After an early seesaw battle, Russia came out on top 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-14) at Maracanazinho on Monday for its second consecutive victory in Pool A.
|Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald|
South Korea, which defeated Japan to open the Olympics, dropped to 1-1. It will next face Argentina on Wednesday at the same venue.
Neither team led by more than two points in the opening set until Russia went up 23-20, capitalizing on South Korean turnovers.
South Korea cut the deficit to 23-22, but down 24-23, Kim Yeon-koung served one into the net to hand the set to Russia.
South Korea, ranked No. 9 in the world, now has 45 losses and seven wins against No. 4 Russia. South Korea has never beaten Russia at the Olympics, where they have met eight times.
South Korean coach Lee Jung-chul lamented that his team couldn't win a point when they needed one most, especially during the third set.
"In critical moments, one point equals five points," Lee said.
"If we got a point when we needed it most, we would have won the third set and the match result would have been different."
South Korean attacker Kim Yeong-koung said it's a pity that they lost to Russia, but players found a positive side to their performance.
"We played well," Kim said. "Although we had some difficulties in attack, I think we showed a good performance on defense."
Kim said she was reminded of a good lesson through the match.
The 28-year-old, who is 192 cm tall, said it was difficult to spike over the tall Russian blockers.
"I learned again that I have to step up in critical moments for my team to win," she said. "I think we should prepare harder for the next match." (Yonhap)