Sport Asia
Don't Miss

Volleyball: Brazil march on in Grand Champions Cup, Japan set up decider

Fabi Oliveira, Fernanda Garay and Walewska Oliveira celebrate during Brazil’s 3-1 victory over Russia, Brazil face second-placed Japan on Sunday. Photos: FIVB.

Fabi Oliveira (left), Fernanda Garay (centre) and Walewska Oliveira (right) celebrate during Brazil’s 3-1 victory over Russia. Brazil face second-placed Japan on Sunday. Photos: FIVB.

November 16, 2013: Olympic champions Brazil moved one step closer to winning the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup in Japan following their 3-1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19) victory over Russia on Saturday.

 

The win enabled the Brazilian side to stay undefeated in four outings with a total of 12 points, while Russia dropped to 1-3 and four points.

 

Hosts Japan beat the Dominican Republic in straight sets for a third win to maintain their hopes for the crown, while USA survived a five-set battle with Thailand to also record a third win in the six-team event.

 

Brazil, the South American champions and world’s top-ranked team, held a 15-10 advantage over Russia in blocking and also dominated in the aces category, 9-4.

 

Fernanda Garay top scored for Brazil with 17 points, including four blocks and three aces, followed by Fabiana Claudino with 14 and four blocks, while Sheilla Castro and Natalia Pereira each added 13. Natalia Mahlyk and Liubov Shashkova were Russia’s top scorers with 16 and 13 points respectively.

 

Japan beat the Dominican Republic 25-17, 25-19, 29-27 to improve their record to 3-1 with 9 points, while the losers are 1-3 with three points.

 

Saori Sakoda (#16) and Yukiko Ebata (#14) lead the celebrations as hosts Japan beat the Dominican Republic 3-0.

Saori Sakoda (#16) and Yukiko Ebata (#14) lead the celebrations as hosts Japan beat the Dominican Republic 3-0.

Saori Kimura and Saori Sakoda each contributed 14 points in the victory, followed by 11 points from Yuki Ishii. Brayelin Martinez scored 12 points for Dominican Republic and Annerys Vargas was next with nine, including five blocks.

 

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said: “Our serve and defence were as I had expected going into this match. I thought blocking the Dominicans would be hard, so I tried to get our team to have blocking and defence in sync, and in the end it worked out well.”

 

USA pipped Thailand 3-2 (13-25, 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13) to raise their record to 3-1 with seven points, while Thailand dropped to 0-4 but picked up their first point in the tournament.

 

Jordan Larson-Burbach led USA with 23 points, while middle-blockers Lauren Paolini and Cursty Jackson contributed 16 and 15 points respectively. Thailand’s Onuma Sittirak had a tournament-high 28 points in the match.

 

American coach Karch Kiraly said: “It was another tough battle for us, but again USA had a wonderful team effort. Every one of our 12 athletes made an important contribution for our win.”

 

Brazil and Japan face each other in the last contest of Sunday, with the hosts needing a 3-0 victory to secure the title. USA meet Dominican Republic and Russia face Thailand in the first two matches.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login