Brazil eased to an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout with a couple of good shots from Gabriela Guimaraes and a nice block from captain Fabiana Claudino. The Olympic champions were 16-8 ahead at the second TTO. Thaisa Menezes ended the set at 25-16 with a kill.
It wasn’t quite so easy in the second set. Early Brazil spiking errors allowed Italy to take a slight lead. At 15-15, Italy opened up a three-point gap. Brazil coach Ze Roberto called a timeout and Brazil fought back to 20-20 when Italian coach Marco Mencarelli called his players off court. A cracking drive by Cristina Barcellini earned Italy set point at 24-23 but then she blew her serve. A Sheilla Castro service point gave Brazil a chance of taking the set and Diouf obliged by sending a spike long.
The Italians didn’t help their cause with some sloppy play early in the third set, sending shots long or into the net, and Brazil cruised to an 8-3 lead at the first TTO. The lead extended to 10-3 and the margin was 10 points at the second TTO. Brazil followed up with three straight blocks and now it was all one-way traffic.
Brazil picked up 14 blocking points to Italy’s four and an impressive 13 service points to Italy’s three. Italy made 15 errors and Brazil nine.
Brazil was led by Thaisa Menezes with 16 points, including five service points. Italy’s top scorer was Valentina Diouf with 13 points.
For more news from this competition, click on World Grand Prix 2013.