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USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil

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USA moved a step closer to retaining their title achieved at home in Omaha last year when the world No.1 pulled off a pulsating straight-set 25-20 25-23 25-14 victory over Russia to go up against Brazil in the final showdown of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Wo

In their 24 matches contested at the World Grand Prix, USA and Russia shared 12 wins and 12 loss. The sensational win in this match has improved the USA’s win-loss record to 13-12. Kimberly Hill scored a match-high 17 points including 11 kills and five blocks for USA. Jordan Larson added 12 points on attacks, while Adams Rachael assisted with four points on blocks. Nataliya Goncharova led Russia with 14 points.
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil
USA opened up strongly in the opener, with Kimberly Hill and Jordan Larson unleashing powerful attacks. Russia hit back, mixing the Nataliya Goncharova’s aggressive spikes with scintillating blocking by Irina Fetisova and Goncharova. However, it was USA which continued their fine form to clinch the first set 25-20.
USA still had several star spikers In the ranks in the second set, with Karsta Lowe, Hill and Larson puncturing the Russian defence with their great attacks. Russia upped their tempo, but USA played more consistently to take the narrow 24-23 lead before Alisha Glass dropped effectively to help USA win the thrilling set 25-23.
The third set became a one-sided battle as USA led from the beginning to the end and won the comfortable set 25-14, match and a berth to challenge Brazil in the final showdown.
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil
Earlier, Brazil powered their ways to the final of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix after brushing off Netherlands 3-0 (25-18 25-16 25-23) in the semi-finals.
With the convincing win, Brazil have advanced to play their 15th final of the World Grand Prix, 10 of which they reigned supreme. Brazil have stretched their win-loss record against Netherlands to 12-1. Natalia Pereira led Brazil with 13 points in this match including nine kills and four stuff blocks and Fernanda Rodrigues added 10 on attacks. Celeste Plak top scored with 10 points for Netherlands, nine of them through attacks from 21 attempts.
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil
Aiming for their second win over Brazil, Netherlands challenged the defending Olympic champions seriously from the beginning of the first set. Both sides traded points and struggled to keep the lead, but Brazil had more individual talents in the team. With Fabiana Claudino and Fernanda Rodrigues producing well-placed serves and Thaisa Menezes and Natalia Pereira scoring through their attacks, Brazil snatched the first set 25-18.
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil
Brazil still put on a great show in the second set. Natalia and Rodrigues let loose their explosive spikes, while Netherlands regained their composure. Lonnie Slowejes and Anne Bujis stepped up to the challenge, but Brazil kept the match alive. After coming up with combination attacks, Brazil closed the comfortable set 25-16.
Netherlands took command initially in the third set to lead all the way. Brazil gradually clawed their ways back, with Natalia overcoming the Dutch blockers with sharp crosscourt attacks. Brazil captured the set 25-23, match and a final berth. 
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil
Brazil coach Jose Roberto Lages Guimaraes commented after the match,  “I’m very proud of my team. We really played a good match especially in the first two sets. We made a lot of mistakes on reception in the beginning of the third set. It’s very important for us to make it to the finals. Now, we have to wait for the match between USA and Russia. The World Grand Prix tournament is very important for us to prepare us for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil
Captain Claudino Fabiana added: “I’m glad that we won because we had good teamwork today. I think our team has become stronger and better.”
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil
On Sunday, Thailand will take on World Cup champions China at 12pm, followed by the third-place playoff between the Netherlands and Russia at 3pm and the final showdown between Brazil and defending champions USA at 6pm.
USA demolish Russia to set up 2016 WGP final clash against Brazil

Photo credit: FIVB

Published : July 09, 2016

By : Preechachan Wiriyanupappong T