FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Brazil win fourth World Grand Champions Cup title, Russia and Italy settle for silver and bronze


Team Brazil celebrate their third straight title - and fourth overall - at the Men's World Grand Champions Cup that drew to a close on Sunday at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

Tokyo, Japan, November 24, 2013 – As they edged Italy in five sets 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11) to open the programme on the last day of action at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Brazil claimed their third consecutive – and fourth overall – FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup gold medal to follow those they had seized in 1999, 2005 and 2009.

This way and though they had lost the much anticipated showdown from Saturday, the South Americans also stopped Russia’s winning streak in major international competitions after they had lost to Muserskiy & Co. in the final match of the London Olympics as well as at this year’s World League Finals in Argentina. Brazil completed – similarly to what they had done in 2005 – a clean sweep of the men’s and women’s World Grand Champions Cup titles to re-assert their role as the world’s leading volleyball force. In what was their first World Grand Champions Cup appearance, reigning Olympic and European champions Russia had to be content with silver after beating USA in straight sets on Sunday (29-27, 25-22, 25-19).

Though they lost to Brazil, Italy completed the podium for yet another bronze medal after they had finished in third place at London 2012 as well as the 2013 World League Finals in Mar del Plata. This is Italy’s third medal in the competition after they had won gold at the inaugural edition held in 1993 and bronze in 2005. Team Japan lost also their last game of the tournament to finish the competition with a 0-5 record and only one set won in their opening match with USA in Kyoto. Two-time Asian champions Iran cruised past the home heroes in straight sets (25-17, 25-18, 25-14) to settle for fourth place thereby improving on the fifth they had claimed four years ago and confirm their role as an up-and-coming volleyball power.

Brazil defeated Italy in an epic five-set battle (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11) to claim the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup title on Sunday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The victory improved Brazil's record to 4-1, while Italy finished with a 2-3 mark. The match marked the third time that Brazil and Italy have met in the World Grand Champions Cup and 51st overall. Brazil entered with a 30-20 lead all time. Wallace De Souza led Brazil with a match-high 28 points. Lucas Saatkamp added 21 for the winners. Ivan Zaytsev was valiant in defeat, scoring 27 for Italy. Filippo Lanza, Emanuele Birarelli, and Thomas Beretta all chipped in with 13 each. Coming off Saturday's disappointing five-set loss to Russia, Brazil was aggressive from the start of the match and kept the pressure on early in the contest. Italy fought back when it appeared it was on the verge of defeat in the third set. Brazil was three points from victory in the third set only to see Italy come back and take five of the final six points to claim the set.

Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende said: “There was great volleyball played today. I'm very happy that we won the tournament. Wallace and Lucas played well for us. It was a roller coaster of emotions for us after the loss last night. We came back 15 hours after losing and won today which is amazing. We have some new players in the team, but had good focus in the tournament.”

Italy coach Mauro Berruto: “Congratulations to Brazil. It is an honour to play in a tournament of this level. We have won the bronze medal. I am extremely proud today and for our effort in this tournament. We always have to consider the starting point of a project. We came here with young players and did well. We had moments of beautiful volleyball today.”

Russia beat the United States in straight sets (29-27, 25-22, 25-19) to capture the silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on Sunday at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Brazil had clinched the gold earlier with a five-set victory over Italy. The result gave Russia a 3-2 record, while the U.S. finished 2-3. Russia relied on its strong blocking and good passing in the triumph. The match marked the first ever meeting between the U.S. and Russia in the World Grand Champions Cup and 45th overall. Russia entered with a 31-13 lead. The U.S. looked lethargic following Saturday's five-set loss to Iran. Dmitriy Ilinykh was the top scorer for Russia with 13 points. Dmitriy Muserskiy and Evgeny Sivozhelez contributed 11 apiece in the win. Matthew Anderson led the U.S. with 14 points. Maxwell Holt added eight in the loss.

Russia coach Andrey Voronkov said: “I'm very happy with the win. Our goal was to win every game here. I felt the first set was crucial to win and we did. We had to recover from mental and physical exhaustion after yesterday's match. Our national team fought together in the World League, European Championships and now here. This tournament has proven our position as a national team.”

U.S. coach John Speraw commented: “It was a difficult match for us. They pressured us from the service line. I thought we passed well early but we didn't get enough production from our outside hitters. Russia has so many weapons that you have to take advantage when you have the chance and we didn't. We lost to a better team tonight.”

