2003 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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World Grand Prix - Preliminary Round News
Day Six
July 26, 2003 – First defeat for USA; Brazil fail to qualify Match stats Match Stats Fr Sp  
July 26, 2003 –Korea humble Brazil; Russia defeats China
Match Stats Match Stats  
July 26, 2003 –
Japan and Thailand wind up on a high note
Match Stats Match Stats

Day Five
July 25, 2003 – Wrap-up: USA unbeaten; Brazil blemishes China’s perfect record Fr  
July 25, 2003 – South Korea outclass Thailand, USA remains unbeaten after tough encounter with Germany
Korea v Thailand Match Stats USA v Germany Match Stats  
July 25, 2003 - Russia wins third successive match Spanish
Canada v Russia Match Stats  Netherlands v Cuba Match Stats

Day Four (Rest) 
Day Three

July 23, 2003 - Russia pips Brazil, USA unbeaten, Italy fall to Cuba Fr Match Stats
Match Stats
July 23, 2003 - Russia knocks over Brazil in 5-set thriller Match Stats;Match stats
July 23, 2003 - USA prevails in top of the table clash
Match stats

Day Two 
July 22, 2003 – Going gets tough, the tough get going Sp Fr
Match Stats China vs. Korea Match Stats Italy vs. Netherlands

July 22, 2003 – Brazil wins, Germany back on top Spanish  
Match Stats Bra vs Can Match Stats Ger vs Cub  
July 22, 2003 - USA and Russia win opening matches Sp  
Match Stats Jap vs USA Match Stats Rus vs. Tha
July 22, 2003 - USA need five sets to beat Japan
Day One

July 21, 2003 - Korea pulls off upset of Russia Sp
Match Stats
July 21, 2003 - USA open with sweep of Cuba Sp
Match stats
July 21, 2003 - Big Teams make deep cuts in opposition Fr Sp  
July 21, 2003 -
China sweeps Canada, Italy bt Germany Sp 
July 21, 2003 - Brazil & the Netherlands win first matches Sp
July 21, 2003 - China seek progress in first match Sp

Preview
July 19, 2003 - China announces final line-up for Grand Prix
July 18, 2003 - Brazil get ready for Italy Spanish  
July 17, 2003 -
Counting down to the opening whistle Spanish
July 10, 2003 - Big guns warm up for World Grand Prix
July 04, 2003 - Nine teams confirmed for 04 edition Fr Ge Sp
July 01, 2003 -
Brazil prepares for the Grand Prix Sp
July 01, 2003 -
Thailand eye improved form Sp
June 29,2003 -
2003 Drawing of lots Spanish  match schedule  
June 26, 2003 - German Coach Names Squad German
June 23, 2003 - Chinese team gains confidence Spanish  
June 18, 2003 - Dates and competition finalized Fr Sp Ge
 

Day Seven - Final day
China deprives Russia of their second World Grand Prix title
Andria, Italy, Aug 3, 2003 – China pulled off the sensation of the 2003 World Grand Prix finals when they deprived title defenders and outright favorites the prize with a display of stunning and stylish volleyball that mixed skill, deception and strength to give them a well deserved 3-0 victory. From the opening minutes it was clear that China were not phased by their opponent and they looked set to make Russia’s defense of their title as difficult as possible. Chinese setter Feng Kun was swift and accurate and distributed shots well to Zhao Ruirui, Liu Yunan and Yang Hao and even with the formidable Russians on the other side they were two points ahead at 18-16 when Yang aced for a three point lead. China was 23-19 and in reach of the first set. A deceptive float shot gave them set point but Ekaterina Gamova defended and Evgguenia Artamonova narrowed before Yang landed a spike that gave China 25-22 and the lead. More Results
Standings Best players

World Grand Prix Award Winners
Top Scorer: Ekaterina Gamova, Russia
Top Spiker: Elizaveta Tishchenko, Russia
Top Blocker: Anastasia Belikova, Russia
Top Server: Yang Hao, China
Special award for Most Popular Player: Paula Cardullo, Italy

