“I'm really proud of my team, not only for winning this tournament, but also for the way they were playing,” USA coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “I'm very happy with our performance at the tournament. This is a great start for us, but we clearly know we need to make improvement.”
Two-time defending champions Brazil had to settled for second place with three wins against two losses after outgunning China 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-15) in the last match of the tournament Sunday evening while 2009 World Grand Champions Cup winner Italy went home with a bronze medal thanks to a come-from-behind 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-17) victory over Poland.
FIVB World Grand Prix
USA beat Japan (26-24, 25-20, 25-23)
With only one point needed to guarantee themselves the title, USA beat Japan in style to capture the 2010 World Grand Prix crown. Jordan Larson had 15 points to lead a balanced American offense with five spikers in double digit scoring. It was in blocking where USA made the biggest difference, reaping 15 points on blocks against Japan's three. “USA had a clear advantage in height, so they took control over the net,” Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said. “The Americans are really strong in spiking and blocking.” The Japanese finished fifth with four points, but they could go home with their heads held high after two well-deserved full-set victories over Brazil and Italy.
Italy beat Poland 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-17)
Italy rallied past Poland to snap their three-match losing streak. It seemed the two teams would have to play a tiebreaker when Poland jumped to a 12-5 lead in the fourth set, but Italy closed the match with an amazing 20-5 run capped by two smart spikes from Simona Gioli. Serena Ortolani led Italy with 17 points and Lucia Bosetti added 16. “For us, it was important to finish the Grand Prix with a win,” Italy coach Massimo Barbolini said. “It's also important to remedy the problems we showed in the tournament.” The Polish women finished bottom of the table with one win against four losses. “We were playing a bad game, especially in reception. We had opportunities to win the match, but we wasted it,” Poland coach Jerzy Matlak said. “We will make good preparations for the forthcoming World Championship.”
Brazil beat China 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-15)
Eight-time World Grand Prix title-holders Brazil met no real challenge from the Chinese, who were playing without regular setter Wei Qiuyue due to appendicitis. Thaisa Menezes, Jaqueline Carvalho, Natalia Pereira and Sheilla Castro each contributed 11 points for Brazil. The Chinese could not get their attack going as Wei’s replacement Bian Yuqian struggled with poor combination with her hitters. Ace spiker Wang Yimei was held to seven points.
MVP: Foluke Akinradewo (USA)
Best Scorer: Saori Kimura (Japan)
Best Spiker: Jaqualine Carvalho (Brazil)
Best Blocker: Foluke Akinradewo (USA)
Best Server: Wang Yimei (China)
Best Setter: Alisha Glass (USA)
Best Libero: Zhang Xian (China)