Tokyo, Japan, November 10, 2009 – Brazil recovered from a slow start to beat the Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-16, 25-17 in their first match in the FIVB 2009 Women’s World Grand Champions Cup at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Dominicans got off to a good start, taking a 3-0 lead, and they managed to stretch that to 19-12 – at which stage the wheels fell off. Prisilla Rivera led the Dominicans early on as Brazil struggled to get into the game. But at 19-12, a miscue by Lisvel Elisa Eve precipitated a Brazil revival. Blocks by Sheilla Castro, Danielle Lins and Marianne Steinbrecher turned the game around and the Brazilians leveled at 19. The Dominicans held on to 22-22, but three strong spikes by Natalia Pereira clinched the set for Brazil.
Despite the big turnaround, the Dominicans kept fighting early in the second set and were 8-7 up at the first technical timeout when Altagracia Mambru brilliantly blocked Steinbrecher. Brazil took the lead for good at 11-10 on a nicely placed shot by Adenizia Silva. The closest the Dominicans came after that was to pull back to 14-13, but then Brazil moved into a 19-13 lead, thanks in part to a couple of crucial errors by the Dominican team. Steinbrecher almost finished off the set single-handed, winning Brazil's final four points and finishing the set with a nicely placed cross-court shot.
The third set was one-way traffic, Brazil starting off with a sweet spike by Castro and never fell behind in the set. The Dominicans weren't helped by a pair of errors from Jeoselyna Rodriguez and a pair of netted serves (by Rivera and Eve). The Brazilians also started blocking better and they were soon in a commanding lead, leading 16-10 at the second TTO. Natalia Pereira thundered down a spike for setpoint and Caroline Gattaz finished things off.