Brazil still on top at World Grand Champions Cup after tough victory over Russia
News from the FIVB
Tokyo, Japan, November 16, 2013. Brazil maintained their unbeaten record in the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on Saturday with a tough 3-1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-22, and 25-19) win over European champions Russia at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The win saw Brazil raise their record to 4-0 for 12 points while Russia dropped to 1-3 and stay on four points.
It was the third time Russia and Brazil met in the World Grand Champions Cup, but the first time Brazil have won. However, Russia maintains a 28-22 lead in all FIVB events. Fernanda Rodrigues was the top scorer in the match with 17 points, including four blocks and three aces, while Fabiana Claudino added 14 with four blocks. Natalia Pereira and Sheilla Castro each contributed 13 points. Natalia Malykh led Russia with 16 while Lioubov Shashkova added 13. Brazil out-blocked Russia 15-10 and had nine service points to Russia’s four. Russia committed 22 errors to Brazil’s 21.
Russia coach Iury Marichev: “Today I had to think about how to play this strong Brazilian team. This game was a test to see how we can play against strong teams. I still have to think about how I can make things work better against strong teams in the future. But I was quite satisfied with our less experienced players today.”
Brazil coach Ze Roberto: “Of course we are very happy about the result. In the first set we started a bit slowly, and then they pressured us on serve, block, and defence, so it was very difficult for us. In the second set we adjusted our defensive system, served hard and our counter attacks were better. Russia is difficult to play every time. They have great talents. Now they have problems with some players who are not here. For us this kind of result is important because we got to test another system, another philosophy, and had to adjust to blocks and high balls – but our team did very well in this situation and we won the second, third and fourth set.”
USA had to fight hard before overcoming another gutsy performance from Thailand on the fourth day of the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup on Saturday. USA prevailed 3-2 (13-25, 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, and 15-13) in a match that lasted two hours and 10 minutes. The win saw the Americans raise their record to 3-1 for seven points, while Asian champions Thailand dropped to 0-4 but picked up their first point in the tournament. Thailand’s Onuma Sittirak was the top scorer in the match with 28 points, while Jordan Larson-Burbach led USA with 23. USA middle blockers Lauren Paolini and Cursty Jackson contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively, in the victory. Thailand's Wilavan Apinyapong and Pleumjit Thinkaow each scored 14 points in the losing cause. USA earned 11 blocking points, while the Thais had nine. Both teams had three service points. The Americans committed 26 errors to Thailand’s 18. With this victory USA improved to 15-1 their lifetime record against Thailand in official FIVB competitions.
Japan hosted the Dominican Republic at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday. Japan had only lost to the USA going into this match, and they looked very strong in this game as well seizing the night in straight sets (25-17, 25-19, and 29-27). Japan was led by the dynamic duo of Saori Kimura and Saori Sakoda, both of whom registered 14 points. Brayelin Martinez had 12 points for the Dominican Republic in their losing effort. The winners held a 7-1 advantage in the serving department. The Dominicans made 22 unforced errors to 16 by the Japanese.
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