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Team USA celebrate their victory in the women's Olympic gold medal volleyball match against Brazil at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. women's indoor volleyball team beat Brazil in three straight sets to win their Olympic final game and clinch Team USA the Tokyo Games' top spot for gold medals on Sunday.

Of note: The 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 win marked the first ever Olympic gold medal for the U.S. women's indoor volleyball team.

What they're saying: An emotional volleyball head coach Karch Kiraly, himself a three-time Olympic gold medal winner, said on NBC after the game that he told the team "not only are they bad asses, but they are now gold medalists!"

The big picture: China had been leading the gold medal count during the Olympics. But wins in the women's volleyball, cycling and basketball events Sunday helped propel Team USA to the top spot.

  • The volleyball win took Team USA's Olympic gold medal count to 39, with 112 medals overall.
  • China won 38 gold medals after the country's final chance for gold, boxer Li Qian, lost out to Great Britain's Lauren Price on points in the women's middleweight boxing final.

Go deeper: Full Axios Olympics coverage

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Sep 12, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado brewers take home 21 GABF medals

Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association

Colorado breweries claimed 21 medals in the much-hyped Great American Beer Festival competition, far fewer than normal.

By the numbers: The awards, announced Friday at the Craft Brewers Conference, included seven gold medals for best-in-category brews.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.