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 Match info | Description
Brazil escape USA challenge

Sheilla Castro hits against the outstretched arms of USA's Jordan Larson (left) and Heather Bown
Macau, China, August 26, 2011 – Brazil escaped a tough challenge by the Americans in four sets (22-25, 26-24, 25-21, 25-20) to take top spot in Pool B round robin play at the final round of the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix in Macau, China on Friday.  

Natalia Pereira played her best scoring game with 21 points.  

2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
August 5-28

USA got off to a good start with a 6-0 run in the opening set as their defence held off the Brazilian attackers. Brazil failed to get the right breaks as their spikes barely penetrated the USA block. Jordan Larson, Logan Tom and Destinee Hooker were, as usual, lethal in attack for USA. But Brazil bounced back and led by Sheilla Castro and a number of young players the side demonstrated better movement in defence and rejuvenated hitting from Fernanda Rodrigues (F. Garay) and Natalia to cut down the USA lead to within two points at 24-22. Destinee Hooker’s kill finally put away the set in favour of the USA although Brazil appeared to find their rhythm.

Brazil continued their hot streak into the second set taking an exact revenge on USA. Sheilla, Natalia and F. Garay pounded the US block to build a sizable lead for Brazil but the USA came back to within one point at 22-21. USA forced Brazil to a tie at 24-24 until Brazil finally found a break in the form of an attack and a block from Tom’s attack by Sheilla and Thaisa Menezes to even the match with one set apiece.

The third set was much closer as both refused to let the other get the better of them, with long rallies. USA kept Brazil at bay but Brazil managed to get the better of the plays and increased their lead towards the end of the set. Natalia finally put an end to the American challenge with an attack on the left flank.  

Brazil looked determined to finish off the match with a 5-0 run early on in the fourth but Tom easily brought USA back into contention, earning points from her serve. USA made some good runs to stay in the game but Brazil changed their tactics to protect their lead and take the win.  

Even with USA’s loss in the match, both teams have already qualified for the semifinals.


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