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Olympics roundup: Former BYU star Taylor Sander guides USA to 3-0 win over France

Taylor Sander of the United States spikes the ball
Taylor Sander of the United States spikes the ball during a men’s volleyball preliminary round pool B match against France, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Frank Augstein, Associated Press

In its first match of the Olympics on Saturday, Team USA’s men’s volleyball team beat France in three sets (25-18, 25-18, 25-22). The United States is now 1-0 in Group B play, which also features Brazil, the athletes of Russia (called the Russian Olympic Committee — the country of Russia is not allowed to be officially represented at the Olympics due to sanctions over its doping scandal), Argentina, France and Tunisia.

Former BYU volleyball star Taylor Sander was key for the United States, scoring 15 points to lead all scorers in the match. Of those 15 points, 12 came on kills, and Sander also had two points on blocks and one ace.

“It feels good to start like that,” Sander said after the match, per USA Volleyball. “We knew three weeks ago we weren’t that good. We put in a lot of hard work and kept believing in our systems and that was the key. I think we were the more comfortable team tonight and it showed in the way that we played together, had good energy, and then just did what we’ve been doing the last three weeks in practice. Work every point and follow our scouting report, and I think tonight that was a demonstration of us doing what we do.”

The United States faces the ROC next on Sunday at 8:05 p.m. MDT.

Former Utah softball player Anissa Urtez takes on her fiancée as Mexico plays USA

Former Ute Anissa Urtez, who played for Utah from 2014-2017, and Mexico faced the United States in softball. Urtez was playing against her fiancée Amanda Chidester, who plays for the USA. Urtez, who hit a home run for Mexico on Thursday, went 0-for-2 in Mexico’s 2-0 loss to the USA, dropping Mexico to 0-3 in group play. Urtez had two put outs and four assists in the field and made a nice diving catch in the fifth inning.

Mexico will take on Italy next on Sunday at 5 a.m. MDT.

BYU swimmer Josue Dominguez Ramos places 39th overall in men’s 100-meter breaststroke qualifications

BYU junior Josue Dominguez Ramos, competing in his first-ever Olympics for the Dominican Republic, finished in seventh place in his heat of eight competitors and 39th overall in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke qualifications with a time of 1:01.86. Only the best 16 times qualify for the semifinals. He was the only representative for the Dominican Republic in the event.

Up next for Dominguez Ramos is the 200-meter backstroke qualifications on July 27 at 5:06 a.m. MDT.

Former University of Utah student Alexis Lagan finishes 38th in women’s 10-meter shooting qualifications

Former University of Utah student Alexis Lagan, representing the United States, placed 38th overall out of 53 competitors in the women’s 10-meter shooting qualifications, with a final score of 560 -15x. She was one of only two Americans who participated in the event.

She will compete next in the women’s 25-meter air pistol qualification on July 28 at 6 p.m. MDT.

Up next

7/25, 12:10 a.m. MDT: MyKayla Skinner and Grace McCallum (Team USA, University of Utah gymnasts), women’s gymnastics qualification

7/25, 2 a.m. MDT: Douglas Martinez (Team Honduras, Real Salt Lake player), men’s soccer vs. New Zealand

7/25, 2:20 a.m. MDT: Joe Ingles (Team Australia, Utah Jazz player) and Miye Oni (Team Nigeria, Utah Jazz player), men’s basketball, Australia vs. Nigeria

7/25, 4:12 a.m. MDT: Rhyan White (Team USA, Utah native), women’s swimming 100-meter backstroke qualification

7/25, 5 a.m. MDT: Anissa Urtez (Team Mexico, former Utah softball player), softball vs. Italy

7/25, 6 a.m. MDT: Rudy Gobert (Team France, Utah Jazz player) and Damian Lillard (Team USA, former Weber State basketball player), men’s basketball, France vs. USA

7/25, 7 a.m. MDT: Jake Gibb (Team USA, Utah native), beach volleyball vs. Italy

7/25, 7 p.m. MDT: Hannah Flippen (Team USA alternate, former Utah softball player), softball vs. Japan

7/25, 8 p.m. MDT: Taylor Sander (Team USA, former BYU volleyball player), men’s volleyball vs. Russia Olympic Committee