2017 FIVB VOLLEYBALL WORLD GRAND PRIX – Pool D1
- Group 1
- July 14 – July 16
- FIVB World Grand Prix Round 1
- Sendai, Japan
- Pool D1
Brazil def. Serbia 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-22)
Japan def. Thailand 3-1 (25-19, 17-25, 25-18. 25-19)
Brazil avenged an earlier loss to Serbia, while Japan held home court on Day 1 of the second weekend of World Grand Prix action in Sendai, Japan.
Brazil 3, Serbia 0
Brazil started the second phase of Grand Prix play, taking down previously undefeated Serbia on Friday, avenging a sweep from last week’s matchup in Turkey.
The Brazilians had to rally from a 23-20 deficit for the Set 1 win, but finished the match in a 3-0 sweep. After scoring six straight to close out the opening stanza, Brazil carried the momentum into Set 2, racing ahead 19-9. Serbia bounced back to take a 17-12 lead in Set 3, but the Brazilians regained the lead at 20-19 and won the match on a Tandara Caixeta kill.
“I’m really satisfied with our match, and with our technique,” Brazilian coach Jose Guimaraes said. “We had a team meeting and analyzed the other team’s strengths. And I think we could learn a lot about those teams as well as ourselves.”
Serbia put down four more kills (44-40), but Brazil outblocked them 14-10, outserved them 6-1 and committed eight less errors (16-8).
“Brazil won today, and very easily too, I can say,” Serbian coach Zoran Terzic said. “The most important reason was that they wanted to win much more than my team. Unfortunately, we didn’t play so well, and our motivation for this game wasn’t on its usual level as it needs to be. Maybe that’s because in our last game against Brazil we won 3-0, just last week in Turkey. And maybe because of this some players thought it would be easy today. But with a team like Brazil you just can’t play them that way. I really think starting from tomorrow we will play much better.
Natalia Pereira paced Brazil with 16 points, all on kills. Caixeta added 10 points, with nine kills and a block. Adenizia Da Silva led the team at the net with seven stuffs, while Ana Beatriz Correa added four blocks.
Ana Bjelica put down 15 points, including 14 on kills, while Brankica Mihajlovic added 11 points, all on kills. Jovana Stevanovic led the Serbian block with four stuffs, while Bianka Busa added three.
Japan 3, Thailand 1
Japan kicked off Week 2 of Grand Prix play with a four-set home victory over Thailand. Neither team allowed the foe more than 20 points in set victories as Japan won all statistical categories.
The Japanese outdid the Thai team offensively (57-52 in kills), on the block (9-7) and from the service line (8-3).
“We had a trouble with Thailand’s speedy combos,” Japanese coach Nakada Kumi said. “Our service, which we worked on in training camp, was better than before. We play Serbia tomorrow, and they play an entirely different style, so we will try to do the best we can against that. This was our first match of the tournament here in Japan, and there was a lot of pressure, and I don’t think we played our best.”
Risa Shinnabe paced Japan with 20 points, including 18 kills, while Sarina Koga (18) and Mai Okumura (12) followed. Koga downed 16 kills and added two blocks, while Okumura managed nine kills, two blocks and an ace. Koyomi Tominada served up eight of the team’s eight aces.
“The tempo of the game was good today, but we made a few simple mistakes,” Thailand captain Pleumjit Thinkaow said. “Japan’s service was really strong, so we couldn’t receive as well as we’d like. We couldn’t play the combination volleyball that we’re used to.”
Ajcharaporn Kongyot (15), Thinkaow (11) and Wilavan Apinyapong (11) each scored in double figures for Thailand. Each turned in 11 kills. Kongyot added four stuffs.