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2005 edition
World Grand Prix 2004 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Brazil beat Italy 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 24-26, 25-19) - duration 1:43
01-Aug, start time: 20:05, end time: 21:48 - Attendance: 9'100
City: Reggio Calabria; Hall : Palapentimele hall
Brazilian class wraps up fourth Grand Prix crown
The power and agility shown by the Brazilians, who had previously won the World Grand Prix in 1994, 1996 and 1998, was incredible as they put on a display which will have them heading to the Olympics as one of the favourites for gold.

It was a brilliant performance from the world number three side with Virna Dias and Erika Coimbra inparticular lethal on attack and Valeska Menezes and libero Xavier Arlene polished on defence, making up for their seventh place finish in 2003.

The stage was set for a terrific final with both teams being greeted to an electric atmosphere and the fantastic crowd were treated accordingly to a feast of the finest women's Volleyball can offer.

Both teams fought for any early edge but leading 8-7 at the first time out Brazil caught Italy on the hop racing ahead 14-10 with Erika timing her spikes to perfection. This was a lead Italy could not peg back as Virna and Valeska Menezes were too strong on attack and defence.

The second set was equally intense before a Francesca Piccinini special gave Italy a 9-6 lead. Brazil's great reception kept them in the set however and then the inexplicable. Italy let a gentle Walewska Oliveira serve drop untouched and before they knew it, they were trailing 16-14. It was fitting that Walewska spiked home the winner to make it 2-0 as her performance in the second set was inspirational.

The writing looked to be on the wall for Italy at 8-3 down in the third set but they fought back to 13-10 with captain Manuela Leggeri making some inspirational blocks before taking the lead at 16-15. Amazingly Italy led 23-20 on the back of some brilliant spiking from Antonella Del Core before she finished proceedings with her seventh point of the set.

Brazil led early in the fourth set at 3-1 but again Del Core and Leggeri were the core of an Italian fightback and at 17-17 the set was anyone's. But another Walewska gave Brazil a 19-17 and soon after there were great scenes of emotion as Brazil were crowned 2004 World Grand Prix champions.