USA and Brazil make strong start in World Grand Prix Finals


A packed Huamark Stadium for the beginning of the World Grand Prix Finals in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand, July 6, 2016 – The United States and Brazil posted convicing straight-set victories to start off on the right track in the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals, with victories over the Netherlands and hosts Thailand, respectively, at Indoor Stadium Huamark on Wednesday.

USA recorded their first victory in the final round to stay on course for their goal of back-to-back titles in the World Grand Prix. The USA middle blockers dominated and dictated the tempo of the match, while the other players contributed in containing the feisty serves of European side Netherlands. Akinradewo topped all scorers with 16 markers, including 12 spikes, three blocks and an ace; while Lonneke Sloetjes delivered 15 points on a losing effort.

USA have recorded seven successive victories since losing to China on the first week of the preliminary round, while in their latest encounter with the Netherlands, they performed a notch higher than their four-set victory in their previous match in the preliminary round.

Meanwhile, Brazil are also off to a great start, as they got their fourth consecutive victory in the tournament. The South Americans completed a match sweep over hosts Thailand in front a full-packed crowd. Brazil’s Natalia Pereira drilled through the host team’s defence and recorded 20 kills out of 23 points. Thailand’s Ajcharaporn Kongyot top scored for Thailand with 14 points, including 13 attacks and an ace.

On July 7, the Netherlands will try to get back on the winning track but will face tough challengers China, while Russia will try to earn their first victory and steal the limelight from Brazil in the second match.

Top Scorer by Day
23 – Natalia Pereira of Brazil v Thailand on July 6

Top Scoring Performances 
23 – Natalia Pereira of Brazil v Thailand on July 6

Top Individual Serving Performances 
5 – Yvon Belien of Netherlands v USA on July 6

Top Team Serving Performances 
7 – Netherlands v USA on July 6

Top Individual Blocking Performances 
4 – Fernanda Rodrigues of Brazil v Thailand on July 6

Top Team Blocking Performances 
11 – Brazil v Thailand on July 6

Highest Scoring Sets 
26-24 – Brazil v Thailand on July 6

Highest Scoring Matches 
136 – USA v Netherlands 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-23) on July 6


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