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Brazil down USA in five-setter to clinch World Grand Prix title

 
Bangkok, Thailand, July 10, 2016 - Brazil reclaimed the World Grand Prix title after a 3-2 (18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 22-25, 15-9) win over defending champions USA in the final of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix at Indoor Stadium Huamark on Sunday.


Fabiana Claudino led Brazil with 18 points, including 17 attacks, while Foluke Akinradewo tallied 19 points for USA. 

USA and Brazil fielded a strong starting line-up in the first set, but it was the USA scoring tandem of Kimberly Hill and Akinradewo that succeeded. USA seized the opening set win 25-18.

In the second set, Hill struggled on offence as USA encountered some difficulties on their passing, while the Brazilians capitalised on scoring crucial points through Sheilla Castro’s powerful spikes from the flanks and Fabiana’s quick spikes. Brazil levelled at 1-1 with a 25-17 second set victory. Brazil took the lead early in the third set but USA managed to decrease the margin to two points at 23-21, then by a single point at 24-23. Thaisa Menezes’ strong spike was called in favour of USA but the Brazilians called a challenge for block touch and succeeded to snare the tight set-victory 25-23.

Hill put USA back on track, but Brazil had a scoring frenzy that tied the score at 20-all in the fourth set. USA were more consistent in their plays that allowed them to secure the fourth set at 25-22 and extend the match to tie-break.

Brazil switched to dominant form in the decider, while USA slowed down on their offence. Brazil maintained a comfortable lead until Fabiana’s spike gave Brazil a 14-8 advantage. Sheilla committed a service error and rewarded USA with a point, but in the next play, Fabiana ensured the championship point with a strong swing 15-9.


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