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Press releases
 
Brazil complete nine-match sweep
 

 Okayama, Japan, September 3, 2006: Brazil completed the Okayama leg of the World Grand Prix with a perfect 3-0 win-loss record by beating Japan in straight sets at Momotaro Arena on Sunday evening.
 With the win, by 25-21, 25-21, 25-18, the Canaries made it nine consecutive victories in leading the qualifiers for the six-team Final Round in Italy from September 6-10. Japan slipped to 1-2 for the weekend, and to 5-4 for the tournament, but still qualified for Reggio Calabria thanks to Russia's defeat of USA in Bangkok earlier in the day.
 Trailing 2-0 in the first set, Japan won the next four points behind some rocket serves from Miyuki Takahashi, and this forced Brazl to call an early TO.
 When Jaqueline Carvalho spiked long following some classic Japanese defence, the home team led 8-7 at the first TTO, only for Brazil to come back out and score the next three points -- a swift hat-trick for Walewska Oliveira.
 However, a typically elegant but lethal spike on the run from Sachiko Sugiyama ended Walewska's private points party, and Saori Kimura also found spaces in the Brazilian defence with some well-placed winners from athletic leaps.
 With Sheilla Castro and Fabiana Claudino around, though, Brazil are never short of points, and they won the first set 25-21 on their third set point. The floating serves of captain Fofao were proving difficult for the Japanese to read, and she won three points on serve in the opening frame alone.
 Although the Japanese block has improved a lot this year, largely thanks to the emergence of Erika Araki, there is simply no stopping Fabiana when she decides to cut loose.
 And she did just that in the second set, enabling Brazil to pull away and lead 16-10 at the second TTO.
 China-born Shuka Oyama, who had replaced Kana Oyama in the first set, made inroads into the Canaries' lead, as did the tireless Araki, but the Japanese spikers could not match the awesome power of Carvalho, who stunned libero Kaoru Sugayama with one thunderbolt, or of Welissa "Sassa" Gonzaga.
 Japan tried to close the gap, but Castro, rising at the net, brought up set point at 24-19, and Carvalho finished it 25-21 with a drop-shot into space.
 Japan coach Shoichi Yanagimoto took the opportunity to give playing time to his bench of back-ups, and Shuka Oyama brought Japan level 4-4 in the third with an ace from a jump-serve. But a block by Castro on the same player forced a Japan TO as they trailed 11-8. Brazil were well in control at the second TTO, 16-11.
 Japan began to falter toward the end of the third, and Brazil swept home 25-18.
 
 
 


 


 

 

  
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