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Brazil narrowly edges out USA in three close sets

Mauricio Borges Almeida Silva led Brazil in a tough win over the USA as he recorded 13 points
Kyoto, Japan, November 20, 2013 - Both Brazil and the USA were winners on day one of the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Grand Champions Cup in Kyoto, with victories over Iran and Japan respectively. Going into this match, the two teams had faced each other 64 times in international play, with Brazil winning 40 of those contests, most recently with a 3–0 World League victory in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil would win this game as well, but it was a terrific struggle, taking the match 3–0 (31–29, 25–23, 25–23).

Leading Brazil in scoring in this match was Mauricio Borges Almeida Silva with 13 points, supported by Wallace De Souza with 12. For the USA, it was Matthew Anderson again leading the way, with 17 scores in a losing effort.

Brazil pressured the USA with aggressive serving to start what would be an epic first set, edging ahead 10–6 with Ricardo Lucarelli and Mauricio performing well. The USA would rally close, but Matt Anderson had difficulty finding his rhythm against the Brazilian blockers, his errant spike giving the South Americans a 20–16 advantage. Sean Rooney compensated on the right side, but Brazil moved ahead late to grab set point 24–22. But the Americans didn’t go without a fight, turning away five set points by the Brazilians, with Kawika Shoji defending well. But it was Brazil’s Wallace who stepped up for his side, with a kill to deny the USA’s second set point, and another to give them the advantage they needed to close, 31–29, one set to zero.

The teams were equally close through the second, exchanging points until they reached 9–9. But the USA would take seven of the next nine points to make it 16–11 at the second TTO, led by Reid Priddy and Micah Christenson who were serving well, each with an ace. Brazil rallied back to tie at 20–20, with a stunning block by Evandro Guerra off the bench on Anderson on the wing. Sidão gave Brazil set point 24–23 with a hard block on Rooney, and that led to a score by the captain, Bruno Mossa Rezende, after a wonderful get by Mario Da Silva Pedreira Junior. Rezende then leaped joyously into Mario’s arms to celebrate having taken two difficult sets from the tough Americans.

Both sides showed signs of fatigue early in the third, with a number of errors on both sides, as they edged out together to 10–10. Brazil held a 16–14 lead at the second TTO, and held a slim lead until Anderson drew the USA even with a kill, and then ahead 23–22 with a block stuff. But Brazil’s Lucarelli would have his revenge, putting a block of his own on Anderson on match point to give another hard fought set to Brazil, 25–23, and the match 3–0.


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