The podium at the FIVB Women’s Grand Champions Cup mimicked exactly the standings at the London Olympics. With a final win over Japan, Brazil cemented themselves as the No. 1 women’s team in the world, taking the gold medal with a 5-0 record. The U.S. took silver with a 4-1 record, their only loss in three to champions Brazil. Japan fell to 3-2 following the final match with Brazil, earning the team a bronze medal finish.
Brazil collected 17 blocks to Japan’s two in the final match of the six-day competition. Fabiana Claudino, Brazil’s captain, collected MVP honors.
With their four wins at the Grand Champions Cup over the Dominican Republic, Japan, Russia, and Thailand, Team USA finished their 2013 season 25-6.
Despite hard-earned wins over Japan and Italy, the U.S. Men’s National Team couldn’t gain the ultimate advantage over Brazil, Iran, or Russia in the men’s FIVB Grand Champions Cup, which occurred a week after the women’s event. With their 2-3 record at the end of competition, the squad earned fifth out of six teams.
Brazil, after losing only one match to 2012 Olympic champ Russia, took the men’s gold medal, with Russia taking silver thanks to an early loss to Italy that left them a few points behind Brazil.
USA’s Matt Anderson was the highest scorer in the men’s tournament, collecting 104 points over the five days.
Originally published in February 2014