Ningbo, China, August 26, 2010 – The United States remain as the only unbeaten team after the second day of 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round here was completed on Thursday as Brazil and China both collected first wins at the six-team round robin tournament.
Beijing Olympic runners-up the United States overpowered 2009 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winners Italy 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-14) to improve to a 2-0 win-loss record. Eight-time titleholders Brazil needed four sets to deliver Poland (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17) and China bounced back from an opening 3-0 defeat to Italy on Wednesday to record a 3-1 victory (29-27, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19) over Asian archrivals Japan.
FIVB World Grand Prix
USA beat Italy 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-14)
The United States convincingly beat Italy in straight sets to clinch their second straight win in the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round. It was in blocking where the Americans made the difference. The USA won 15 points on blocks against Italy's four. 23-year-old Destinee Hooker finished with game-high 17 points for the United States with 1.91-meter Foluke Akinradewo adding seven kill blocks. “Like I said yesterday, that's our goal to improve,” said USA head coach Hugh McCutcheon. “Yesterday we were fortunate to win. Today we came out and controlled the match from the beginning.” “They dominated the whole match, USA has been always the top of the match,” said Italy head coach Massimo Barbolini. “Today we learned another lesson. It's difficult to win if you don't play as a team against a strong team like the United States.”
Brazil beat Poland 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17)
Two-time defending champions and World No. 1 Brazil rebounded from a shock 3-2 defeat by Japan on the first day to beat Poland 3-1 for their first win in the six-team round-robin Final Round. Sheilla Castro was the top scorer for Brazil with 20 points, including 15 successful spikes. Fabiana Claudino added 15 points and Jaqueline Carvalho contributed 16 points. “Today we played a lot better than yesterday, we hope to keep it up,” said Brazil head coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes. Although, the Beijing Olympic champions paid some price for the victory as their spiker Steinbrecher Marianne received an injury to her right knee and carried off the court by team staff late in the third set. She needed to go to the hospital for further examination. “She is important to our team. I hope all the best with her,” said Brazil captain Fabiana Claudino. The Polish women, who were making their second appearance at FIVB World Grand Prix Finals, have lost two a row. “We knew this game would be very difficult for us,” said Poland captain Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata, who contributed 11 points to her team. “After we lost yesterday's match, I hoped we could play better, but we didn't. I hope we will play better tomorrow.”
China beat Japan 3-1 (29-27, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19)
Following an opening 3-0 loss to Italy on Wednesday, the Chinese improved to an 1-1 win-loss record on back of strong blocking performance. Star spiker Wang Yimei sparkled with 17 kills, five blocks, two aces and game-high 24 points. Chen Liyi and Xue Ming added 18 and 16 points respectively. “Wang Yimei had a good match today, just like she did in most of this season’s World Grand Prix matches,” said China head coach Wang Baoquan. “As the tournament goes on, she plays better and better.” China captain and setter Wei Qiuyue attributed the victory to better mentality of the team. “I think good mentality helped us win through, we were able to show our real level.”