Italy exits in style with 3-1 over Korea
Andria, italy, Aug 3, 2003 - The crowds came out in force to see Italy pound Korea in their final match with nothing more at stake than not finishing at the bottom of the finals table. Indeed Italy went out with a flourish 3-1 (25-19, 25-17, 22-25, 25-13) match stats and put on a face-saving show for their fans. In the opener, Italy put big hitters Elisa Togut, Simona Gioli and Valentina Borrelli to good use, while the pint-size 162cm libero Paola Cardullo guarded the defense and they ran up an early lead. The Koreans worked to get the measure of the Italians and trailed two points at 9-11 but at 16-11 Italian coach Marco Bonitta started to smile. Korea scrambled back to 16-19 on a big spike from Lim Yu-Jin but looked uncomfortable. more
Pic: Italy's pint-size dynamo libero Cardullo joins teammates in celebration
  Results
Standings Best players

USA defeat Netherlands 3-0 to finish third

Andria, August 3, 2003 –  The USA prevailed 3-0 over a gritty Dutch side on Sunday to take third place at the 2003 World Grand Prix here in southern Italy. Match stats The Americans took the match 25-22, 25-20 and 28-26 after a commendable fight by the younger and more slightly built Dutch team that hung on and kept fighting until the last whistle.
The Dutch also can be well pleased with their result here in Italy and fought their way to the final round with some commendable tiebreaker victories against Italy, Cuba, Korea and Germany. USA made a solid start with Scott and Phipps deadly in spiking and consolidating the block to shut out the more slightly built Dutch players. more Spanish  
Pic USA rejoice after finishing third in the World Grand Prix
Results
Standings Best players

Day Six
Italy, August 2 - Contest sharpens for top four finishes  French
Italy, August 2 - Korea fails to repel USA  
Italy, August 2 -Russia recovers to take 3-1 over Italy Spa
Italy, August 2 - China takes 3-1 victory over Netherlands Spa

Day Four and Five - Rest Day
Day Three
Pending showdown for unbeaten Russia and China
Matera, Italy, July 30, 2003 – Russia and China charged on in the FIVB $1 million World Grand Prix on Wednesday both scoring third straight victories to put them in the box seat for a last match showdown on Sunday when this elite annual women’s volleyball tournament finishes.
Meanwhile, in late night action, Netherlands came back from two sets down to win in the tiebreaker against Korea. more French Match stats
Pic: A joyous Dutch team after winning the thrilling tiebreaker against Korea
 
Finals schedule Results
Standings

China revenge against Italy for third straight win
Gioia de Colle, Italy, July 30 - China battled for one hour and 26 minutes to beat Italy 3-1 on Wednesday for their third consecutive win in the final round of the 2003 FIVB $1 million World Grand Prix, the elite annual volleyball tournament for the world’s top teams. The Chinese women gained sweet revenge for their 3-1 loss to Italy at the 2002 World Championship in 2002 with a 25-22, 23-25, 25-15 and 25-20 victory over the reigning world champions, who have yet to record a win in the final round. more
Match Stats
Pic: China spoils Italy's party winning 3-1

Russia defeats USA, Italy down to China
Matera, Italy, July 30, 2003 – Russia underlined their intention to defend their World Grand Prix title on Wednesday when they prevailed in a hard fought battle against the USA to take their match 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-21, 25-17) Match Stats and be unbeaten so far in the final round of this annual elite women’s volleyball tournament. Meanwhile, at the second location Gioia de Colle, world champions Italy virtually said goodbye to their chances of a top finish with a resounding 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20) Match Stats defeat at the hands of China in this round robin format that winds up at the weekend. It was Italy’s third defeat in the final round and a bitter disappointment to their fans in this country that reveres volleyball. More
Pic: Russia's star captain Evgueniais Artamonova  on her way to 19 points against USA
Finals schedule Results
Standings
  
