Matera, Italy, July 22, 2003 - Brazil signaled their seriousness in heading for the World Grand Prix title on Tuesday with a comfortable straight sets win over Canada while Germany, despite a brief third set lapse of concentration, plowed through the young Cuban side to go 3-1 up in Pool A in the second day of play at the FIVB $1 million World Grand Prix.
Earlier USA beat Japan in a tight tiebreaker that at times had the Americans on the run, while Russia reversed their losing trend with an easy win over Thailand in straight sets.
Brazil hardly seemed troubled in their contest with Canada, emerging 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-20) winners, which gave coach Marco Motta more confidence after his claim on Monday that the green-and-golds had come intent on winning the title. Virna Dias for Brazil and Janis Kelly for Canada were equal top scorers with 13 points each.
Germany looked strong against a very youthful Cuban side and with their youngest player just 16-years old, to take the 3-1 (25-16, 25-14, 22-25, 25-16) victory and give themselves a 1-1 win loss ratio to get back in the tournament.
Germany's captain the powerful and lofty Angelina Grün was in top form, hammering home 16 spikes and scoring three block points to be top scorer for the match. Indira Mastro was top scorer for Cuba with 15 points.
"We achieved what we wanted to and we put Cuba under pressure," Grün said. "I was very happy with the consistency of our play and with our concentration."
Cuban captain Yumilka Ruiz said her young team was 'still lacking confidence" with coach George Laffita Eider adding "The team was insecure in their game and in their defense."
The tall and powerful Germans were bronze medalists in the last edition and will be hoping to repeat that good performance in Italy this year.