Rio de Janeiro, August 1, Brazil – Reigning Olympic champion Brazil is the only unbeaten team in Pool A of the Preliminary Round of the FIVB World Grand Prix 2009 after its second match in the tournament, here Saturday, at Maracanazinho Gymnasium, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. South American team overcame Germany 3-0 (25-12, 25-19 and 25-16) and imposed the European their first defeat in the competition.
With the result, Brazil amasses now four points in the tournament, against three of the European rivals. Puerto Rico and the USA, teams that will play later here Saturday, have a single point each as were defeated by Brazilian and German in the first match day.
Brazilian middle-blocker Thaisa Menezes led all scorers with 14 points – eight in spikes and six in blocks. In the German side, wing-spiker Maren Brinker scored 11 points, all in spikes.
Brazilian middle-blockers had remarkable starts in the match as Fabiana Claudino stopped rival opposite Margareta Kozuch and scored a serve point before Thaisa Menezes blocking wing-spiker Maren Brinker to give Brazil a 4-1 lead. In the first technical timeout, Brazil already had a four-point advantage: 8-4. Two straight points from Brazil, forced German head coach Giovanni Guidetti making a pair of substitution in the team. Helped by its powerful block, that scored eight points in the first frame, and keeping the good rhythm, Brazil closed 25-12 with Natalia Pereira stopping Corina Ssuschke.
German started the second set better than the previous one and, if could not contain the Brazilian, brought some difficulties to the Olympic champion as the South American lead in the first TTO was 8-6. However, using its block again with Sassa and Sheilla, Brazil scored two points in a row and achieved a secure lead: 10-6. With captain Christiane Furs serving, the European team came back to the match and reduced the disadvantage to a single point: 16-15. Led by Thaisa’s serves, Brazil run away in the scoreboard again before closing 25-19 with Margareta Kozuch spiking out of bounds.
The beginning of the third set was balanced as the second, but right after the first technical timeout Germany committed a few mistakes and gave Brazil an 8-5 lead. After a good rally, Brazilian wing-spiker Mari showed her class scoring 14-9 in an intelligent spike. After several mistakes of the German, Brazil had a 22-14 lead. In the end, the young Natalia Pereira spiked against the block to confirm the win: 25-16.