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Brazil strides into women's volleyball quarterfinals
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17:04, August 15, 2008

World No. 1 Brazil clinched a quarterfinal berth in advance with a perfect record after an easy straight-set victory over Kazakhstan in women's volleyball preliminaries on Friday morning.

Brazil sent a second string line-up on the court in the third set. The South Americans only spent one hour to end the match 25-13, 25-6 and 27-25 to score their fourth victory in a row, killing the chance of their towering Kazakh peers to enter the next round after the fourth consecutive loss.

Captain Yelena Pavlova scored 15 points for Kazakhstan, and Paula Pequeno led the Brazilian players with 13 points.

"We didn't play well in the third set, but now we have to consider the medals and have to think about how to play in our upcoming games," said Brazil head coach Jose Roberto Cuimaraes. "It's hard to say which team we will meet in the quarterfinals. Every team is very strong, and competing against Italy in the next match will be tough for us."

In another match of Pool B, Russia breezed past Olympic newcomer Algeria 3-0 to book a seat in the final eight with a 2-2 win-loss record, but they will face challenges from Serbia in the last preliminary match on Sunday.

"The only thing that I want my team to do is to play very, very, very well against Serbia. We don't want to think about the pool and who will be in the quarterfinals," said Russian head coach Giovanni Caprapra.

Twelve teams are competing in two groups in the preliminary round with top four finishers from each group qualifying for the quarterfinals. Russia is grouped with Italy, Algeria, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Serbia in Pool B.

Since Algeria and Kazakhstan have already out of the contention for a quarterfinal berth, Serbia and Italy have practically been qualified to the next round.

As the situation of Pool B is clear, it is still too early to say who can survive the tough group which includes defending champion China, Cuba, Japan, Poland, United States and Venezuela.

In first Group A match of the day, Poland crushed Venezuela 25-11, 25-19 and 25-10, keeping its hope of entering the next round alive with a 1-2 win-loss record, while the Venezuelans, losing all their four preliminaries so far, already lost its chance to go further.

Host China will meet the United States and Cuba will face Japan later on Friday.


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