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World Grand Prix 2004 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

U.S.A. beat Russia 3-1 (25-13, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15) - duration 1:39
22-Jul, start time: 18:05, end time: 19:44 - Attendance: 850
City: Rostock, Germany; Hall : Stadthalle Rostock
USA beats Russia 3-1
The US girls started the first set of the opening match in Rostock fast: An ace by Prikeba Phipps, successful blocks by Logan Tom and Elisabeth Bachman as well as great back-court attacks by Tayyiba Haneef left hardly a chance to the Russians. The team of head coach Toshiaki Yoshida were in the lead 8-2 and 13-5 on their road to winning the first set easily 25-13.

The Russians, again represented by their second team in Rostock, could balance the second set well at the beginning (7-7), profiting from Anastasia Belikova's good form who celebrated her 25th birthday on Thursday. She once and again cheated the US block. After two successful spikes in a row the Russian team took over the lead for the first time at 19-18. Yoshida reacted by re-substituting Phipps for Tara Cross-Battle, but even that eventually proved unsuccessful: Russia won the second set 25-21.

The third set was an up and down: at first the Russian team led 4-1, a little later they were 12-8 down. But the US lead wasn't for long when the team of Russian coach Mikhail Omelchenko equalised at 12-12. The match was well balanced until 20-20, when the American World silver medallists again put the pressure on and won the third set 25-21.

Three points from the block by the just 1.72m tall Robyn Ah Mow-Santos and Heather Bown put the US girls into a decisive 10-5 lead. Though Omelchenko made several substitutions he could not prevent the Russians losing the fourth set and ultimately the match.