Liubov Shashkova and Ekaterina Gamova are the two biggest Russian weapons
Tokyo, Japan, November 13, 2010 – Holders and six-time champions Russia and Olympic champions Brazil will play for the gold at the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship after claiming convincing victories at Yoyogi National Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Russian squad behind the leadership of amazing scoring machine Ekaterina Gamova and steady performer Liubov Shashvova outlasted Grand Prix Champions USA in the first semifinal for the 1-4 positions, despite the strong effort of the American side led by the skilled Destinee Hooker.
The best of the show, however, was reserved for the night-cap where the Brazilian side made an exciting comeback from a 0-2 deficit to defeat a brave Japan team 3-2 (22-25, 33-35, 25-22, 25-22, 15-11) in 2 hours and 20 minutes of action.
The threesome of Sheila, Natalia and Fabiana combined to record 68 points to lead the sensational win for the Brazilian team who twice have been runners-up in the history of the competition. The Japanese tandem of Yukiko Ebata and Saori Kimura was also brilliant for the defeated side.
In other matches scheduled on Sunday, Turkey takes on Italy for the fifth position and China will meet Poland for the ninth place following the victories on Saturday. Also, Germany plays Serbia for seventh place and Cuba faces Netherlands for the 11th position.
Semifinals for 1-4 positions
Russia d. USA 3-1 (25-16, 13-25, 25-19, 25-21)
Defending champions Russia scored a convincing victory over the United States in a hard-hitting four-set semi-final (25-16, 13-25, 25-19, 25-21) to advance to the gold medal match. Big Ekaterina Gamova topped the Russia's scores with 22 points while veteran Liubov Shashkova and Tatiana Kosheleva registered 18 and 16 points respectively. American Destinee Hooker finished with a match-high 23 points. Three other USA players compiled double digits in scoring charts with Jordan Larson, Foluke Akinradewo and Heather Bown notching 15, 12 and 10 respectively. The Russians had the top hand in the blocking category (10-6) and edged their opponents 4-3 in the aces department. The Russians have now won 18 of the 29 matches between the two nations including six of the last seven. “Today’s game was more about mental toughness than technical skill. We didn’t really change our overall strategy, and that’s why we won, Russian Coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin said afterwards.”
Brazil d. Japan 3-2 (22-25, 33-35, 25-22, 25-22, 15-11)
In one of the greatest matches in volleyball history, Brazil came from two sets down to outlast Japan (22-25, 33-35, 25-22, 25-22 and 15-11) in a two-hour, 20 minute marathon semifinal in front of an ecstatic crowd of 12,000 at the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday. The threesome of Sheila, Natalia and Fabiana all finished with more than 20 points to lead the amazing victory. Sheila and Natalia registered 25 and 23 points respectively while captain Fabiana added 20 to the winning effort. Thaisa and Jaqueline each charted 12 points. The Olympic champions were particularly effective at the net where they recorded 21 blocks including 6 and 5 from Sheila and Fabiana. Japanese Yukiko Ebata and Saori Kimura compiled 29 and 25 points respectively while Ai Yamamoto tallied 11 points. Overall, the Olympic champions have won 43 of 54 meetings with Japan. “It was a very difficult match. Japan played a very good match, they really raised the level of their game,” Brazilian Ze Roberto said. “Our players came up with three very important blocks in the tie-breaker.”
Semifinals for 5-8 positions
Turkey d. Germany 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 14-25, 20-25, 15-11)
Turkey and Germany squared off in the first semifinal in positions 5-8. The Turkish team delighted their pack of fans who turned up in Tokyo, taking a very hard-fought match in five sets (25-23, 25-18, 14-25, 20-25, 15-11) against a tough German team who almost pulled off a stunning comeback. Leading Turkey, as she has all done in the tournament, was Neslihan Darnel who put up 26. Esra Gumus and Neriman Ozsoy registered 14 points apiece for the winning side while Eda Erdem added 11 tallies. The Turkish team had a big advantage in blocking 16-8. Germany was led by Margareta Kozuch with 18. Corina Ssushke added 15 while Maren Brinker and Heike Beier each contributed 12 points. “I congratulate both teams’ players. We were good for the first two sets, but after that their blocking, serving, and receiving were good. We were able to come back in the last set, and I congratulate my players,” Turkish Coach Mehmet Bedestenlioglu said. The two teams have met six times with each team recording three victories.
Italy d. Serbia 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-22)
Italy came away with a 3-0 victory (25-20, 25-15, 25-22) against Serbia in their semifinal match for the 5-8 positions. The Italians prevailed over a tough Serbian team who just couldn’t seem to find their rhythm in this contest. Leading the Italians in scoring was Simona Gioli with 14 points, while Francesca Piccinini and Valentina Arrighetti added 12 and 11 tallies respectively. Serbia’s top scorer on the day was Milena Rasic who posted 8. Italy dominated at the net scoring with 11 blocks including three apiece by Gioli and Arrighetti. The Italians have beaten the Serbians in their last five matches. “I think we played good match,” Italian Massimo Barbolini stated. “It’s important for us, important to reach fifth and important to honor these World Championships.”
Semifinals for 9-12 positions
China d. Cuba 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22)
China rebounded from losing the first set and defeated Cuba 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22) in the semi final round for places 9-12. Leading point-getters on the day were Cuban Kenia Carcaces who posted a monster game with 28. China has a more balanced attack with five players reaching double figures, with Li Juan leading the pack with 16. Zhou Suhong contributed 15 points to the victory while Xue Ming added 14. Wang Yimei and Ma Yunwen each charted 13 for the winners. Cubans Rachel Sanchez and Ana Lidia Cleger finished with 11 tallies apiece. The Cubans scored with 13 blocks while the Chinese side had the advantage from the service line 7-3. “Our setter performed very intelligently, and used player Zhou Suhong especially well. The entire team came together and that’s why we won today,” China’s coach Yu Juemin commented. This was the 50th time the two sides clashed in an FIVB competition with Cuba having the edge 30-20.
Poland d. Netherlands 3-2 (24-26, 25-22, 25-22, 19-25, 15-9)
Poland advanced to a match for the ninth position following a hard-fought five-set victory against the Netherlands (24-26, 25-22, 25-22, 19-25, 15-9). Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale led four Polish players in double figures finishing with 21 points all but one via spikes. Agnieska Bednarek-Kasza added 15, including five blocks while Anna Werblinska and Karolina Kosek contributed 12 and 11 points respectively. Manon Flier and Ingrid Visser carried most of the offensive load of the defeated side registering 23 and 21 points respectively. The defeated side had the edge in the blocking category 17-15 and the Poland team scored seven aces against four produced by the Dutch team. Polish Coach Jerzy Matlak stated: “I’m very happy that we won. This gives us a chance to win the 9th place in the tournament. It was a tough match, and we could see that after more than two hours of game, both teams were really tired, but they still fought the best they could to win.” The Poland team snapped a four match losing streak against the Netherlands who had won the 10 of the last 13 games.