Sapporo, Japan, September 1, 2013 – London Olympic champions Brazil swept China 3-0 in a match between two previously unbeaten teams here Sunday afternoon to clinch a record ninth World Grand Prix title with a perfect 5-0 win-loss record and without dropping one single set.
With the unexpected easy 25-15, 25-14, 25-20 victory in one hour and 13 minutes, the Brazilian women finally touched the gold medal of the World Grand Prix again after finishing runners-up to the United States in the last three years and snapped the 13-match winning streak of China in this year’s World Grand Prix competitions.
The ninth straight defeat of China against Brazil in the World Grand Prix put an end to their 19-match winning streak under the guidance of newly appointed coach Jenny Lang Ping, but the Chinese women could be satisfied with their best result in the World Grand Prix since 2007, when they finished second too.
Earlier on Sunday, European champions Serbia twice rallied from one set down to beat Italy in a five-set thriller to win the bronze medal with three wins agasinst two losses in the Finals. The bronze medal equaled their best ever World Grand prix result, a third in 2011. It was also the second podium finish for the European championships in their four World Grand Prix participations.
Three-time defending World Grand Prix champions the United States finally collected their fist victory in five tries in the World Grand Prix Finals as they rallied past the host Japan 3-2 in the last match of the day and the tournament Sunday evening. Despite the loss, Japan ranked fourth on five points from one win and two 3-2 losses ahead of Italy (4) and the USA (3).
2013 World Grand Prix Dream Team
1st Best Outside Spiker: Zhu Ting (China)
2nd Best Outside Spiker: Brankica Mihajlovic (Serbia)
1st Best Midder Blocker: Thaisa Menezes (Brazil)
2nd Best Midder Blocker: Milena Rasic (Serbia)
Best Libero : Fabiana Oliveira (Brazil)
Best Setter: Alisha Glass (USA)
Best Opposite Spiker: Jovana Brakocevic (Serbia)
Most Valuable Player: Thaisa Menezes (Brazil)
Brazil stay perfect to clinch gold in World Grand Prix Finals
Brazil clinched the gold medal in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals for a record ninth time on Sunday, overcoming China 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-20) at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center. China was the only other team in contention for the gold medal and finished in second place. Brazil, who have won their last three World Grand Prix titles in Japan, finished with a perfect 5-0 record for 15 points and didn’t drop a set in the Finals, the first time that has happened. China finished 4-1 for 10 points. It was Brazil’s ninth straight win over China in the World Grand Prix but it was China’s first defeat in the World Grand Prix this year. Sheilla Castro led Brazil with 18 points, while China’s top scorer was Wang Yimei with 13. More
The World Grand Prix is very valuable for us: Ze Roberto
Brazil coach Ze Roberto said the World Grand Prix experience was very valuable for his team. “The Rio Olympic Games mean a lot for the team, not only because we’re the home team, but also the Brazilian people expect victory, so the pressure of these expectations to win is another thing we have to prepare for,” he said. “I’m very happy with today’s victory and winning the World Grand Prix for the ninth time. This tournament is a very valuable tournament for Brazil because we can play against several strong teams with different playing styles. Also, we have to be away from home for about a month, but what we gain from this is bigger. My team’s attitude was good for the whole tournament. I don’t think we are a level above other teams. There were several teams that couldn’t make it to the finals, such as Russia and Turkey and Bulgaria, so on that basis I can’t make a comparison.” More
Serbia beat Italy 3-2 to claim World Grand Prix bronze
Serbia clinched the bronze medal in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals on Sunday after a tough 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16, 15-11) win over Italy at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center. The bronze medal equaled their best ever World Grand prix result, a third in 2011. It was also the second podium finish for the European championships in their four World Grand Prix participations. Serbia raised their record to 3-2 on the final day of the Finals and finished with nine points. Italy fell to 1-4 for four points. Jovana Brakocevic and Brankica Mihajlovic were the top scorers for Serbia with 26 points each. Valentina Diouf was Italy’s top scorer, also with 26 points. Serbia came up with 19 blocking points to Serbia’s 12, but Italy had the edge in serving, 8-6. More
Serbia coach satisfied with second bronze in World Grand Prix
