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USA complete World Grand Prix title hat-trick
World No. 1 the United States beat the host China in straight sets here Sunday evening to claim their third consecutive World Grand Prix title with an amazing unbeaten record.
Having captured gold medals in the annual women’s volleyball event in the last two years, the American women completed their title hat-trick by winning all nine matches in a row in the preliminary rounds and five more in the final round here in Ningbo.
Megan Hodge, who scored 17 points for the United States in their 3-0 win over China, also received the awards of the Most Valuable Player and the Best Scorer.
Beijing Olympic champions Brazil tamed rising European powerhouse Turkey in four sets to finish runners-up to the United States for the third time in three years. The Turkish women, who will make their Olympic Games debut in London in one month, could be satisfied with a bronze on a 3-2 win-loss record in their first journey to the World Grand Prix Finals.
Thailand saw off Cuba 3-0 Sunday afternoon to finish fourth ahead of China in the six-team final round with two wins against three losses while the Cuban side settled for the bottom after losing five matches in a row.
Best spiker: Mendoza Yoana Palacios, Cuba
Best blocker: Thaisa Menezes, Brazil
Best server: Neslihan Darnel, Turkey
Best receiver: Gulden Kayalar, Turkey
Best libero: Zhang Xian, China
Best setter: Tomkom Nootsara, Thailand
Best scorer: Megan Hodge, USA
Most Valuable Player: Megan Hodge, USA