Brazil downs U.S. at world championships

November 4th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Brazil downs U.S. at world championships

Associated Press

TOKYO, Japan - Tournament favorite Brazil beat the United States in straight sets Saturday to continue its unbeaten run at the world volleyball championships.
The Brazilians, who clinched their fourth successive World Grand Prix in September, won 25-23, 25-21, 25-13 to hand the sixth-ranked United States its first defeat this tournament.
Russia beat Olympic champion China 20-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-12 in a rematch of the Athens final. Russia, the World Grand Prix runner-up, improved to 4-0, while China dropped to 1-3.
Brazil, the United States, Russia and China have already qualified for the second round, along with Taiwan, Poland and Serbia-Montenegro.
Brazil coach Ze Roberto said he was surprised by the lack of resistance from the Americans.
"We expected it to be a 3-2 match today and a close game ... looking back at past matches between us, I don't remember a 3-0 match," Roberto said. "The first two sets were close, but overall we had some great plays and I'm really satisfied with the result today."
Sheilla Castro led Brazil with 20 points.
Serbia-Montenegro continued its unbeaten run with a 25-9, 25-13, 25-15 win over Egypt, while Costa Rica rallied from two sets down to beat Kenya 19-25, 23-25, 25-16, 32-20, 15-9 and earn its first victory.
Taiwan notched its fourth win and dealt Poland its first loss 25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23.
Defending champion Italy played play Cuba later on Saturday, while host Japan faced rival South Korea.
The tournament involves 24 teams divided into four groups. The top four teams in each group advance to the second round.

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