Japan top standings as USA extend unbeaten run
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 3, 2013 – Defending champions the United States extended their record unbeaten run in the FIVB World Grand Prix to 18 wins on Saturday with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-16) victory over Poland in Brazil.
The Americans, who are aiming for an unprecedented fourth straight title, were helped by 12 blocking points and six aces in the 83-minute match in Campinas.
Next up for USA is a showdown with Brazil, the team that beat them in the final at the London Olympics last year. Brazil have finished runners-up to USA in each of the last three years in the World Grand Prix. Both teams are unbeaten in their two matches so far. Brazil defeated Russia 3-2 on Saturday.
“Tomorrow we will have a difficult game against Brazil,” USA coach Karch Kiraly said. “The Brazilians have one of the best programmes of the world in volleyball and José Roberto Guimarães is an amazing coach. It will be an honour to play against Brazil here.”
After two days of action, seven teams remain unbeaten, with Japan topping the table following their 3-0 (25-10, 25-8, 25-8) demolition of Algeria using a number of second-string players.
Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe was happy with his team’s performance: “I changed all the players in the team today. It went perfectly. We’ll face Turkey tomorrow. They are a strong team and we need to be ready for them.”
Last year’s bronze medallists Turkey won a tight match over Thailand, the team that finished one place behind them in last year’s Finals. Turkey prevailed 25-23, 26-24, 25-22 in Ankara to maintain their perfect record.
The other unbeaten teams are China, Italy and Serbia, all 3-0 winners on Saturday. China overcame Cuba, Italy cruised past Kazakhstan and Serbia swept past the Czech Republic.
In other matches on Saturday, debutants Bulgaria picked up their first ever win, 3-1 over the Netherlands; Argentina edged Germany 3-2; and the Dominican Republic triumphed over Puerto Rico 3-0.
The action continues on Sunday with another 10
Top Scoring Performances
25 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia v Brazil (August
Top Blocking Performances
7 – Cristina Barreto of Brazil v Poland (August 2)
Top Blocking Performances by Team
17 – Brazil v Poland (August 2)
Top Serving Performances
5 – Denise Hanke of Germany v Kazakhstan (August 2)
Top Serving Performances by Team
11 – China v Cuba (August 3)
Highest Scorer by Round
Week 1: Nataliya Goncharova of Russia (25 v Brazil)
Highest Set Score
Week 1: Brazil
v Russia, 26-28 (August 3)
Highest Scoring Matches
Week 1: Brazil v Russia, 3-2 (26-28, 26-24, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8) – 218 points
2013 World Grand Prix Tournament page
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