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USA win World Grand Prix Title with Sweep of Brazil

 
Omaha, USA, July 25, 2015 – The United States captured their sixth FIVB World Grand Prix title as they defeated Brazil 25-16, 25-22, 25-21 in a battle of top two ranked teams in the world on Saturday evening in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. 

Christa Dietzen sparked the American offense with 14 points including seven blocks, while Karsta Lowe contributed 12 points. Brazil was led by Monique Marinho Pavao with 12 points and Ana Carolina Da Silva added nine points. USA out-blocked Brazil 10-5.

USA, also the reigning FIVB World Champions, improved to 4-0 in the Finals and have a two-match lead over a trio of teams – Brazil, China and Russia – all at 2-2. USA become the first Finals Round host to win the World Grand Prix in the 23-year history of the event.

The Americans, which claim the $200,000 Final Round top prize, conclude the Finals on Sunday against China, while Brazil take on Italy. Brazil had won the last two World Grand Prix titles and were aiming for their 11th title overall.

USA scored the first three points of the match with kills from Dietzen and Lowe followed by a Kreklow ace, but the lead evaporated quickly with Brazil scoring the next three points. Akinradewo won a joust at the net and Hill blasted an attack to give the Americans a four-point cushion at 11-7 with four straight points. Monique cut the deficit in half at 11-9 following an ace. After Brazil closed to 13-12, Dietzen answered with two blocks and Lowe hit a kill off the block to push the American lead to 16-12. Out of the block, Dietzen added another block to extend the margin to 17-12. Hill scored two points to jump the USA to set points 24-16, then Akinradewo ended the 6-0 run with an ace at 25-16.

Brazil scored four unanswered points to move to a 4-1 advantage in the second set. Gabi rejected a USA attack to increase Brazil lead to 8-3 at the first technical timeout. The American chipped three points off the deficit at 9-7 following kills from Robinson and Hill and a Brazil attack error. Monique stopped the run with a kill and ace putting Brazil back up by four at 11-7, but USA answered with a Hill kill and Brazil attack error at 11-9. USA tied the set at 13-all as Lowe did the damage. Team USA took the lead at 17-16 on a Brazil error following an Akinradewo kill. Monique served an ace off the net to reverse the lead back to Brazil at 18-17. The lead was short-lived as Dietzen tapped an overpass for a point giving the USA a 19-18 lead. Out of a Brazil timeout, Hill swung hard for a kill at 20-18 on a 3-0 American run. Lowe capped the set victory with an ace at 25-22.

Robinson and Lowe scored consecutive blocks and Brazil hit wide twice to lift the Americans in front 6-3 after trailing 3-1. Carol followed a Monique kill with consecutive aces to square the set at 6-all. Akinradewo served an ace after a kill, which was followed by kills from Hill and Lowe to push USA in front 13-9. Lowe blocked Brazil out of the second technical timeout to increase the USA lead to 17-12. Juciely served an ace and Roberta scored a block to trim the American lead to 19-17. Brazil tied the set at 21-all with a Carolina block and USA attack error. Dietzen answered with a block and kill to shift the lead to USA at 23-21. USA reached championship point 24-21 on a Brazil error. Lowe finished the match with a kill at 25-21, the fourth straight USA point.

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