Serbia coach Zoran Terzic said: “First, I would like to say I’m very proud about my team today. We took our second World Grand Prix medal and I’m really happy and satisfied about this. In the game, we didn’t play so well, especially in the first three sets. I don’t know the reason, but maybe the girls were thinking they only needed two sets. When you’re not focused on the game, you can’t do well. After that, we played much better and the job was easier. I’m really very happy.” More
USA defeat Japan 3-2 for first win in World Grand Prix Finals
USA defeated Japan 3-2 (17-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 15-12) in the last match of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals on Sunday at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center. Japan finished in fourth place in the final standing with five points while USA finished bottom with three points. Italy were fifth with four points. Japan, Italy and USA finished with 1-4 records. Japan have now lost their last seven matches against USA in the World Grand Prix. Japan’s Yukiko Ebata was the top scorer in the match with 24 points, while the top scorer for USA was Nicole Fawcett with 22. USA had the advantage in blocking points 11-9 but Japan had the edge in service points, 4-2. Japan made 22 errors to USA’s 31. More
It was a tough week but good experience: USA coach Karch Kiraly
“This has been a challenging week. We lost four straight matches. We knew we would face a very strong Japan team and I’m very happy for the way my team fought,” said USA coach Karch Kiraly. “They fought very hard and every player on my team made a contribution, all 14. It’s good to end on a positive note after a difficult week. I think it was great for our program and young players; there were a lot of people who hadn’t had any significant time in the World Grand Prix – people like Cassidy Lichtman, Lauren Paolini, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Kayla Banwarth, Kimberly Hill, Kelly Murphy. It was really good for them to get experience. The positive was the nice Preliminary Round we played; the difficult part was seeing how good we have to be to compete in the world. We learned a lot this week; they were not easy lessons, but we learned a lot.” More
LIVE SCOREBOX | FINALS
Top Scoring Performances
36 – Yukiko Ebata of Japan v China (August 31)
33 – Zhu Ting of China v Japan (August 31)
31 – Valentina Diouf of Italy v USA (August 31)
Top Blocking Performances
7 – Xu Yunli of China v Serbia (August 28)
6 – Thaisa Menezes of Brazil v Italy (August 30)
6 – Thaisa Menezes of Brazil v Japan (August 29)
5 – Thaisa Menezes of Brazil v Serbia (August 31)
5 – Valentina Diouf of Italy v USA (August 31)
5 – Iwasaka Nana of Japan v Italy (August 28)
5 – Natasa Krsmanovic of Serbia v Italy (September 1)
5 – Milena Rasic of Serbia v Italy (September 1)
5 – Brankica Mihajlovic of Serbia v Italy (September 1)
5 – Martina Guiggi of Italy v Serbia (September 1)
5 – Maja Ognjenovic of Serbia v USA (August 29)
Top Blocking Performances by team
19 – Serbia v Italy (September 1)
15 – Brazil v Serbia (August 31)
15 – Brazil v Japan (August 29)
15 – China v Serbia (August 28)
14 – Brazil v Italy (August 30)
Top Serving Performance
5 – Haruka Miyashita of Japan v China (August 31)
5 – Thaisa Menezes of Brazil v Italy (August 30)
3 – Maja Ognjenovic of Serbia v Italy (September 1)
3 – Caterina Bosetti of Italy v Serbia (September 1)
3 – Shen Jingsi of China v Japan (August 31)
3 – Jovana Brakocevic of Serbia v USA (August 29)
3 – Yang Junjing of China v Italy (August 29)
3 – Valentina Diouf of Italy v China (August 29)
3 – Miyashita Haruka of Japan v Brazil (August 29)
3 – Xu Yunli of China v Serbia (August 28)
3 – Kimura Saori of Japan v Italy (August 28)
Top Serving Performances by team
13 – Brazil v Italy (August 30)
8 – Italy v Serbia (September 1)
8 – Japan v China (August 31)
8 – China v Italy (August 29)
8 – Japan v Italy (August 28)
7 – China v Japan (August 31)
7 – Serbia v USA (August 29)
7 – Japan v Brazil (August 29)
Highest Scorer by week
Week 1: Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata of Poland, 41 v Russia (August 4)
Week 2: Yukiko Ebata of Japan, 28 v Kazakhstan (August 10)
Week 3: Nataliya Goncharova of Russia, 31 v Thailand (August 18)
Finals: Yukiko Ebata of Japan, 36 v China (August 31)
Highest Set Score
Week 1: Poland v Russia, 30-28 (August 4)
Japan v Turkey, 30-28 (August 4)
Week 2: Argentina v Turkey, 36-34 (August 9)
Week 3: Japan v Bulgaria, 29-31 (August 16)
Week 3: Italy v Dominican Republic, 30-32 (August 17)
Finals: Italy v China, 30-28 (August 29)
Italy v China, 28-26 (August 29)
Highest Scoring Matches
Week 1: Russia v Poland, 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 29-27, 28-30, 15-13) – 235 points
Week 2: Bulgaria v Dominican Republic, 2-3 (22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 30-28, 14-16) - 226 points
Week 3: Italy v Dominican Republic, 3-2 (25-21, 25-19, 30-32, 24-26, 11-15) - 228 points
Finals: Italy v China 2-3 (30-28, 22-25, 28-26, 13-25, 10-15) – 222 points
2013 World Grand Prix Finals page
2013 World Grand Prix Finals Live Scorebox
2013 World Grand Prix Finals Schedule
FIVB World Rankings
FIVB World Grand Prix Media Guide
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