An American  brilliance and spontaneity were overwhelmed by Brazil’s defense in the most interesting match of the first Grand Prix weekend. The Olympic Champions beat the USA defending WG trophy after wonderful spectacle. The second game in Campinas was not less thrilling. Poland was overcome by Russia despite the Polish leader, Katarzyna Skowronska, ensured 41 points contribution.

 

 

Brazil – USA 3 – 1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-20)

Brazil: Dani Lins 1, Fe Garay 14, Adenizia 2, Monique 10, Gabi 14, Juciely 12, Brait (L) and Fabiana 8, Sheilla 4, Fabiola, Michelle
USA: A. Glass 2, Hildebrand 11, Gibbemeyer 5, Murphy 11, Hill 16, Harmotto 14, Miashiro (L) and Lichtman, Hagglund, Paoloni 1, Fawcett 5

We had “Gangnam Style” and now we can discover “American Style”. This game toured out to be a battle of two quite styles similar, but how different styles.  Obviously, Brazil is still Brazil regardless the absence of such a players like Jaqueline or Thaisa and still presents very high level . However,  U.S. national  team showed unlimited potential again because the head-coach and legend Karch Kiraly created a new team without Destinee Hooker, Heather Bown or Logan Tom appointing young generation and much less famous players proposing quite brand-new offense solutions, hence today, you could watch the launched a new trend in women’s volleyball. In spite of the failure, USA showed off totally new style, which has not been faced among women so far. Extremely fast sets sent by Alissa Glass to her teammates were really impressive and unusual yet. It was not important, if she has the ball 50 centimeters or 3 meters from the net because she was setting quickly notwithstanding the circumstances. The sets backwards especially to Kelly Murphy made Brazilian middle-blockers confused. Numerous first tempos over several meters symbolize really high class. The only drawback may be a small amount of “pipes”, but you should know take into account Americans played  just three official games in new composition and they need a time for update.  Some people said that USA started to perform as a men’s team. All play systems are the evidence. Is it strange? If you have Karch Kiraly on the bench, you must amaze, but it would be great to win after all.

The match started close, with both attacks having a good performance. An improved defense and fast counterattacks helped USA to take the lead 11-9. Led by the middle-blocker Christa Harmotto, the Americans won the first set 25-17.
USA started the second set still controlling the match thanks to its defense. The away side opened a two-point lead (6-4) and managed it until a great sequence of Brazilian spiker Fernanda Garay on the serve (20-17). Back to the game, Brazil won the set 25-23.

Once again, the Americans had a better start on the third set, jumping ahead 8-6. However, Brazilian defense began to work better, taking the lead 12-9. Opponent errors helped the home side to stay ahead and seal the victory on the set 25-18.

Brazil couldn’t stand the pace in the fourth set and, by committing many errors, let USA open an 11-6 lead. However, the Brazilians got back into the game after a good sequence of captain Fabiana Claudino on the serve (14-14). Then, Kimberly Hill took the law into her own hands giving some safe advantage for USA (16-19). However, it occurred there are any “safe advantages” nowadays and    the home side took the lead and won the set 25-20 and the match taking 8 points in the row (from 16-19 to 24-19).

American spiker Kimberly Hill was the best scorer of the match, with 16 points. Brazilian spikers Gabriela Guimarães and Fernanda Garay topped the home score, with 14 points.

Brazil broke  U.S. fantastic 18 consecutive winning streak in the World Grand Prix.   

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeDigReceptionSets noteUnforced Errors
Brazil5640%816544%4.7521
USA5239%1035732%927

 

Leaders Stats:

Actions/PlayersPointsSpike pointsSpike %Spike errorsBlockServeUnforced Errors
Fernanda Garay141132%4216
Kimberly Hill161338%6126

 

World Grand Prix 

Russia – Poland 3 – 2 (25-21, 22-25, 29-27, 28-30, 15-13)

Russia: Matienko 5, Chaplina 13, Shlyakhovaya 14, Obmochaeva 20, Kosheleva 9, Zaryazhko 16, Malova (L) and Pasynkova 8, Pankova 1, Malykh 5
Poland: Radecka 5, Skowronska 41, Kakolewska 12, Kaczor 12, Rozycka 10, Efimienko 8, Maj (L) and Sieczka 1, Tokarska , Wolosz, Konieczna 5

Russia started strongly but Poland kept the score close. In the end of the set the “White and reds” gained a significant five points advantage and controlled maintained it until 14-19. The Poles lost all offence arguments, moreover, reception faults what helped the Russians rebirth and improved their level to win the first set 25-21.

The second set started really even again. However, this time, Poland jumped ahead in the end and closed the set with 25-22.  The outside-spiker Skowronska shined with powerful spikes and 10 points.

Russia took an early lead and went to the second technical time out with a four points lead (16-12).  The end of the set was dramatic but Russia, with a block, took the set with 29-27.

After the third set, all fans, players and coaches could feel like in the movie “In darkness” because  the lamp in the hall in Campinas have failed. But after about 30 minutes, Poland started better in the fourth part and open five (10-5). Russia improved their game and took the lead in the second technical time out 16-14.In a dramatic ending, Poland won the set with 30-28.  

Russia got back really strong in the fifth set and won the set with 15-13 and the game 3-2.

 

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeDigReceptionSets noteUnforced Errors
Russia6743%1676730%5.219
Poland7341%1867429%5.628

 

Team Leaders:

Actions/PlayersPointsSpike pointsSpike %Spike errorsBlockServeUnforced Errors
Nataliya Obmochaeva202041%7007
Katarzyna Skowronska413546%116015