Russia back on track on day 2 of World Grand Champions Cup
News from the FIVB
Nagoya, Japan, November 13, 2013. European champions Russia notched their first victory with a four-set win (25-14, 22-25, 25-22, and 25-15) over the Dominican Republic in their World Grand Champions Cup round-robin match on Wednesday.
Both sides have now win-loss records of 1-1 in the six-team competition as the Russians extended their dominance over the Dominican Republic to 10-0 in head-to-head matches. Victoriia Chaplina recorded a match-high 19 points for Russia. Lioubov Shashkova contributed 16 in the win while Iuliia Morozova added 11 tallies. Prisilla Rivera and Bethania De La Cruz led the Dominicans with 12 points apiece. Gina Mambru added 11 to the final count of the team from the Caribbean.
Russia’s huge frontline presented problems for the Dominican Republic from the outset of the match. The European team recorded a tournament-high 21 blocks with Morozova and Natalia Dianskaya leading the way with six and five, respectively. There were very few extended rallies in the contest as both sides relied upon a power game to score. The Dominican Republic played much better in the second set by displaying good teamwork. The third set belonged to the Dominicans until they fell apart late and allowed Russia to go on a 10-2 run to take it. Russia then took charge in the fourth set as the Dominican Republic made several unforced errors.
Russia coach Iury Marichev said after the game: “This tournament is more difficult than the European Championships. We have tough games here. As a team we only had four practices together, so there was not enough time for the attackers and setters to work together. We had 21 blocks in the match tonight, so I am very happy about this.”
Russia captain Ekaterina Pankova: “We played as one tonight. We lost the second set but came back together. I think we played better tonight than in yesterday's match.”
Russia superstar Lioubov Shashkova: “We came here to win. It was not a stable game for us as we won the first set then lost the second. We won in the end because of our teamwork and ability on the high block.”
Dominican Republic mentor Marcos Kwiek: “It was a tough match for us. They are very strong on blocks. We made some mistakes on receiving. I felt that we were a little short on the offensive end. There is no time for regrets. We have to start thinking about the next match.”
Olympic champions Brazil defeated Thailand in straight sets (25-18, 25-17, and 25-17) on Wednesday in their second round-robin match at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup. The comprehensive victory improved Brazil’s record to 2-0 and the maximum six points in the competition. Asian champions Thailand had difficulty dealing with the height of the South Americans and fell to 0-2 with the defeat. Adenizia Silva and Tandara Caixeta led the Brazilians with 14 points apiece in the win. Veteran Walewska Oliveira contributed 10 points in the victory. Onuma Sittirak was the top scorer with 12 for Thailand in the loss. Brazil received and passed well in the clinical triumph, which saw it record 17 points on blocks.
The United States defeated Japan in four sets (25-19, 25-19, 19-25, and 25-21) in the last game of the day. The result left both sides with 1-1 records as the event moves to Tokyo and resumes play on Friday. Jordan Larson-Burbach and Kelly Murphy paced the U.S. with 20 points apiece in the triumph. Kristin Hildebrand added 16, including four blocks. Yuki Ishii was the top scorer for Japan with 19 points while Saori Kimura had 13 in the loss. A day after losing to Olympic champions Brazil in straight sets, the U.S. was all business. Despite several early mistakes, the U.S. took charge in the first set and had the momentum for the majority of it. Japan, which beat European champions Russia in its opening match on Tuesday, came out sluggish and had trouble mobilizing its attack. The U.S. did a good job of neutralizing Japan star Saori Sakoda, who had only three points through the first two sets, one night after she had notched 17 against Russia. The Americans executed well in all facets of the game in the victory while Japan struggled with receiving throughout the evening.
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