Iran posted a straight sets (25-17, 25-18, 25-14) victory over Japan in the final match of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on Sunday at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The result gave Iran a 3-2 mark, while Japan finished winless at 0-5. The match marked the second meeting ever in the World Grand Champions Cup between the nations and sixth overall. Japan entered with a 5-1 mark against Iran. It was a disappointing showing for Japan, which won just one set (against the United States in their opening match) in the entire tournament. Hamzeh Zarini and Shahram Mahmoudi shared top scoring honours for Iran with 16 points each. Tatsuya Fukuzawa led Japan with nine points. Kunihiro Shimizu added eight in the loss. Iran seized control of the match early in the first set with a fine display of passing and counterattack and dominated throughout. Japan had difficulty dealing with the speed and precision of the Iranian side that was just excellent in reception throughout the contest.

Iran coach Julio Velasco: “We created several problems for them with our serves. We blocked well. Our setters played good. Our confidence was high for this match. It is our first time to play in such a high-level tournament. I am very proud of our players. All of Iran is proud of them.”

Japan coach Gary Sato: “We ran into a buzz saw tonight. Iran is playing very hot right now. They have been together for three years with a great coach and have kind of emerged under the radar. They are hungry, have good experience and played well tonight.”


Final standing: 1. Brazil 2. Russia 3. Italy 4. Iran 5. USA 6. Japan

All-Star Team: MVP: Dmitriy Muserskiy (RUS); 1st Outside Spiker: Filippo Lanza (ITA); 2nd Outside Spiker: Dmitriy Ilinykh (RUS); Libero: Farhad Zarif (IRI); Opposite Spiker: Wallace De Souza (BRA); Setter: Bruno Rezende (BRA); 1st Middle Blocker: Maxwell Holt (USA); 2nd Middle Blocker: Emanuele Birarelli (ITA).

Top Scorer by Day
21 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Japan on 19.11.13
17 – Mohammad Mousavi of Iran v Italy, Jiri Kovar of Italy v Iran, Matthew Anderson of USA v Brazil on 20.11.13
27 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Italy on 22.11.13
25 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Iran on 23.11.13
28 – Wallace De Souza of Brazil v Italy on 24.11.13

Top Scoring Performances
28 – Wallace De Souza of Brazil v Italy on 24.11.13
27 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Italy on 22.11.13
27 – Ivan Zaytsev of Italy v Brazil on 24.11.13
25
– Matthew Anderson of USA v Iran on 23.11.13
22 – Filippo Lanza of Italy v USA on 22.11.13
21 – Dmitriy Ilinykh of Russia v Brazil on 23.11.13
21 – Lucas Saatkamp of Brazil v Italy on 24.11.13
21 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Japan on 19.11.13
20 – Dmitriy Muserskiy of Russia v Brazil on 23.11.13

Top Blocking Performances
8 – Maxwell Holt of USA v Japan on 19.11.13
8 – Mohammad Mousavi of Iran v Italy on 20.11.13
5 – Sidnei Dos Santos Jr. of Brazil v Iran on 19.11.13
5 – Emanuele Birarelli of Italy v Japan on 23.11.13 and v Brazil on 24.11.13
5 – Matteo Piano of Italy v USA on 22.11.13
5 – Dmitriy Ilinykh of Russia v USA on 24.11.13

Top Serving Performances
5 – Farhad Ghaemi of Iran v Italy on 20.11.13
5 – Lucas Saatkamp of Brazil v Russia on 23.11.13
4 – Michele Baranowicz of Italy v Brazil on 24.11.13

Top Team-Blocking Performances
17 – USA v Japan on 19.11.13
15 – Russia v Japan on 20.11.13 and v Brazil on 23.11.13
14 – Iran v Italy on 20.11.13
12 – Brazil v Iran on 19.11.13
12 – Italy v Japan on 23.11.13

Top Team-Serving Performances
9 – Italy v Iran on 20.11.13
9 – Brazil v Russia on 23.11.13
8 – Iran v Italy on 20.11.13
7 – Russia v Brazil on 23.11.13
5 – USA v Brazil on 20.11.13

Highest Scoring Sets
31-29 Brazil v USA (1st set) on 20.11.13
29-27 Russia v USA (1st set) on 24.11.13
28-26 Italy v Russia (1st set) on 19.11.13
28-26 USA v Italy (4th set) on 22.11.13
28-26 Iran v USA (1st set) on 23.11.13

Highest Scoring Matches
228 – Iran v USA 3-2 (28-26, 19-25, 19-25, 27-25, 18-16) on 23.11.13
220 – USA v Italy 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13) on 22.11.13
214 – Iran v Italy 3-2 (26-24, 16-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12) on 20.11.13
213 – Brazil v Italy 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11) on 24.11.13
204 – Russia v Brazil 3-2 (20-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 15-9) on 23.11.13



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