World Grand Prix Finals: Russia, Brazil and Japan win matches on Day 2
Belgium had ace attacker Lise Van Hecke, who was the top scorer in the Preliminary Round, back in their lineup after she missed the first day with a knee injury. This was not enough to unsettle Russia, however, who thanks - in part - to some great blocking, were able to win the match in straight sets.
Brazil were in equally confident mood against the Chinese, winning their match in three sets. China were playing catch-up in the first set. Scores stayed level for longer in the second set, before Brazil took control again in the third.
The third match of the day was also decided in three sets, with Japan dominant all the way through their encounter with Turkey. The Turkey team were only the shadow of the team which defeated Brazil on Wednesday.
• Russia are now 1-1; Belgium are 0-2.
• Russia had 15 blocking points to Belgium’s five.
• Belgium made 21 errors; Russia made 12.
• Russia's Natalia Malykh was the top scorer in the match with 18 points; Belgium were led by Lise Van Hecke with 15 points.
• It was the first World Grand Prix meeting between Russia and Belgium. Belgium are making their debut in the competition.
• The last meeting between these teams at a major championship came at the 2009 European Championship and Russia won that match in five sets.
• Russia started their Finals campaign with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of hosts Japan; Belgium lost 3-1 to China.
• With 246 points, Lise Van Hecke led all players in scoring in this year's groups.
• Russia are now on 502 won sets, joining Brazil (695), China (614) and USA (511) as the only teams with 500+ sets won in World Grand Prix competition.
• After two match days, Belgium are the only team still awaiting their first points in this year's Finals.
• Jaqueline Carvalho and Ferndando Rodrigues were the top scorers in the match with 15 points each. Liu Xiaotong led China with 13 points followed by captain Zeng Chunlei.
• Brazil had eight blocking points to China’s four and led 4-3 in serving.
• The two sides had met on 33 previous occasions in the World Grand Prix with Brazil winning 23 of those meetings and China 10.
• Brazil have now won each of their last 11 encounters against China in the competition, dating back to a 3-2 defeat in China in June 2008.
• The last time China recorded a World Grand Prix victory against Brazil in a match outside China was in July 2005 in Sendai, Japan.
• Brazil started their Finals campaign with a 3-2 defeat against Turkey. It was their first defeat in the World Grand Prix this season and their first in the competition since August 10, 2013 (3-1 v Bulgaria).
• Last season, Brazil won all of their five matches in the Finals. In 2012, they started with a defeat before reeling off four straight wins and finishing runners-up in the competition.
• China started off their Finals campaign by defeating Belgium 3-1 on Wednesday.
• Last season, China started the Finals with four successive victories before losing against Brazil.
• China have now lost 100 matches in World Grand Prix history (272 matches). They are the fourth nation to reach 100 World Grand Prix defeats.
• Brazil beat China 3-0 to record their eighth straight set victory in this year's World Grand Prix, the most of all teams. Belgium have recorded seven 3-0 wins in the World Grand Prix so far this year.
• Brazil are now ranked second in the standings with four points from two matches. They will face bottom ranked Belgium on Friday.
• Saori Kimura and Yuki Ishii led Japan with 14 points each; Turkey’s top scorer was Neriman Ozsoy with 11 points.
• Japan had seven block points to Turkey’s nine. Japan outserved Turkey 6-2.
• Japan now have a 2-0 record; Turkey are 1-1. Japan are the only team with six points from their first two matches in this year's Finals.
• The two sides have now met six times in the World Grand Prix with both winning three times.
• Turkey triumphed 3-0 in Ankara on August 1.
• Japan started their Finals campaign with a 3-1 victory over Russia.
• Japan have now won six in a row in the World Grand Prix, their longest winning streak in the competition since posting seven successive victories in 2012-2013.
• Turkey started their Finals campaign by beating Brazil 3-2, thereby ending an 18-match winning streak by the reigning champions in the World Grand Prix.
• Turkey had played 33 World Grand Prix matches since last losing in straight sets.
OTHER VOLLEYBALL NEWS