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Brazil prevail against USA on day one at Nagoya

Veteran Sheilla Castro contributed 8 points in the victory of Brazil and was selected MVP of the match against USA
Nagoya, Japan, November 12, 2013 - Olympic champions Brazil downed the United States 26-24, 26-24, 25-20 in their round-robin match at the FIVB Women's Grand Champions Cup on Tuesday.

In a rematch of the gold medal game at the London Olympics, Brazil held off a strong challenge from the Americans. It was the third victory of the year for the South Americans in head-to-head matches with the Americans.

The first two sets were close, and the U.S. appeared to have the second one in hand, before letting it slip away.

Brazil exhibited strong defense at the net and showed poise under pressure on the key points throughout the contest.

Fernanda Rodrigues and Natalia Pereira paced Brazil in the victory with 13 points each. Veteran Sheilla Castro, selected MVP of the match, chipped in with 8 points. Kelly Murphy scored a match-high 14 points in the loss.

Brazil scored with 10 blocks -three apiece by Adenizia Silva and Fabiola Souza- to 5 by the defeated side. The winners held a 2-0 margin in aces.

A spike by Fabiana Claudino tied the score 4-4 early in the first set. The U.S. took an 8-7 lead into the first TTO on a spike by Alisha Glass.The U.S. went up 10-8 on a spike by Murphy. Brazil moved ahead 11-10 when a spike sailed long. The U.S. retook the lead 14-13 on a spike by Lauren Gibbemeyer. Pereira's spike went wide and the U.S. was up 16-15 at the first TTO.

Brazil moved ahead 17-16 on a reception error by the U.S. A missed spike by Brazil tied it 19-19 and they moved ahead on a spike by Pereira. Late in the first set there were several lengthy rallies that the fans responded to. A reception error moved the Brazilians ahead 22-20 and a spike by Rodrigues put the South Americans within two points of the set. Brazil called a timeout while leading 23-22. Cursty Jackson served into the net for 24-22. The U.S. fought back to equalize 24-24, but Brazil took the set 26-24 on a spike by Rodrigues. Pereira and Rodrigues had five points each in the set. Murphy led the U.S. with six.

Kristin Hildebrand sent a serve long to put Brazil up 5-4 in the second set. A dink by Adenizia Silva sent Brazil into the first TTO with an 8-5 lead. A well-placed serve by Pereira made it 10-7. Hildebrand's dink tied it 12-12. The U.S. scored twice more to lead 14-12 and Brazil called a timeout. Pereira missed a spike at the end of a long rally and the U.S. was on top 16-14 at the second TTO.

Sheila Castro launched a spike wide and the U.S. moved ahead 18-16. Both sides were substituting liberally as the set remained tight. A dink by Castro knotted it 19-19 and the U.S. called a timeout. Tandara Caixeta sent a spike long and the U.S. moved back in front 20-19. Casto tied it at 21-21 with another powerful spike. Jordan Larson-Burbach hammered a spike and the U.S. was two points from taking the set at 23-22. On set point Glass served into the net and it was tied again 24-24. The U.S. then fired a spike long and Brazil claimed the set 26-24 on another unforced error by the U.S.

The U.S. moved out to a 4-3 lead in the third set on a spike by Paolini. The U.S. boosted the margin to 8-4 at the first TTO. Murphy sent a spike long and Brazil pulled within three points at 10-7. The U.S. hit the antenna with a shot and led by just one at 10-9. Castro's spike tied it 12-12. Brazil moved ahead 11-10 when the U.S. had trouble with a reception. U.S. coach Karch Kiraly called a timeout to try and slow the momentum the Brazilians had established. The U.S. tied it 12-12 on an unforced error by Brazil. A fine blcok by Adenizia Silva made it 15-13 for Brazil. The U.S. fired a spike long and Brazil had a 16-13 lead at the second TTO.

Monique Marinho's spike put Brazil up by five at 18-13 as the U.S. scrambled to halt the assault. Silva's block made it 19-14 and Brazil was surging toward the finish line. The U.S. led 13-12, before Brazil reeled off seven straight points. Castro soared for a spike to give Brazil match point at 24-19. Brazil closed out the match on a service error by the U.S.


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