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2009 FIVB Women's Grand Champions Cup
Tokyo - Fukuoka, Japan
10 - 15 November 2009

 Press Release
Italy upset Brazil on penultimate day of FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup

Italian key blocker Simona Gioli lines up her defence as Ana Tiemi sets for Carol Gattaz

Fukuoka, Japan, November 14, 2009 – European champions Italy pulled off a surprise straight sets victory over title holders and Olympic champions Brazil on the second-to-last day of the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup 2009, which has now moved to the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka for the final two days of competition. Italy beat Brazil 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-21) while Korea won the battle of the two winless teams by beating Thailand 3-2 (25-18, 25-19, 16-25, 14-25, 15-11) and the Dominican Republic beat Japan 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 25-16, 25-18).
The Italian victory in the Marine Messe leaves them unbeaten at the top of the standings
after four matches with Brazil in second with three wins and a defeat. World number one Brazil are expected to beat Thailand on Sunday so Italy, who are making their debut appearance in the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup, must beat Japan in the final match to be assured of claiming the title for 2009.

Korea beat Thailand 3-2 (25-18, 25-19, 16-25, 14-25, 15-11)
Wild card entry Korea edged Asian champions Thailand in an incredible see-saw battle between two teams searching for their first win of the tournament and for the fifth time, Korea came out on top if five sets. World Grand Champions Cup 2009 top scorer Yeon-Koung Kim took the scoring honours again with 26 points for Korea, followed by Hwang Young Joo with 15. Malika Kanthong top scored for Thailand with 25 points. “After three defeats, we finally gained a win, so I’m really happy,” Korea coach Ryu Hao Suk said. “Thailand are a good team but we played well in the first and second sets.”
Italy beat Brazil 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-21)
The top of the table clash saw World Cup champions Italy reverse their straight sets Olympic Games defeat at the hands of Brazil and dispose of the error-prone South America champions in three sets. Such was Italy’s surprise dominance, the world number five had three players in double figures – Serena Ortolani and Antonella Del Core on 13 points, with Simona Gioli contributing 10 – while Brazil only had Sheilla with 15 points. “I'm very satisfied with this result because it's not easy to win against a strong team like Brazil,” Italian star wing spiker Francesca Piccinini said. “Today, we played very well and were well organized – our blocking and defense were good and we didn't make too many errors.”
Dominican Republic beat Japan 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 25-16, 25-18)
The Dominican Republic, who are also making their first appearance in the World Grand Champions Cup, claimed a major scalp by beating hosts Japan for the first time on Japanese soil and for the second time in history . Captain Milagros Cabral de la Cruz was inspirational with a 27-point haul as the win saw her side rejoice with great jubilation while for Japan, the defeat extinguished any hope of the world number seven claiming World Grand Champions Cup honours in the fifth year of trying.

Standings: Italy (4:0), Brazil (3:1), Japan (2:2), Dom Republic (2:2), Korea (1:3), Thailand (0:4)

Agenda for Day Six: Brazil v Thailand (12.30pm), Korea v Dominican Republic (2.30pm), Japan v Italy (6pm)

For more info: Richard Baker - FIVB Deputy Communications Director
Mobile in Japan: +81 (0)80 1311 9988 or 

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