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United States vs Brazil - Volleyball Women's World Championship Semi-Final Preview

United States vs Brazil - Volleyball Women's World Championship Semi-Final Preview

Posted by Laura Zúñiga on October 11, 2014

Brazil and the United States go head-to-head in the semi-finals of the FIVB Women's World Championship in Milan on Saturday.

The two nations will be battling for a place in Sunday's final at the Mediolanum Forum where they will face either hosts Italy or China.

The match gets underway at 02.30am AEDT on Sunday morning (5.30pm local time in Italy) and will be streamed live online.

Preview

The Brazilians have yet to lose a match in the tournament and defeated the United States 3-0 (25–23 25–22 25–21) in the second round. The South Americans also beat the United States in the final of the 2012 London Olympics.

Brazil is aiming to reach the final of this competition for the third-straight time. They lost to Russia in the last two world championship finals so they are determined to nail the elusive gold this time.

The Brazilians preserved their perfect record after posting straight-set wins over China (25–19 25–16 25–15) and the Dominican Republic (25–19 25–21 25–17) to rule Pool H of the Final Six with six points.

The towering Claudino will be among the players to watch for the defending Olympic and World League champions along with Jaqueline Carvalho Endres, Thaisa Menezes, Fernanda Rodrigues and Sheilla Castro. Setter Danielle Lins and libero Camila Brait are also key players for head coach Jose Guimaraes.

Like the Brazilians, the United States are still seeking their first world title.

The Americans reached the medal round after finishing runner-up to Italy in Pool G. They lost to the Italians 23-25 22-25 20-25 in their opening match but bounced back with a 25–19 25–23 15–25 25–23 victory over Russia to advance to the last four.

The duo of Kimberly Hill and Kelly Murphy will lead the Americans, who are aiming to reach the final of this competition for the first time since 2002 when they lost to Italy in Germany.

Head coach Karch Kiraly will also pin his hopes on former World Grand Prix MVP Foluke Akinradewo, Jordan Quinn Larson-Burbach and Nicole Fawcett. Alisha Glass will set up the attacks while Kayla Banwarth is the libero.

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