Tokyo Olympics

5 to Watch: Bay Area's Abbott, US Softball Look for Third Straight Win

Team USA softball starting pitcher Monica Abbott pitches
Getty Images

As the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics concluded Friday, the U.S. softball team, led by veteran pitcher Monica Abbott of Salinas, was preparing for its third matchup of the games. And the Olympics officially welcomes new sport 3-on-3 basketball, with the women's competition starting. Here's a look at the action coming up and where to catch it:

Team USA looks to continue win streak in softball tournament

After going 2-0 to start the Olympics, the U.S. softball team will look for another win late Friday night. Team USA has two shutout wins under its belt, against Italy on Tuesday night and then against Canada on Wednesday evening.

Cat Osterman, who started against Italy, and Salinas native Monica Abbott, who went the distance against Canada, have given up just two hits combined through two games. At the plate, Michelle Moultrie, Janie Reed and Amanda Chidester have driven in one run apiece for Team USA.

Next up for Team USA is a matchup against Mexico, which is 0-2 so far in Tokyo with a shutout loss to Canada and a 3-2 defeat against host nation Japan.

Watch live at 10:30 p.m. Friday on NBCSN, or stream online.

United States pitcher Monica Abbott (14) pitches during an exhibition softball game.
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United States pitcher Monica Abbott (14) pitches during an exhibition softball game between the United States and the Arizona Wildcats on February 18, 2020, at Hillenbrand Stadium in Tucson, AZ.

3x3 basketball makes Olympic debut in Tokyo

There are several new sports making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo, and Friday is when you can first catch the exciting action.

The women’s 3x3 basketball tournament will tip off at 6:15 p.m. Friday. The U.S. women’s team will take the floor for the first time against France on Saturday at 1:55 a.m., followed by a game against Mongolia at 5 a.m.

Chicago Sky center Stefanie Dolson, Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray, Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum and Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young will make up the inaugural Team USA 3x3 roster. Young was named a replacement for Seattle Storm guard Katie Lou Samuelson, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Watch Team USA battle France live online or on NBCSN (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.), USA 11 p.m. to 6:50 a.m.) and NBC (7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.).

Kelsey Plum and Allisha Gray, right, of the USA Women's National 3x3 Team smile during USAB Womens 3x3 National Team practice at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Kelsey Plum and Allisha Gray, right, of the USA Women's National 3x3 Team smile during USAB Womens 3x3 National Team practice at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dalhausser and Lucena return to the Olympics

Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will be back in the pit at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The American men’s beach volleyball duo won its pool in the preliminary round at the Rio Games before losing to eventual gold medalists Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt of Brazil on their home court in the quarterfinals. Lucena helped convince Dalhausser, who won gold with Todd Rogers at the 2008 Beijing Games, to return for another Olympic run.

Dalhausser and Lucena, both 41 years old, will start Pool D play against Dutch pair Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen on Saturday. Pool D also features returning gold medalist Alison with a new partner, Álvaro Morais Filho, and Argentinian pair Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso.

Watch live online at 5 a.m. on USA, or stream online.

Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena celebrate in the finals against Trevor Crabb (not pictured) and Tri Bourne (not pictured) during the Porsche Cup on Aug. 2, 2020, in Long Beach, California.
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Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena celebrate in the finals against Trevor Crabb (not pictured) and Tri Bourne (not pictured) during the Porsche Cup on Aug. 2, 2020, in Long Beach, California.

Swimming heats begin early on Saturday morning

The swimming competitions at the Tokyo Games will make a splash beginning Saturday morning.

Action will begin at 3 a.m. Saturday with heats in six events: men’s 400m IM, women’s 100m butterfly, men’s 400m freestyle, women’s 400m IM, men’s 100m breaststroke and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

The finals for the men’s 400m IM, men’s 400m freestyle, women’s 400m IM and women’s 4x100m relay will take place Saturday night beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Chase Kalisz (men’s 400m IM); Torri Huske and Claire Curzan (women’s 100m butterfly); Kieran Smith (men’s 400m freestyle); Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger (women’s 400 IM); Michael Andrew (men’s 100m breaststroke); and Abbey Weitzeil and Erika Brown (women’s 4x100m relay) will be among the top Americans to watch on the first day of the swimming competitions.

One of the biggest questions going into Tokyo was whether or not Simone Manuel would be included in the women’s 4x100m relay team. The four-time Olympic medalist took gold in the women’s 100m freestyle and 4x100m relay in Rio, but she failed to qualify in the 100m freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. She secured her spot on the Olympic swimming team by winning the 50m freestyle at the trials, but it remains unclear if she will get a chance to go for another gold as part of the relay team.

Watch the opening heats live on USA, or stream online.

Chase Kalisz of the United States reacts after competing in a semifinal heat for the Men's 200m individual medley during Day Five of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 17, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska.
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Chase Kalisz of the United States reacts after competing in a semifinal heat for the Men's 200m individual medley during Day Five of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 17, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska.

USWNT aims for bounce-back performance vs. New Zealand

The U.S. women’s national soccer team was dealt an eye-opening defeat to kick off the Olympics, falling to 2016 silver medalist Sweden in a 3-0 rout. The loss snapped a 44-game unbeaten streak and was the first time the team lost by multiple goals in a major tournament since 2008.

Now, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Co. will try to rebound against New Zealand, which lost to Australia in its opening game. You can stream the contest online.

With just two group stage games left and only the top two teams from each group earning automatic qualification to the quarterfinals, the USWNT could use a three-point result after coming up empty against Sweden.

Watch Team USA face New Zealand live on NBCSN, or stream online.

Usa Soccer
CHOFU, JAPAN - JULY 21: Carli Lloyd of United States is seen at full time as Amanda Ilestedt and Nattalie Bjorn of Sweden celebrate in the background during the Women's First Round Group G match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 21, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
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