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Brazil one step away from the crown

 
Brazilians Fabi Oliveira, Fernanda Garay and Walewska Oliveira celebrate the victory over Russia on Saturday
Tokyo, Japan, November 16, 2013 – Olympic champions Brazil moved one step closer to winning the title of the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup following their 3-1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19) victory over Russia on Saturday.

The win enabled the Brazilian side to stay undefeated in four outings with a total of 12 points. Russia dropped to 1-3 and four points.

The South American champions and top ranked team in the world held a 15-10 advantage in the blockings and also dominated in the aces category 9-4.

Fernanda Garay topped the balanced offence of Brazil with 17 points, including four blocks and three aces, followed by Fabiana Claudino with 14 and four blocks. Sheilla Castro and Natalia Pereira each added 13 tallies.

Natalia Mahlyk and Liubov Shashkova were the top offensive performers for Russia with 16 and 13 points, respectively.

In the other matches of Saturday, United States survived a five-set battle with Thailand and Japan beat the Dominican Republic in straight sets to maintain alive their hopes for the crown.

USA held off a resilient Thailand in five sets (13-25, 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13) to raise their record to 3-1 for seven points, while Thailand dropped to 0-4 but picked up their first point in the tournament.

Jordan Larson-Burbach led USA with 23 points, while middle-blockers Lauren Paolini and Cursty Jackson contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively, in the win. Thailand’s Onuma Sittirak had a tournament-high 28 points in the losing cause.

“It was another tough battle for us but again USA had a wonderful team effort,” American coach Karch Kiraly said. “Every one of our 12 athletes made an important contribution for our win today.”

In the nightcap, Japan scored a 25-17, 25-19, 29-27 victory over the Dominican Republic to improve their record to 3-1 with 9 points while the losers descended to 1-3 with three points.

Saori Kimura and Saori Sakoda each contributed 14 points in the victory, followed by 11 points from Yuki Ishii. Brayelin Martinez scored 12 points for the defeated side and Annerys Vargas was next with 9, including five blocks.

“Today our serve and defense were as I had expected going into this match,” Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said. “I thought blocking the Dominicans would be hard, so I tried to get our team to have blocking and defense in sync, and in the end it worked out well.”

Brazil and Japan face each other in the last contest of Sunday with Japan needing a 3-0 victory to secure the title. USA meet Dominican Republic and Russia play with Thailand in the first two matches.

Top Scorer by Day
25 - Bethania De la Cruz of Dominican Republic v Thailand on 12-11-13
20 - Jordan Larson-Burbach of United States v Japan on 13-11-13
20 - Kelly Murphy of United States v Japan on 13-11-13
26 - Natalia Malikh of Russia v United States on 15-11-13
28 - Onuma Sittirak of Thailand v United States on 16-11-13

Top Scoring Performances
28 - Onuma Sittirak of Thailand v United States on 16-11-13
26 - Natalia Malikh of Russia v United States on 15-11-13
25 - Bethania De la Cruz of Dominican Republic v Thailand on 12-11-13
23 - Jordan Larson-Burbach of United States v Russia on 15-11-13
23 - Jordan Larson-Burbach of United States v Thailand on 16-11-13

Top Blocking Performances
6 - Iulia Morozova of Russia v Dominican Republic on 13-11-13
5 - Bethania De la Cruz of Dominican Republic v Thailand on 12-11-13
5 - Natalia Dianskaya of Russia v Dominican Republic on 13-11-13
5 - Annerys Vargas of Dominican Republic v Japan on 16-11-13

Top Serving Performances
4 - Bethania De la Cruz of Dominican Republic v Thailand on 12-11-13
4 - Saori Kimura of Japan v Russia on 12-11-13
4 - Riho Otake of Japan v Russia on 12-11-13

Top Team-Blocking Performances
21 - Russia v Dominican Republic on 13-11-13
17 - Brazil v Thailand on 13-11-13
17 - Russia v United States on 15-11-13
15 - Brazil v Russia on 16-11-13
14 - Russia v Japan on 12-11-13

Top Team-Serving Performances
11 - Japan v Russia on 12-11-13

Highest Scoring Sets
29-27 Japan v Thailand (2nd Set) on 15-11-13
29-27 Japan v Dominican Republic (3rd Set) on 16-11-13
28-26 Russia v Japan (2nd Set) on 12-11-13
27-25 United States v Thailand (2nd Set) on 16-11-13

Highest Scoring Matches
211 – United States v Thailand 3-2 (13-25, 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13) on 16-11-13
210 - United States d Russia 3-2 (16-25, 25-22, 25-19, 24-26, 15-13) on 15-11-13






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