Omaha, USA, July 24, 2015 – In their debut as hosts of the FIVB World Grand Prix, the United States is making an impression on the other five teams that they are hosting in Omaha, Nebraska.
In its 23rd edition, the World Grand Prix is being contested in the America’s for the first time. Asian countries have hosted the event 19 times, while Italy has hosted it three times.
“I like the team and all the fans that are coming,” Brazil’s Monique Marinho Pavao said. “They are cheering for USA and all the other teams. This has been a really good experience for me.”
Monique is not new to playing in the USA. Brazil came to the United States in 2014 and played the USA squad in a four-match series that included matches in Southern California and Hawaii.
Brazil, through three matches of the World Grand Prix Finals, are 2-1 and still feel they have a chance to win a third consecutive gold medal in the event. But they will need to go through USA on Saturday and Italy on Sunday.
The USA and Brazil have a long rivalry that includes meetings in the last two Olympic Games gold-medal matches with the South Americans coming away as winners both times. Yet, these World Grand Prix matches in the USA are a part of the journey to Rio for Brazil.
“It has been really good,” Monique said about the lessons learned in Omaha during the World Grand Prix. “I have been learning a lot from this tournament. It has been a really good experience and will be useful getting ready for the Olympic Games.”