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Brazil edge Germany in four sets
Brazil picked up their second win in Pool C in the Preliminary Round of the 2011 World Grand Prix on Saturday, overcoming Germany 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-15, 25-23).
Sheilla Castro of Brazil was the top scorer in the match with 21 points, followed by Paula Pequeno with 16. Four German players managed to score in double figures, with Margareta Kozuch picking up 16 points.
Brazil outblocked Germany 13-7 and outserved them 8-6.
The first set was a close affair, but at 18-18 Paula and Fabiana Claudino struck to put Brazil in the driving seat. Germany had put on a good show, notably from Heike Beier and Kozuch, but poor service reception and defensive errors proved their undoing.
In the second set, it was Brazil's defense that fell apart, with poor blocking and organization, allowing Germany to take the initiative. Natalia Pereira kept Brazil in the set for a while, but good serving and blocking by Germany gave them the upper hand. Brazil fought back strongly to within a point at 24-23, before Kozuch landed a hit from the back to level the set score at one apiece.
Brazil adjusted their tactics and came out fighting in the third set. Kozuch and Sheilla kept the pot boiling early on, but Brazil started to dominate through strong serves, blocks and effective attacks, led Paula and Fabiana, while Germany started to suffer from poor defense and errors.
Things turned around again at the start of the fourth set, with Germany's strong organizational power initiating a mild Brazilian collapse. But the Brazlians rallied to 17-17 and forged ahead behind superior blocking and offense, which also led to unforced errors by Germany who were unable to stop Brazil claiming victory.