|Brazil clinches Group F with victory over United States |
Nagoya, Japan, November 10, 2010 – Brazil downed the United States in four sets (25-19, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23 on the final day of second-round Pool F play at Nippon Gaishi Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
The victory clinched the group for the South Americans. The top-ranked Brazilians entered the match having not lost once in the entire tournament. The third-ranked U.S. had suffered only one defeat (to Italy on Sunday).
Despite being unbeaten, Brazil had not a single player in the top 10 in scoring coming into the contest with the U.S., a testament to the balance of it squad.
Jaqueline, Natalia and Sheilla led the offense for Brazil. Jaqueline finished with 18 points all via spikes while Natalia and Sheila each compiled 15 points. Thaisa Menezes contributed 14 points including five blocks and Fabiana added four blocks among her 8 points.
Destinee Hooker showed the way for the U.S. with 20 points while Jordan Larson and Logan Tom had 15 and 10 respectively.
Natalia scored several early points to give Brazil the upper hand in the first set, but the U.S. hung in with strong defense at the net from Heather Bown and Foluke Akinradewo. The U.S. led 16-15 at the second TTO, passing the ball well and setting up Hooker for some powerful spikes. American Libero Stacy Sykora made a great save with one hand near the back edge of the court and the U.S. took the point to equalize 17-17. A wicked spike from Natalia gave Brazil a 20-17 lead, but the U.S. responded with two straight points. The Brazilians continued to display outstanding teamwork and closed out the set 25-19 on a spike by Jaqueline.
The U.S. took a 9-5 lead in the second set with good serving and passing, but Brazil kept working the ball to Jaqueline on the attack and soon tied it 10-10. Brazil libero Fabi kept several balls in play in the set as the U.S. turned up the pressure on offense. A good rally ended with a spike by Jordan Larson that put the U.S. up 19-15, but the score quickly got close again. Logan Tom misplayed a serve and Jacqueline delivered another spike to knot the set 21-21. Brazil went up 23-21 on a spike by Natalia, but the U.S. fought back to take the lead. A block by Akinradewo gave the U.S. set point at 24-23. A U.S. miscue made it 24-24, but a spike from Akinradewo and a long spike by Natalia gave the U.S. set 26-24.
A spike by Thaisa gave Brazil an 8-6 edge at the first TTO in the third set. The South Americans boosted their lead to 16-9 again with smooth passing and fine receiving.It was 19-12 after Thaisa blocked a Hooker spike at the net, and Brazil took the set 25-19 on a poor serve by Hooker.
The U.S. established a 7-3 lead in the fourth set, capitalizing on some Brazilian miscues. But Brazil tied it 9-9 on a superb serve by Fabiola that changed direction and hit the ground without being touched. The Americans responded with four straight points to go up 13-9, but Brazil surged again with five of its own, punctuated by another Jacqueline spike and went up 14-13. The sides went back and forth before the U.S. went up 21-20 after winning an extended rally on a Tom spike. Brazil then rose up once more and surged to close it out on its second match point 25-23.
This was the 36th all-time meeting between the countries. Brazil leads the series 20-16.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS