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USA, Russia and Brazil claim spots on the World Grand Prix podium

 
Omaha, USA, July 26, 2015 – Although the last day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals seemed a bit anti-climactic with the United States having clinched the title the previous day, Sunday did not go without drama and excitement in Omaha as four teams battled to reach the silver and bronze podium spots.

As four teams entered the final day 2-2, Russia came away with the silver medal after defeating Japan and Brazil claimed the bronze on a day they defeated Italy.

The USA gave their home fans plenty to cheer about Sunday as they defeated China 25-23, 25-19, 25-18. Karsta Lowe sparked the American offense with 17 points, while Megan Easy added 13 points in her first start of the Final round. China’s Liu Yanhan scored a team-best 16 points, while Xiaotong Liu totaled nine points. USA held a 7-3 block advantage.

The USA, the first team to win the World Grand Prix immediately after winning the FIVB World Championship, finished the tournament 5-0 and with their sixth overall event gold medal. The Americans are also the first team to win the World Grand Prix on home soil. China, which was battling for a medal, ended the tournament 2-3 and off the podium.

Russia, battling for a spot on the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals Round podium, swept Japan 25-11, 25-19, 25-18 in the last match. Nataliya Goncharova, the leading scorer in the tournament, ended the match with 23 points and Yana Shcherban contributed 13 points. Japan’s Saori Sakoda scored a team-high 11 points, while Sarina Koga added eight points. Russia out-blocked Japan 9-3.

Russia ended the tournament 3-2 and with the silver medal, while Japan was winless in five matches of the six-team round-robin event.

Brazil out-lasted Italy 25-18, 25-27, 30-28, 25-18. Juciely Cristina Barreto sparked Brazil with 21 points and Ana Carolina Da Silva chipped in 17 points. Valentina Diouf led Italy with 21 points and teammate Caterina Bosetti charted 18 points coming on the bench. Italy out-blocked Brazil 18-13, but 24 Italian errors were too much to overcome.

This year’s tournament marks the first time since 2007 that Brazil did not get gold or silver. Brazil have won either gold (2008, 2009, 2013, 2014) or silver (2010-2012) in the previous seven editions.

2015 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round Standings
Gold – USA
Silver – Russia
Bronze – Brazil
4th – China
5th – Italy
6th – Japan 

Top scoring performances
29 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs USA (July 24)
28 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs Italy (July 22)
27 – Saori Sakoda of Japan vs Italy (July 25)
25 – Indre Sorokaite of Italy vs China (July 24)
24 – Yurie Nabeya of Japan vs Italy (July 25)
24 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs Brazil (July 23)
23 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs Japan (July 26)
22 – Karsta Lowe of USA vs Russia (July 24)

Top scoring performances by team
123 – Italy vs Japan (July 25)
121 – Japan vs Italy (July 25)
109 – Italy vs China (July 24)
105 – Brazil vs Italy (July 26)
98 – Brazil vs China (July 22)
95 – China vs Italy (July 25)
95 – USA vs Russia (July 24)

Top blocking performances
8 – Natilya Goncharova of Russia vs Brazil (July 23)
8 – Juciely Cristina Barreto of Brazil vs Japan (July 24)
7 – Christa Dietzen of USA vs Brazil (July 25)
7 – Juciely Cristina Barreto of Brazil vs China (July 22)
7 – Martina Guiggi of Italy vs Japan (July 25)

Top blocking performances by team
18 – Italy vs Japan (July 25)
18 – Italy vs Brazil (July 26)
15 – Brazil vs Japan (July 24)
15 – Italy vs China (July 25)
14 – Brazil vs China (July 22)
13 – Italy vs USA (July 23)
13 – Brazil vs Italy (July 26)

Top serving performances
4 – Danielle Lins of Brazil vs China (July 22)
4 – Indre Sorokaite of Italy vs China (July 25)
4 – Wang Yunlu of China vs Italy (July 25)

Top serving performances by team
11 – Brazil vs China (July 22)
11 – Italy vs China (July 25)

Highest scorer by day
Day 1: 28 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs Italy (July 22)
Day 2: 24 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs Brazil (July 23) 
Day 3: 29 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs USA (July 24)
Day 4: 27 – Saori Sakoda of Japan vs Italy (July 25)
Day 5: 23 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia vs Japan (July 26)

Highest set score
Day 1: Russia vs Italy, 28-26 (July 22)
Day 2: Russia vs Brazil, 28-26 (July 23)
Day 3: Brazil vs Japan, 25-23 (July 24)
Day 4: Japan vs Italy, 30-28 (July 25)
Day 5: Brazil vs Italy, 30-28 (July 26)

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