FIVB - Volleyball World Grand Prix

Press release

Brazil maintain perfect record in World Grand Prix Finals

Gabriela Guimaraes spikes in Saturday's win over Serbia

 Sapporo, Japan, August 31, 2013 – Tournament leaders Brazil maintained their 100 per cent record in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals on Saturday with a 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-22) win over Serbia at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center.

It was Brazil’s fourth straight 3-0 win. Serbia dropped to 2-2.

Brazil were led by Sheilla Castro with 19 points, while Serbia’s top scorer was Ana Bjelic, also with 19 points.

Brazil came up with 15 blocking points to Serbia’s six. Serbia had the edge on service aces 4-3.

Serbia came up with some good early hits from Nadja Ninkovic and Ana Bjelica and were four points ahead at the first technical timeout. But good blocking by Danielle Lins and Fernanda Rodrigues helped Brazil draw level at 9-9. More big hitting from Bjelica opened up another Serbia lead and Brazil coach Ze Roberto called a timeout at 11-14. Sheilla Castro blocked Tijana Malesevic to level the scores at 18 and there was little between the two teams after that. Serbia saved two setpoints before Rodrigues took control and ended the set with two thunderous blows.

Blocks from Thaisa Menezes and Sheilla helped Brazil move into a 9-4 lead in the second set, while Rodrigues came up with a classy tipover and two big blocks to keep the pressure on Serbia. Ninkovic then served up two aces to help reduce the gap from five to two points at 12-10, but Brazil were five points again up at the second TTO. Ninkovic sent down a couple of missiles to narrow the gap to 20-17 but a netted serve by Bojana Zivkovic handed Brazil six setpoints. They blew three of them before Gabriela Guimaraes crashed a shot over the net to put Brazil 2-0 up. 

Serbia got their blocking right early in the third set. Stefana Veljkovic stopped Rodrigues before her teammate Ninkovic scored three blocks in a row – two on Thaisa and one on Guimaraes. That gave Serbia a three-point lead at the first TTO, but Brazil were quickly back in the game after a couple of hits from Sheilla tied the scores at 8-8. A service ace by Fabiana Claudino saw Brazil into a four-point lead at 17-13 but three straight Brazil errors narrowed the gap to one point at 18-17. Veljkovic served long to make the score 21-18 and a great block by Cristina Barreto on Bjelica gave Brazil a four-point cushion. Guimaraes brought matchpoint with a rocket and finished things off with another strong hit. 

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