World Grand Prix, Pool E: US Ladies Dominate in São Bernardo, Brazil

An even more remarkable feat considering the tough opponents they had to face: Italy, Germany and Brazil! But with 49 points scored by our Hero, who became the best scorer in this Grand Prix after two weeks, there was just no stopping them.

The Americans opened the pool with an impressive 3-0 victory over Italy, while Brazil, supported by an amazing (and amazingly noisy!) crowd, beat Germany 3-1. It should have been an FIVB Heroes meeting, and local Hero Sheilla Castro certainly did her part, scoring a decisive 20 points in her first appearance in the tournament. Margareta Kozuch, however, did not join the festivities, as she felt sick that day and could not make the starting line-up of Germany.

The next day it was Germany that got a taste of American superpower. Not even Maggie Kozuch’s return was enough to stop Destinee Hooker and her teammates scoring another 3-0 victory. In the second match of the day, Brazil won an exciting game against Italy with 16-14 in a tie-break. FIVB Hero Sheilla scored 19 points and was happy with her team’s endurance: “The match today was hard. Our team was inconsistent throughout the meeting. However, we performed better than yesterday. I’m satisfied with the fighting spirit that our group showed in the game”, she said.

On the last day of the weekend, the Brazilian fans threw a real party while their national team faced the USA. But again the Americans proved unstoppable, overcoming a nervous beginning to seal the deal with their third victory, to which Destinee Hooker contributed 19 points. Another FIVB Hero made her mark that day, as a recovered Margareta Kozuch helped Germany to beat Italy 3-0 in their best play so far at the World Grand Prix. The German FIVB Hero was satisfied with the performance: “It was a tough match and I believe that winning the first and the third sets, which were even, was very important. As we lost the first two matches, we were hungry to win now. I am very happy as we finished the week with a good win”.

The teams now make their last adjustments for the final weekend in this first phase and will keep fighting hard to reach the final round to be played in Ningbo, China from 27 June to 1 July.

Which FIVB Heroes will go for gold this year? Stay tuned at www.FIVBheroes.com to find out!