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Local Athletes Notes: Equestrian Silver; Men’s Volleyball Surges

In the team jumping final in equestrian, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward each took home a silver medal for the United States, while the men’s volleyball team continued to win, behind Matt Anderson’s big rebound.

The United States equestrian team made the jumping podium after being blanked out in London, continuing a solid showing overall in the sport in Rio. The squad came into the day with no penalties, and ran a series of clean runs on the second day, only a five point penalty score, to walk away with silver, only behind France, who only had three. Germany earned the bronze medal after defeating Canada in a jump-off after a tie in the final.

Two-time gold medalist McLain Ward was expected to have the chance to fight for the gold medal in the event and break a four-way tie entering the day. However, her horse, Cortes, forced her to withdraw sustaining a tendon injury. Without Ward on the team anymore, it didn’t allow for the squad to use a drop score, which limited their opportunities going forward. It obviously didn’t severely hamper their medal chances, as they were still able to overcome the handicap, and take home silver.

Ward, of Brewster, also qualified for the individual jumping final, giving her a chance at another medal to add to her collection. Beezie Madden’s Olympics however, are finished, after she withdrew from the individual jumping qualification. Ward will participate in the two stage final on Friday morning. She is one of the oldest American Olympians at age 52.

Also during Wednesday Olympic play, the United States men’s volleyball team continued to surge back into medal contention, dominating Poland in straight sets, advancing to the semifinals. After a rough final match in pool play, Matt Anderson of West Seneca game back strong against Poland, being a solid part of the Americans success, on both the defensive and offensive sides of the game. He was so sloppy in the last match that he was subbed out for the majority after starting. It was a big upset for the Americans, as Poland was the defending world champions. Anderson and the rest of the squad will face off against Italy with a spot in the gold medal match on the line on Friday afternoon.

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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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