Lausanne, Switzerland, August 14, 2010 – Both China and Poland had their unbeaten runs in the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix come to an end on Saturday as defending champions Brazil, Germany, Puerto Rico and the USA all picked up wins as the second weekend of the premier annual tournament continued.
China suffered a 3-2 (25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-9) loss to the Dominican Republic at home in Macau but remain at the top of the standings while Poland drop to fourth behind Brazil and Japan following a 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 19-25, 25-16) loss to the latter in Okayama.
The Chinese started the game strong with efficient blocks and devastating spikes as they took a 1-0 lead. But the Dominicans bounced back however after gaining control in the second set before taking the lead at 2-1. However China were determined not to let the game go and took the match to a tie-break. The Dominican Republic dug deep however and dealt China a blow to their World Grand Prix campaign as they picked up the win, moving up to ninth in the rankings.
“We changed the lineup today which probably affected our confidence,” China coach Wang Baoquan said after the match. “Hui Ruoqi’s injury will keep her out for a month and she won’t play in the near future. Li Juan’s suffered fever as well, and we missed two players. We are a bit confused and we shall make a conclusion on today’s performance.”
Poland meanwhile were stunned by Japan at home in Okayama as they dropped two places in the standings as Japan move up to third spot. Japan dominated the first two sets before being pulled back in the third as a revitalized Poland fought back. However the home side were willed on by their passionate fans and eventually clinched a memorable victory.
"The reason we lost was our mistakes,” Poland coach Jerzy Matlak said. “We made 29 mistakes while Japan only made 14 and that was the main difference."
Defending champions Brazil moved up to second place and sit just one point behind China after defeating the Netherlands 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 26-24) in Macau. The Netherlands stayed close to Brazil in the first two sets as the score remained even. However the South Americans eventually moved ahead after reinforcing their block and attack and they never looked back from there, easily picking up the win.
Germany picked up their second win of the tournament with a simple straight sets (25-19, 25-14, 25-19) victory over Chinese Taipei in Okayama. Captain Margareta Kozuch led the Germans with 20 points, including five on her service. Wu Ko Jou top-scored for Chinese Taipei with 10 points. Despite a strong start from Chinese Taipei, Germany’s quality shone through and from midway through the first set the score was never in doubt.
2009 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winners Italy scored a straight sets (25-12 25-17 25-18) victory over Puerto Rico helping improve their standing, moving up to fifth. Italy began strong and kept their rhythm up throughout despite a desperate fight back from Puerto Rico at the end.
Finally, the USA overcame Thailand in the day’s last match, easily overcoming the Asian side in straight sets (25-18 25-21 25-13). The home side continually tried to fight their way back into the match but each attempt was thwarted by a powerful and ruthless American attack.
Sunday will see the Netherlands face the Dominican Republic, Germany take on Poland, China host Brazil, Puerto Rico play USA, Japan up against Chinese Taipei and Italy play Thailand.