FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011


Brazil edge resurgent Korea in five sets

Brazilian players celebrate after edging a resilient Korea in five sets at Toyama City Gymnasium on Tuesday

Toyama, Japan, November 8, 2011 – Korea gave Brazil a huge scare in the FIVB World Cup on Tuesday, taking the world No. 1 team to five sets before Brazil prevailed 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 18-25, 25-13, 15-8) at Toyama City Gymnasium.

Kim Yeon-Koung collected the Most Impressive Player award after scoring a strong 29 points. The only other Korean player to get to double figures was Hwang Youn-Joo with 19. Brazil had four players in double figures: Sheilla Castro (19), Paula Pequeno (15), Thaisa Menezes (13) and Marianne Steinbrecher (12). The South American champions outblocked Korea 13-6.

Menezes kick-started Brazil with a couple of trademark pumps down the middle, but Korea recovered to 3-3 before some sloppy play prompted coach Kim Hyung-Sil to call a timeout. Two more errors put Brazil four points ahead at the first technical timeout before Korea, who had a rough time in their first three games in Nagano, came back to within one point when Kim Min-Ji blocked Castro. But three setting errors by Choi Youn-Ok handed Brazil a solid lead again and Kim replaced Choi with Jung Ji-Youn. After dropping to 14-9, a block by Kim Hee-Jin and spike by Kim Yeon-Koung turned things around for Korea. Three Brazilian errors later, Ze Roberto hauled his players off court for a talk. A super block by Kim Yeon-Koung on Menezes put Korea in the lead for the first time at 15-14 and suddenly the Brazilians were looking jittery. Ze Roberto had to call another timeout after a blistering drive from Hwang Youn-Joo made the score 22-18 and Brazil were able to pull back to 22-21. But another drive by Hwang and a miss by Paula Pequeno gave Korea three setpoints. Steinbrecher saved one, before Kim Yeon-Koung sent a shot into the left corner to put Korea 1-0 up.

Brazil tightened up at the start of the second set, while Kim Yeon-Koung continued to spike well and the resurgent Koreans were also defending well, something that was sorely missing in their first three games in Nagano. There was nothing between the two teams to 10, but when Kim Hee-Jin sent a shot long and Steinbrecher got lucky with a serve that rolled off the net to make the score 12-10, coach Kim called a timeout. But it was Brazil who turned up the heat and they were five points clear at the second TTO. Kim brought his players off court again at 18-11 after Kim Yeon-Koung had been blocked for the second time in five points and Menezes scored with a service ace. When Korea narrowed the gap to four points at 20-16, Ze Roberto called his players off court and they had few problems after that. A double touch by Yoon Hye-Suk brought up setpoint and a netted serve by Hwang leveled the scores.

The third set started slowly until Kim Keon-Young hit a spike that pulled Korea to within one point of Brazil. Kim then took over the serving duties and came up with successive aces, while captain Kim Se-Young made a brilliant block on Sheilla, helping Korea to a 9-4 lead. But errors by Hwang and Yoon let Brazil back in. Brazil responded with errors of their own and a great block by Kim Hee-Jin on Sheilla gave Korea a three-point lead at 12-9. Hwang then came up with three quick points, including a thunderbolt from deep that gave Korea a five-point lead at the second technical timeout. And the Koreans just kept rolling along as Brazil stayed stuck in third gear. A shot by Welissa “Sassa” Gonzaga curled along the net cord and out to give Korea six setpoints and Kim Yeon-Koung then blocked  Sassa to put her side 2-1 up.

Korea couldn’t keep it up as the fourth set started. Josefa Souza sent her first serve through the Korean defence and Kim Yeon-Koung made early two spiking errors. Paula and Sheilla threw down a couple of bombs each and Brazil raced to the first TTO six points ahead. Kim Yeon-Koung sent two more shots long and Korea were struggling to get their game together. Coach Kim called his second timeout at 5-13 and then took off his star attacker, Kim Yeon-Koung. Korea were a convincing 10 points back at the second TTO. Brazil libero Fabi then set up a point for Fabiana Claudino with a truly astonishing save as Brazil homed in on a fifth set. Another super shot by Fabi brought up setpoint and it was all-square when Hwang sent a shot long.

It was tight at the start of the fifth set and the teams couldn’t be separated to 4-4 when Hwang sent a shot into the net and Kim Yeon-Koung sent a drive wide to give Brazil a two-point lead. That stretched to three when Kim Yeon-Koung pushed a soft shot into the net. Korea called their second timeout after a pulverizing blow from Sheilla made the score 10-6, but it was too late to do anything about the outcome. Long shots by Kim Yeon-Koung and Hwang ended the match.

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