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Brazilian middles key to straight sets win over Italy

Brazilian attackers show their supremacy with a straight sets win over Italy
Macau, China, August 24, 2011 – Brazil showed that they are still the team to beat at the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix on Wednesday as they swept past Italy 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-17) in Pool B of round robin play in Macau, China as the first day continued. 

Brazil capitalized on their middle hitting early on as their well-placed attacks dislodged the Italians to set-up their floor defense. It was then followed by a bombardment of attacks from the wings which the Italians failed to stop.

2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
August 5-28

The Italians made adjustments on their attacking strategy and were successful in their attempts to cut down the Brazilian lead to just three points after the first TTO. However, Thaisa Menezes and Fabiana Claudino combined efforts to nullify the Italian threat and quickly brought Brazil back into the game to take the first set. 

Simona Gioli steered Italy back into the match yet again in the second but Brazil seemed to have an answer for everything. Brazil found seams on the Italian side of the court and hit on these areas with ease. Sheilla Castro joined Fabiana and Thaisa in the Brazilian attacking spree, racking up points for the South American team through spectacular hits from the opposite side in the second set.

Brazil continued with their excellent blocking and middle hitting game in the last set, an aspect of their game that was key to victory. Brazil’s impenetrable back court defense allowed them to set-up their play and retaliate against the Italians to clinch the win. They will be hoping for further success throughout the final phase of the premier annual women's tournament as they look to add to their eight titles.

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