Tokyo Olympics update: Taylor Sander leads USA volleyball to swift win over Tunisia

USA Climbing head coach returns to the United States after the death of his father.

(Manu Fernandez | AP) Tunisia's Mohamed Ali Ben Othmen Miladi, left, spikes the ball over United States' Taylor Sander (3) and teammates during a men's volleyball preliminary round pool B match between United States and Tunisia at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo.

BYU alumnus Taylor Sander made 14 kills and had a 60% hitting efficiency as the USA men’s volleyball team toppled Tunisia, 3-1, on Tuesday night. The scores were 25-14, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23.

Sander also served two aces. Torey Defalco led the Americans with 24 points on 21 kills and two blocks.

Team USA improves to 2-1 in Pool B and will next play Brazil at 8:05 p.m. Thursday.

(Felipe Dana | AP) Jacob Gibb, of the United States, returns a shot during a men's beach volleyball match against Switzerland during the 2020 Summer Olympics on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo.

Beach volleyball: Gibb, Bourne undefeated, but Qatar awaits

Bountiful’s Jake Gibb and new partner Tri Bourne keep knocking off opponents at Shiokaze Park in Tokyo. The latest was the Swiss pair of Mirco Gerson and Adrian Heidrich, whom the Americans defeated 2-0 Tuesday. The scores were 25-19, 23-21.

Gibb and Bourne have not dropped a set in Olympic play despite playing for the first time just two practices before their first match. Bourne replaced Gibb’s original partner, Taylor Crabb, who tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in Tokyo.

Their streak will be tested Friday, however, when they play Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar. That duo finished third in the FIVB Olympic qualifying rankings. Gibb and Crabb, who entered Tokyo as the top American team, finished ranked 10th.

(Kiichiro Sato | AP) Honduras' Douglas Martinez, left, and South Korea's Kang Yoonseong fight for the ball during a men's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan.

Soccer: Douglas Martinez scoreless as South Korea ousts Honduras

South Korea led 3-0 at the half, then repeated that effort to notch a 6-0 shutout of Honduras on Wednesday morning during both teams’ final Group B match.

Honduras had two shots on goal to the Koreans’ 12. Douglas Martinez, a forward for Real Salt Lake, played 45 minutes of the game.

Honduras finishes the tournament with a 1-2 record.

Climbing: USA coach goes home

Team USA climbing head coach Josh Larson left Japan to return to the United States on Wednesday due to the death of his father.

Meg Coyne, the national team’s manager and assistant coach, will fill in during Larson’s absence.

Larson had been with the team at a training camp in Hachioji. The team is about to leave for Tokyo, where the first climbing competition in Olympics history will begin Aug. 3.

What to watch

Here are three events Utahns will want to keep track of in the next 24 hours:

Women’s rugby: USA vs. China, 6 p.m. MDT Wednesday; USA vs. Japan, 3 a.m. MDT Thursday

BYU alumna Jordan Matyas and the American squad will try to get off to a strong start with a pair of sevens matches against China and Japan. Don’t be late tuning in, however, as each match consists of just two seven-minute, uninterrupted halves.

Where to watch: USA network, NBCSports app

Shooting: Women’s 25-meter pistol, 6 p.m. MDT

Lexi Lagan, who found her passion for competitive shooting at the University of Utah, will begin her third event this Olympics with the precision qualification round. Lagan, who broke her stabilization foot a month before leaving for Tokyo, also competed in the 10-meter air pistol and the 10-meter air pistol mixed team event.

Where to watch: Qualification rounds will not be aired, but live results will be posted in the shooting section at olympics.com.

Swimming: Women’s 200-meter backstroke qualifying, 5:05 a.m. MDT

Herriman native Rhyan White will return to the pool for her best event, the 200m backstroke, which she won at the Olympic trials in June. She is favored to bring home a medal after placing fourth in the Olympic 100 back final Monday night.

Where to watch: USA, NBCSports app