Brazil (BRA) vs. Peru (PER) women - Pool B #6927035

Brazil’s Julia Bergmann in action at the Olympic qualifiers in Tokyo

“In such a short competition, everything is very important. Sets, points..., everything counts towards the final classification,” said Brazilian setter Roberta Ratzke on Saturday after her team started its FIVB Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifier campaign with a convincing 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-22) shutout of South American neighbours Argentina in Tokyo.

“The entire result here is very important. Victory, sets, points..., everything counts. Every game is a final,” confirmed libero Natalia Araujo (Natinha) on Sunday after their even more convincing 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-15) victory over another South American neighbour, Peru.

Brazil (BRA) vs. Peru (PER) women - Pool B #6927045

Brazilian libero Natinha

Following this philosophy, the Brazilians showed no signs of holding back or underestimating their opponents, whom they defeated just as clearly at the South American Championship in Recife less than a month ago.

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The team’s captain and biggest star Gabriela Guimaraes spearheaded the Brazilian offence against Peru with 13 kills in attack and added two aces and two kill blocks towards a match-high 17 points.

“It was a good victory against Peru,” said Julia Bergmann who contributed another 13 points, including two blocks, towards the victory. “We improved some things in relation to the Argentina game. We adapted more to the court and played a more consistent match. We can get out of difficult situations faster. It was a good game, but we have to keep improving with each match.”

Showing no mercy for the opponents, Brazil stayed in control of the scoreboard throughout the match, from the very first through the very last rally, at no time allowing Peru to take even a momentary lead.

“Today our aggressiveness prevailed, which we lacked a little in the game against Argentina. We came out strong at every moment of the match,” added opposite Tainara Santos.

“After the game against Argentina, we talked about the importance of staying focused until the end. We have to maintain aggressiveness until the last point,” commented head coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes. “This tournament does not allow for drops in performance. We have to maintain great regularity. Today we had fewer fluctuations and we maintained concentration from the beginning to the end of the game. We got a big score because we got our behaviour right. Now we have to think about Bulgaria and Puerto Rico, who had a great result against Belgium.”

In their next Pool B game on Tuesday in Tokyo, Brazil will try to stay impeccable as they meet the young Bulgarian squad at 16:00 local time (07:00 UTC). On Sunday, the European team suffered its second straight-set defeat, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-15) at the hands of VNL and European champions Türkiye, with a 15-point match high from Melissa Vargas. On Wednesday, at the same time, Brazil will meet Puerto Rico. The number 22 team in the world produced a 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-19) upset of number 12 Belgium, with 24 points from Brittany Abercrombie, on Sunday. In the last match of the day, hosts Japan also celebrated their second straight-set win of the tournament, (3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-23) over Argentina. Arisa Inoue led the Asian team with 17 points.

Japan (JPN) vs. Argentina (ARG) women - Pool B #6928468

Solid Japanese defence