China, Serbia head standings on Day 4 of World Grand Prix
Japan and Brazil also remained undefeated but Japan dropped their first point after having to come from behind to defeat Germany 3-2. Brazil also had to come from behind in their 3-1 victory over the Dominican Republic in Puerto Rico and are level with Japan on 11 points.
At the other end of the table, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Algeria lost their fourth straight matches. Poland defeated Kazakhstan 3-0; Bulgaria cruised past Puerto Rico 3-0; Cuba managed to win their first set of the tournament but still lost 3-1 to Thailand; and Algeria failed to pick up their first set as they lost 3-0 to defending champions USA.
In other matches on Friday, last year’s bronze medallists Turkey overcame Argentina 3-1 in a match that featured a 70-point third set, while Russia edged Italy 3-1.
China needed little more than an hour to roll past World Grand Prix debutants the Czech Republic 25-14, 25-17, 25-13 in Hong Kong, making just eight errors in the match and dominating in blocking (12-5) and serving (7-2).
Serbia needed the same amount of time to dispose of the Netherlands 25-18, 25-16, 25-21 on home turf in Belgrade. “Serbia played better on all levels,” Dutch captain Maret Grothues admitted. “But this was not us today; normally we play much better.”
Saturday’s marquee match-ups include two big games in Mayaguez: Brazil (4-0) will be up against Bulgaria (3-1) and there is an all-Caribbean clash when hosts Puerto Rico face neighbours the Dominican Republic.
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LIVE SCOREBOX | WEEK 2
32 – Zhu Ting of China v Netherlands (August 4)
31 – Tatyana Mudritskaya of Kazakhstan v Argentina (August 4)
28 – Bethania De La Cruz of Dominican Republic v Czech Republic (August 4)
27 – Miyu Nagaoka of Japan v Germany (August 9)
25 – Bethania De La Cruz of Dominican Republic v Brazil (August 9)
25 – Gabriela Guimaraes of Brazil v Dominican Republic (August 9)
25 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia v Brazil (August 3)
7 – Cristina
Barreto of Brazil v Poland (August 2)
17 – Italy v Germany (August 4)
17 – Brazil v
Poland (August 2)
16 – Serbia v Puerto Rico (August 4)
16 – Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico (August 3)
16 – Brazil v Russia (August 3)
11 – China v Cuba (August 3)
10 – Germany v Argentina (August 3)
10 – Serbia v Czech Republic (August 3)
Week 2: Miyu Nagaoka of Japan, 27 v Germany (August 9)
Japan v Turkey, 30-28 (August 4)
Week 2: Argentina v Turkey, 36-34, (August 9)
Week 2: Japan v Germany, 3-2 (18-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-12) – 207 points