Lausanne, Switzerland, August 13, 2010 – China and Poland both kept their unbeaten runs alive on Friday as Brazil, USA, Japan, and Thailand all recorded victories as the second weekend of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix began.
Poland's Skorupa Katarzyna digs against Chinese Taipei as her side remain undefeated as the second weekend of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix continues
China scored a straight sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-16) win over the Netherlands in an error-strewn game at home in Macau in Friday’s final match to remain at the top of the rankings. The first set saw both sides come out strong before China took control. The two sides were evenly matched in the second before the home side were encouraged by their fans and went on the rampage, scoring six points in a row. The Netherlands gained the lead in the third but it wasn’t enough as China fought back for the win. The loss sees the Netherlands drop a place to sixth in the standings.
Poland claimed an easy 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-15) victory over Chinese-Taipei in Okayama, Japan to make sure their winning streak remained intact. The Poles, who won all three of their home games last weekend, were far from their best but still had enough firepower to see out the Asians. Anna Baranska led the Poles with 12 points, while Yin Feng Tsai was top scorer for Chinese Taipei with 10. Poland pulled out an early lead in the first and despite a fight back, saw out the set easily. The second saw Poland having to raise their game as Chinese Taipei came out strong. However it was not enough as Poland regained composure to seal the set. Chinese Taipei struggled in the third and never threatened Poland’s lead as they comfortably saw out the match.
"We're happy we won today; it was really important for us,” Poland captain Katarzyna Skowronska said. “The game was pretty easy, but we still made too many mistakes, so I hope we play better against Japan. We need to concentrate for tomorrow night."
Meanwhile, defending champions Brazil picked up a straight-sets (25-14, 25-18, 25-13) win over the Dominican Republic in Macau to keep the pressure on China and Poland. They currently sit third in the rankings but will play China later this weekend in what promises to be a thrilling encounter. Despite the loss the Dominincan Republic showed ambition and often did not let the Brazilians take the advantage easily. They finish the day in 11th place.
“I don’t know how to describe today’s game, because we played against a young Dominican Republic team with different objectives to ours,” Brazil coach José Roberto Guimaraes said. “ I think we could have played better. Overall, I am not satisfied with our team’s performance as our team did not really play well.”
Elsewhere, the USA scored a vital 3-1 (26-28, 26-24, 25-23, 25-15) victory against 2009 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winners to move up to fifth place in the standings. Despite a poor start which saw the Olympic Champions slip to an early set loss, they hit back aggressively with Logan Tom leading proceedings from the front with a sublime attacking display as they sealed the win to get their campaign back on track.
Japan picked their third win of the 2010 edition with a 3-1 (26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 25-11) victory over Germany at home, exciting the host fans. After an intense first set which saw Japan go down, they regrouped to pick up three straight-sets to ensure the win. With the victory they end the day in fourth with Germany in eighth position with just one win.
Finally Thailand picked up their first win of the tournament with a dramatic 3-1 (23-25 25-17 25-23 25-19) win over a spirited Puerto Rico at home in Bangkok. Backed by their noisy fans, Thailand began well and took the lead before succumbing in the first set. However they were willed on by the supporters and marched through the next three sets to pick up their maiden win.
Saturday’s fixtures are Germany v Chinese Taipei, Brazil v the Netherlands, Puerto Rico v Italy, Japan v Poland, China v Dominican Republic and USA v Thailand.