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Week 2 delivers World Grand Prix Group 3 finalists

Group 3 Final Four hosts Bulgaria defeated Intercontinental Round Pool S hosts Croatia
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 5, 2014 - Hosts Bulgaria will take on Kazakhstan in the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 3 Final Four after winning their six matches in Intercontinental Round Pools Q and S. The second semifinal will see the Czech Republic - also undefeated in Weeks 1 and 2 - take on Croatia.

The Czech Republic took the lead in Group 3 after winning their six matches - the scorelines of these victories all reading either 3-0 or 3-1. Final Four hosts Bulgaria also won their six matches in the Intercontinental Round, their longest winning streak in World Grand Prix team history.

Bulgaria and the Czech Republic will be joined by Croatia and Kazakhstan in the Group 3 Final Four.

Newcomers Croatia qualified with four wins and two losses to become the first debutants to enter a final of the World Grand Prix from the Intercontinental Round competition format.

Kazakhstan have qualified for their first Final Round in the World Grand Prix at their fifth participation in the competition.

The four Group 3 finalists hosted a pool in the Intercontinental Round.

The Final Four tournament will take place in Samokov, Bulgaria, on August 16 and 17.

Meanwhile, Brazil and the Netherlands emerged as Group 1 and Group 2 leaders, with flawless performances for both teams. Brazil won all their matches in Pool C, while the Netherlands won their first six matches in a World Grand Prix season for only the second time in 11 participations.

Key Points

·      Turkey have won their first three matches for the first time in the World Grand Prix.

·      Russia were on a nine-match winning streak until Turkey snapped it on the third day of Pool A.

·      USA have lost two opening matches for the first time in the World Grand Prix since 2002.

·      Japan are on a seven-match losing streak in the World Grand Prix.

·      Serbia became the sixth European team to record 25 World Grand Prix victories.

·      Kim Yeon-Koung’s 29-point output is the most points by a player in a single World Grand Prix match this season.

·      Germany recorded their fifth straight-set victory over Thailand.

·      Thailand recorded their fifth win in 36 matches against European sides when they beat Serbia.

·      Brazil only dropped one set in their three victories.

·      The Italians’ 3-2 upset of China marked the eighth time in their last nine meetings that went to five sets.

·      China lost four of their 22 opening matches in the competition.

·      Dominican Republic lost all of their first three matches in straight sets – same as Australia in Group 3.

·      After a perfect sets-won record on the first week, Netherlands lost four sets in their two five-set matches.

·      Belgium have four wins that ended in straight sets.

·      Canada are now on one win in 11 total World Grand Prix matches.

·      Argentina now have a win-loss record of 14-1 against European teams.

·      Puerto Rico have now won five World Grand Prix matches, equalling the number of wins in their four previous participations.

·      Poland’s Katarzyna Zaroslinska is the second best scorer in Group 2, behind Belgium’s Lise Van Hecke.

·      Peru recorded their second victory this edition, they now have a total of three wins in the World Grand Prix.

·      Cuba are on their longest losing streak in the World Grand Prix with 20 losses.

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