While Brazil, Russia and China fight it out for the minor places, the USA Women’s team has already sealed the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2015 win (the world’s top annual tournament) in the Final Round currently being played in Omaha, Nebraska. This is the 6th time they have won the tournament and is the first team to win the World Grand Prix in the same year as the World Championship.
After finishing 3rd behind Brazil (defending Champions) and China in the preliminary competition, USA has chalked up four straight wins in the six-team round-robin final round while the other top teams Brazil, China and Russia have all faltered. Having already beaten Italy, Japan and Russia, USA beat Brazil 3-0 in last night’s match, to give them a clean sweep so far in the Finals to put them out of reach of the other teams.
China, still to play USA tonight, July 26, in their final matches of the competition, is currently in second place on 7-points while Brazil and Russia are both on 6-points.
Russia plays Italy and Brazil plays Japan in their final matches and although Italy and Japan are likely to put up good performances, Brazil and Russia are expected to win those encounters. That being the case, it would move them both onto 9-points—2-points ahead of China. This possibility will put a lot of pressure on China to win their match against USA to be certain of securing 2nd Place.
In Pool H of Round 3 of the Preliminary Competition, played in Hong Kong last week, China beat USA 3-2. But playing in Omaha, USA will be playing in front of its local supporters, which could make a big difference.
Italy has been playing well in their final round matches, particularly to defeat China 3-2 but they also took a set off USA and may well give Brazil a tough final match.
Tonight’s Matches (July 26)
USA vs China
Italy vs Brazil
Japan vs Russia
Points (with one match remaining)