Do or die for hosts Italy
July 30, 2003 – Day three of the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round opens on Wednesday with a crunch clash between hosts and World Champions Italy, who have yet to register a win in the Final Round, against unbeaten China at 14:15 GMT in Gioia del Colle. At last year's World Championship Italy beat China 3-1 in the semifinals and will need a similar result to keep them in contention for a Grand Prix medal with only three games remaining. Wednesday's other matches see two superpowers come face to face with defending champions Russia, who are undefeated, taking on USA (record 1:1) at 14:30 GMT in Matera before winless Korea play the Netherlands, who also have a 1:1 record, at 17:30 GMT, both games in Matera. Pic: The photo says it all - Italian fans hope their team can win on Wednesday

Day Two
Shakeout begins among the world’s top teams

Matera, Italy, July 29, 2003 – Tuesday’s matches saw the beginning of a major shakeout among the world’s best women’s volleyball teams as they began their serious campaign for the 2003 title at the FIVB $1 million World Grand Prix.
Titleholders Russia surged to the top of the table of this round robin competition after a 3-0 win against a fatigued Netherlands, USA downed a valiant Italy, also 3-0 and China bulldozed Korea 3-0 Match Stats to underline their membership in the “Big Three” of this tournament. more French
Pic: China's Na Chang stretching for a dig in the match against Korea.  

Russia and USA early winners on Day Two
July 29, 2003 – Day two of the World Grand Prix Final Round has started with USA having beaten World Champions Italy in straight sets 25-19, 25-19, 26-24 in Matera to improve their Finals record to one win and one loss. More Match Stats. In Tuesday's second match defending champions Russia retained their unbeaten record after comfortably beating the Netherlands 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-15) in Gioia del Colle. More Match Stats. The final game on Tuesday sees China, 3-0 winners over USA on Monday, take on Korea at 17:30 GMT.
Pic: The Netherlands reflect on their straight sets loss to Russia

Day One
Wrap-up Day One Final Round
 July 28, 2003 – The FIVB $1 million World Grand Prix resumed on Monday with a star-studded cast of six line-ups, talons drawn for the final battle for the title in this elite women’s annual Volleyball competition.  Netherlands defeated Italy in a draining five set marathon here in the sweltering south of Italy in a match that will surely cost both teams heavily in energy in the coming days, Russia coasted through at Korea’s expense while China sent USA away tired and empty-handed to round up the day’s matches. more French 

China ends two-game losing streak with straight-sets victory over USA
Matera, Italy, July 28 -  China beat the United States in straight sets for their opening victory in the final round competition of the FIVB $1 million 2003 World Grand Prix in women’s volleyball. The Chinese girls ended their two-game losing streak at the end of the preliminary stage with the 25-21, 26-24 and 28-26 victory in one hour and 19 minutes. more Match stats
Finals schedule 
Results
 


The Netherlands & Russia make stunning starts

July 28, 2003 - Defending champions Russia and the Netherlands both made impressive starts to the Final Round of the World Grand Prix registering victories in their opening matches in contrasting fashion. While the defending champions Russia steam rolled Korea in straight sets 3-0 (25-15, 25-23 and 25-16) in Matera. More Match Stats Meanwhile the Netherlands rocked hosts Italy in a stunning come-from-behind victory in Gioia del Colle 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 36-34, 26-24, 19-17). Match Stats  Finals schedule Live score Results
Pic: Russia has easily beaten Korea 3-0

 PREVIEW
Six team showdown for Grand Prix honors
July 28, 2003 - The race for the World Grand Prix title, the premier annual women's event, heats up on Monday when the Final Round starts with six teams playing off in a round-robin format for gold, silver and bronze. The matches on the opening day sees hosts Italy take on the Netherlands in Gioia del Colle starting at 14.15 GMT before world number one and defending champions Russia play Korea at 14.30 GMT and USA and China do battle at 17.30 GMT, both games in Matera. Finals schedule
Pic: Russia, the defending champions, have only lost one game