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Brazil raise record to 3-1 with victory over Russia

Castro Sheilla of Brazil goes on the attack against Russia
 Tokyo, Japan, August 23, 2014 – Brazil defeated Russia 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-20) on the fourth day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Saturday.

Key points:

Brazil improved to 3-1; Russia fell to 2-2.

Fabiana Claudino was the top scorer for Brazil with 17 points; Tatiana Kosheleva led Russia with 18 points. Brazil outscored Russia in blocking points 16-8, with Thaisa Menezes getting six.

It was the 27th meeting between the two teams in the World Grand Prix. Brazil have now won 16 matches to Russia’s 11.

Brazil have won the last five meetings, the first time they have beaten Russia five times in a row. 

Brazil won their last encounter in straight sets in this season's Preliminary Round. It’s the first time they have beaten Russia in straight sets in consecutive World Grand Prix matches. 

Brazil have won eight of their last nine Finals matches in straight sets. 

Russia weren’t in the match at the beginning. Sheilla Castro sent down two kills, Thaisa Menezes served two aces and the Russians were blocked twice, putting Brazil 6-1 up and forcing Russia coach Yury Marichev to call a timeout. Nataliya Goncharova helped steady the Russian ship with a couple of decent hits, while Brazil also failed to deal with two serves by Tatiana Kosheleva as the Russians closed the gap to 9-8. Blocks by Dani Lins and Thaisa set Brazil on another run and they were seven points ahead at the second TTO. Russia offered little resistance after that and Brazil reeled off the last four points – including an ace by Sheilla – to go 1-0 ahead. 

Russia offered more resistance at the start of the second set, although they weren’t helped by planting their first two serves into the net. Goncharova delivered two kills and a block, but Fabiana Claudino and Jaqueline Carvalho kept Brazil in front and the Brazilians led by three at the first TTO. Thaisa came up with a pair of blocks and a thumping spike to extend Brazil’s lead to five points at 12-7, when Marichev called a timeout. Another ace by Sheilla and good blocks by Fabiana and Ferndanda Rodrigues saw Brazil to a six-point lead at the second TTO. Kosheleva came up with a massive hit and a block on Fabiana as Russia dug in in the final phase. Brazil coach Ze Roberto called a timeout when they closed to 23-20, but a block by Fabiana on Kosheleva and a nice thump by Tandara Caixeta put the Brazilians 2-0 up. 

Sheilla, Thaisa, Fernanda and Jaqueline shared the attacking points at the start of the third set and Sheilla finished off the first phase of the set with another ace that put Brazil 8-2 ahead. At times, Russia threatened to go on a long run, but they couldn’t sustain their form long enough to give Brazil any major problems in the second phase and Brazil were three points ahead at the second TTO. Brazil went off the boil after the break and Russia closed to within a point at 17-16 and again at 18-17 – both times through Kosheleva – but a netted shot by Goncharova helped Brazil extend their lead to three points again. Matchpoint came with a block by Fabiana on Goncharova and a Ferndanda shot ended the match.


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