Brazil Throws Down Gauntlet for Women’s Volleyball in Rio
Brazil won the final of the Women’s World Volleyball Grand Prix in Bangkok on Sunday July 10, 2016, beating the USA team 3-2 in a 5 set thriller, winning 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 22-25, 15-9.
On the results achieved by both USA and Brazil, so far in the the competition, the Final between these two teams was expected to be hard fought and very close. Although USA played China, 3 times in pool matches, Brazil and USA had not met previously in the entire 64 games of the 2016 competition. This final was their only meeting during the tournament, setting up a confrontation between Brazil, 10 times winners of the competition and the defending champions USA.
In the first set of the Final, USA kept their noses in front from very early in the set pushing ahead to 22-16, 24-18 and taking the set 25-18.
In the 2nd set Brazil did not let USA get ahead, the set stayed very close, within 2 points up to 15-13, but then Brazil pushed ahead, opening up a gap of 6 points to 19-13. USA pulled 2 points back but Brazil were too far ahead, they moved onto 22-17, and onward to take the set 25-17. At that point Brazil had moved into a 43-42 overall points lead.
The 3rd set proceeded very much like the 2nd up to 16-13, then Brazil opened up a gap to 20-15, USA pulled back to within 1 point at 23-22 but Brazil closed out the set 25-23.
With Brazil leading the sets 2-1, and looking to have the match under control, USA started the 4th set well, initially edging ahead to 7-6, USA held their own and opened up a small gap to 12-10, Brazil closed the gap and got their noses in front for the first time in the set at 14-13. But USA pulled back to 15-15. The teams stayed within 1 point of each other through to 22-21, USA then opened a gap and took the set 25-22, setting up a deciding set.
In 15 points 5th set, Brazil had the edge in the early stages and extending their lead to 10-5 before pushing on to take the set 15-9.
Playoff for 3rd Place
Great perseverance by Netherlands gave them an astonishing 3rd place win against Russia.
Netherlands fought back from 2 sets down to take the 3rd game 30-28, then won the 4th game 25-21 and pushed home the victory winning a shortened 5th deciding game 15-9 to take 3rd place overall.
Playoff for 5th place
After a disappointing tournament for China, they finally finished in 5th place earlier in the afternoon by overcoming Thailand 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-12).
No doubt all teams have had an eye on the Olympics whilst competing in this tournament and maybe the China team has been more concerned with preparations for the Olympics. Time will tell in a few weeks in Rio.
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