break Natalie Coughlin's old American record of 57.34.

The Tinley Park, Ill., finished just .03 behind reigning world champion Libby Trickett of Australia in the first semifinal of the 100m fly and will be seeded second in Sunday nightâÂÂÂ?TMs finals.

She was third at the turn and split 26.79 at the halfway mark before overtaking Great Britain's Jemma Lowe and holding off Li Tao of Singapore for second.

Magnuson has the opportunity to become the first former Lad Vol swimmer to win an individual medal at the Olympics. Her chief competition in the event will be Australia's Trickett and Jessicah Schipper, who won the second semifinal in 57.43. Trickett's top time is 56.81, while Schipper has gone 57.31.

Magnuson opened her first-ever Olympic competition by winning her preliminary heat in the 100m fly in 57.70. on Saturday morning.

Magnuson's previous career best before Saturday night was 57.50, which she set in the semifinals of the Olympic Trials in June.

Magnuson captured the 100m fly title at the Olympic Trials by swimming 58.11 in the finals. She was a 26-time All-American at Tennessee and just wrapped up her eligibility this past season.

She won the NCAA Championship in the 100y fly and was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Year this past winter.

The semifinals were shown live on NBC. The finals are scheduled to begin at 10:24 p.m. on Sunday night. NBC will be providing swimming coverage from 7p.m. to midnight.

USA Women Blowout Czech Republic, 97-57, in Olympic Opener

Saturday, August 9

Box Score (PDF)| Quotes| Photos

Candace Parker of the U.S. drives to the basket against Petra Kulichova of the Czech Republic during the second half of their Group B women's basketball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 9, 2008.
BEIJING - With President Bush and the first family looking on, the United States women's basketball team began its quest for a fourth-straight gold medal with a rout of the Czech Republic.

The Tennessee trio of Candace Parker (9), Tamika Catchings (6) and Kara Lawson (3) combined for 18 points to help lead the U.S. to the 97-57 victory in the opener Saturday night.

The Americans got off to a slow star, trailing 13-2 giving up layup after layup to the feisty Czech team. Diana Taurasi finally got the team rolling much to the pleasure of Bush, who was dressed in a blue shirt and USA cap. Taurasi's layup ignited a 20-4 run by the U.S. to close the first quarter.

The U.S. continued the run in the second quarter behind Cappie Pondexter, who scored seven of her 12 points in the period. Her 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Americans a 49-31 lead at halftime.

The Americans continued the onslaught in the third quarter using a 22-5 to put the game out of reach. The U.S. led 75-44 at the end of the third, sending the President, his wife Laura, and daughter Barbara home. The President gave a wave to the delighted crowd as he left at the end of the third quarter.

Up next for the women is host China, which beat Spain 67-64 in its first game.

Click HERE to read the rest of the game report.

Christine Magnuson advances to semifinals

Saturday, August 9

United States' swimmer Elaine Breeden (R) hugs US swimmer Christine Magnuson after the women's 100m butterfly swimming heat at the National Aquatics Center at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 9, 2008 in Beijing. Magnuson won the heat and Breeden finished 3rd.
BEIJING - Christine Magnuson won her preliminary heat in the 100m butterfly this morning at the 2008 Olympics.

Magnuson swam a time of 57.70 to win Heat 5 by .30 over second-place finisher Gabriella Silva of Brazil. Fellow American, Elaine Breeden was third in the heat with a time of 58.06.

Magnuson was second through 50 meters with a split of 26.83 and overtook South Africa's Lize-Mari Retief, who faded to fourth after leading at the halfway mark.

Magnuson's performance was tied for the second-best of the prelims and just off her career-best of 57.50 set in the semifinals of the Olympic Trials in June.

Australia's Jessica Schipper won Heat 6 in 57.58 just ahead of China's Yafei Zhou, who tied Magnuson's time of 57.70.

Libby Trickett of Australia was second in Heat 2 in 58.37. She has the top time in the world at 56.81. Schipper ranks second, while Magnuson is third. Trickett and Schipper are widely considered the favorites to win the event.

Magnuson captured the 100m fly title at the Olympic Trials by swimming 58.11 in the finals. She was a 26-time All-American at Tennessee and just wrapped up her eligibility this past season.

The Tinley Park, Ill., native won the NCAA Championship in the 100y fly and was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Year this past winter.

Semifinals of the 100m fly are tonight, while the finals are scheduled for Sunday night.

Olympic Games Open Friday for Eight Former Lady Vols

Thursday, August 7

Talking Women's Hoops, Olympics and Other Interesting Items

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team arrived in Beijing after seven days of training and hit the ground running on Thursday. The morning was filled with the U.S. Olympic Committee's Ambassador Program and that was followed by an hour-long press conference in the early afternoon and a two-hour practice at Wukesong Arena, home to the 2008 Olympic basketball competition, Thursday night. During the press event the team discussed a variety of topics, including the USA's first opponent, the contributions that will be made by the rookies, veteran leadership, Beijing in general and Lopez Lomong being named the U.S. Olympic Committee flag bearer for tomorrow night's Opening Ceremonies. But don't take our word for it ... read on!

