Lausanne, Switzerland, August 8, 2010 – Italy stunned Brazil as China, Puerto Rico, Poland, Japan and the Dominican Republic scored wins on the final day of the opening weekend of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix on Sunday.
China opened proceedings at home as they saw off the Netherlands 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-20) in a lively encounter. With the win China finish the weekend unbeaten with three wins as the Netherlands score a 2-1 win-loss record. China took an early lead before the Netherlands fought back to bring the scores to 2-1. However the hosts eventually saw out the fourth set to pick up the win, leaving the home fans happy.
Puerto Rico picked up their first victory of the tournament, overcoming Thailand in straight sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-21). Thailand began well, matching their opponents early on in the opening set. But the Caribbean side proved too strong as they took advantage of the Thai errors, seeing out the game easily.
“I think that was not Thailand team’s level,” Patricio Chutney, Puerto Rico’s coach said. “They could be better. We prepared for five sets.”
Italy then rocked Brazil as they stormed to a 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19) win over the defending champions at home in Sao Carlos. Brazilian opposite Natália Pereira topped the score board with 21 points while wing spiker Francesca Piccinini scored 15 points for the visitors.
"Our team played a great match,” Francesca Piccinini, Italy captain said, “Brazil is a great team and I am really happy with the way that we played.”
Poland then picked up a 3-1 (16-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-23) win over Olympic champions the USA. The Americans began well, taking an early lead, but it was the host side who eventually picked up the win following a strong offense
Japan scored a straight-sets (25-16, 25-16, 25-16) win over Chinese Taipei in a classic match between the two Asian sides. Japan began the game with a string attack and never looked liked letting go of the lead as they powered to the win.
Finally, the Dominican Republic picked up their first win of the 2010 edition of the tournament as they scored a 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 29-31, 25-16, 17-19) win over Germany in their final match on the opening weekend of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix. In a closely played contest the Dominicans came out on top despite going down twice in the match.”
The 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix continues next week as Italy, USA and Puerto Rico travel to Thailand, Brazil, Netherlands,, the Dominican Republic visit China and Japan, Poland and Germany visit Chinese Taipei.