Hamamatsu, Japan, September 29, 2018 - Fernanda Rodrigues scored nine points to lead Brazil to a 3-0 (27-25, 25-12, 25-7) over Puerto Rico in their opening match of Pool D at the FIVB Women's World Championship on Saturday afternoon.
Tandara Caixeta added seven points in the win for Brazil, while Gabriela Guimaraes and Ana Correa contributed five each. Four players (Stephanie Enright, Karina Ocasio, Ana Jusino, Diana Reyes) led Puerto Rico in the loss with five points apiece.
After a tight first set, Brazil found their stride and executed like a well-oiled machine on the way to victory, serving, blocking and passing with flair. Brazil was cheered on by a large contingent of fans, with many people of Japanese-Brazilian descent residing in the Hamamatsu area.
There were few rallies in the first set as both teams relied on quick attacks. It was a seesaw battle early, before Brazil began to pull away midway through the set. Fernanda unleased a huge spike to punctuate the surge by Brazil, which was up 16-12 at the second TTO.
Puerto Rico fought back to pull within one at 17-16 on a nice block by Enright and then equalized 17-17 on a big block by Jusino.
Brazil coach Jose Guimaraes called timeout with the score tied to try and regroup.
Puerto Rico then moved 18-17 ahead when a spike by Noami Santos was blocked out. Puerto Rico passed and block well to take the momentum. The teams then traded leads until the Brazil defense tightened with a block to go up 22-20. Trailing 23-20, Puerto Rico ran off three straight points to level at 23-23. Fernanda gave Brazil set point at 24-23 with a spike, but Puerto Rico fought to even the score at 25-25. Fernanda struck again to make it 26-25 for Brazil and then Enright sent a spike wide to give Brazil the set 27-25.
Brazil jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set before Puerto Rico coach Jose Mieles took a timeout. The Brazilians retained the advantage and led 8-3 at the first TTO. Beatriz placed a nice soft spike into space to put Brazil up 11-6. Brazil found their stride in the second set with solid blocking. Jusino sent a serve long to put Brazil up 16-9 at the second TTO. An unforced error by Puerto Rico gave Brazil a 20-10 lead and the South Americans closed out the set 25-12 on a miscue by the opposition.
The final set provided more of the same, as Brazil took the initiative and was never threatened in closing out the match.