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Brazil takes leave its fans with a win against the USA in the Olympic final rematch

Brazilian Natalia Pereira (center) played a great match

Rio de Janeiro, August 2, Brazil – Brazil was the winner of Beijing Olympic final rematch played here Sunday at Maracanazinho Gymnasium, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The team coached by Jose Roberto Guimaraes beat the United States in three straight sets (25-18, 25-22 and 25-13) in its last match in front of its fans in the FIVB World Grand Prix 2009.

With its third win, Brazil finishes the first week of the tournament as the best team of Pool A with six points. Olympic silver medallist the United States scored four points, with a win over Puerto Rico and a defeat against Germany.

Brazilian Olympian wing-spiker Mari was the best scorer of the match with 12 points – 10 in spiked and two in blocks-, followed by the American opposite Nicole Fawcett, who scored 11 points, all in spikes.

Taking advantage of Brazilian mistakes, the USA started ahead in the set and had a 7-3 advantage when middle-blocker Foluke Akinradewo stopped Brazilian scorer Thaisa Menezes. Recovering its best game, reigning Olympic champion tied the match in the 13th point when American opposite Nicole Fawcett spiked out of bounds, before going to the second technical timeout in advantage: 16-15. With good digs of libero Fabi, Brazilian lead increased to 18-15 when opposite Sheilla Castro flied from the backcourt to spike. After a long sequence of straight points, Brazil assured the win with Natalia Pereira spiking powerfully from the backcourt: 25-18.

American good start did not repeat in the second frame as, led by a couple of serve points scored by captain Dani Lins, Brazil easily achieved a 4-1 lead. However, the USA reacted and, showing great backcourt skills, scored four straight points, reverting the scoreboard to 5-4. The single-point advantage was kept until the second TTO, but with Natalia Pereira replacing Sassa Brazil recovered the lead: 20-19. In the end, Sheilla Castro served to seal the win: 25-22.

Brazil achieved the first two-point lead of the third set with Fabiana Claudino blocking Kristin Richards: 7-5. With Dani Lins serving well and Mari spiking efficiently, the lead became a safe 13-7 before the second TTO 16-10. The American team got prostrated with the huge disadvantage and could not reacted until the end of the match, sealed by one more powerful spike of Natalia Pereira: 25-13.

In the second week of the World Grand Prix, Brazil travels to Macau, where will play against China, Poland and Thailand in the Pool E. The USA are in Pool D, seeded in Chinese Taipei, where the American will face Germany, Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.


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