USA head coach Anne Donovan

On participating on her fifth Olympic team as a player or coach:
Every day feels different as a head coach in terms of my own preparation. From before I got here and now that I'm here. The interesting thing is that I love it just as much in this role as I did as a player or working with Van Chancellor (in 2004). It's just nice. I know this is my last time through this, so every day I'm making the most of it.

Has Australia narrowed the gap with the USA in terms of skill level?
They have, Australia, Russia, there is no doubt. If you look back at the history, we've won the gold medal in the past three Olympics, but the competition has gotten much closer. You go back to every Olympics, and the game's have gotten closer and closer in the medal round. And it's always Russia, Australia, USA. We have never looked past Australia. We know that they are right there breathing down our neck.

What do the Olympic rookies offer to the team?
The freshness. We just tend to get more and more athletic in the U.S., and Cappie and Seimone as first time Olympians, they bring that clearly -- Candace, Sylvia. They are all so athletic and so versatile. I think that our game continue to go in that direction, and our young players I think really reflect that.

What do you expect from your first opponent, Czech Republic?
We know that Czech is good, and we have a long history with playing the Czech Republic. We've watched all their Olympic players grow from the junior teams up through the Olympics. So, we are very familiar with the Czech Republic, and what we know about them is the fight. They are fighters, so we know it will be a great battle.

What do you think about playing China?
I think China is definitely here to contend for a medal. I think they have put a lot of time, and money and effort into their women's program, and it has paid off. We've watched this team develop. We've played the Chinese women's team quite a bit through the years, and we've watched them develop. They are a very good team here that will really try to get on that medal stand. Our first game we are going to focus on the Czech Republic, and we'll worry about China when we play them.

Tamika Catchings

Do you feel you are at 100 percent?
I got my good days. I got my 100 percent days. Today is a 100 percent day. I didn't play in that last game against Australia a couple days ago. I hadn't played three games in a row since probably high school. (I played two games) and then that third day I was a little slow, so the coaches and the training staff decided that they wanted me to chill out for a little bit.

On playing with two other Tennessee alumns in Candace Parker and Kara Lawson:
It's fun to be able to share this experience with them. I played with Kara for two years in college. I never got the opportunity to play with Candace. So, to be able to be here and have both of them alongside me has been fun.

Where is your 2004 gold medal?
My gold medal is in my trophy case. I have it in a little case. It has a basketball, it has a team picture behind it, and then I have a t-shirt underneath the ball that has everybody's signature and the gold medal is kind of draped over it.

Kara Lawson

Is this the final notch on your resume?
This is the highest honor you can have as an athlete I believe, representing your country and participating in the Olympics and having the opportunity to compete for a gold medal. This is the icing on the cake right here. I'm really excited about it. I've been a part of USA Basketball since '98 when I was 17, the first time that I was in the system. Your goal always is to try and make the senior national team and try and compete in the Olympics.

What has it been like participating in your first Olympics?
We haven't gotten to go to the village yet, so I haven't really seen too many other athletes, but it's just been cool. Now that we are here in Beijing, you can just feel the buzz that surrounds the city and the energy that's here.

We're starting the get the big picture of the Olympics, but also the big picture of being a part of Team USA, which I can't say you grasp too much when you are just training by yourselves as the women's basketball team. Then you get here, and you start seeing other countries, and you start walking around with your USA stuff on, and it starts to mean a little bit more. ..

Candace Parker

On the pressure of the Olympics:
I don't think I feel pressure. I've played in other pressure situations, and I think the thing that my coaches and my teammates have emphasized is that it is important to stay within the moment and to realize that you've played 500 billion basketball games and it's about that. It's everything else around it that makes it bigger than the game, but it is still about execution and just playing the game you've played so many times in your life.

When did the realization that you were at the Olympics hit you?
I think when we pulled up (to the Main Press Center), and then also from the airport, just seeing all the Beijing Olympic banners and the different signs.

Are you feeling like there is paparazzi everywhere?
No. It's hard to describe. It's a great experience to have so much surrounding you. It really says a lot about what women's USA Basketball is all about, to have the support and to be here and have people that are interested in what we do.

Thursday, August 7

Lady Vol Track Diaries from Beijing
DeeDee Trotter
View diary entries | View photos

Wednesday, August 6

Lady Vol Swimming Diaries from Beijing
Christine Magnuson
View diary entries

Former Lady Vols
in the Olympics

Monica Abbott
Sport: Softball
Athlete Bio

Tamika Catchings
Sport: Basketball
Athlete Bio

Kara Lawson
Sport: Basketball
Athlete Bio

Christine Magnuson
Sport: Swimming
Athlete Bio

Fabiola Molina
Sport: Swimming
Athlete Bio

Candace Parker
Sport: Basketball
Athlete Bio

Dee Dee Trotter
Sport: Track & Field
Athlete Bio

Rhian Wilkinson
Sport: Soccer
Athlete Bio





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