All that Brazil needed to earn a spot in the semifinal round was to win one set over Russia. They got that done early by winning the first set 25-18. They would go on to further their result by defeating the Russian side in a thrilling five-set match: 25-18, 18-25, 25-19, 22-25, 16-14.
Coming into the match, Russia knew its only hope of the final four was to sweep Brazil 3-0. With the first set result, Brazil and Canada were the for sure picks out of Pool J1 to head to the semifinal round. However, if Brazil were to lose the match 3-1, it would have created a tie with Canada that would have been broken by point ratio.
After losing the second set 25-18, Brazil responded with a 25-19 third-set victory in front of the home crowd. That second set was enough to guarantee Brazil the top spot in Pool J1. Even after Russia won the fourth set and almost took the fifth, Brazil was sitting pretty. At that point, it also locked Canada in to second place from the pool. Russia misses out on the semifinals by finishing third.
Now, Brazil will await what happens in Pool K1 (as will Canada). Brazil will take on the second-place finisher in Pool K1 while Canada gets the Pool K1 winner. These are the different scenarios for who can finish in what spot in K1 based on the France-Serbia match:
- If Serbia wins 3-0 or 3-1, all teams would finish 1-1. USA would finish first with four points and play Canada. Serbia would finish in second with three points and play Brazil in the semifinals.
- If Serbia wins 3-2, all teams would finish 1-1. USA would finish first with four points and play Canada in the final four. France would finish in second with three points and take on Brazil.
- If France wins by any score, they would finish 2-0 and play Brazil tomorrow. That would put the U.S. in second at 1-1 as they would face host-Brazil in the semifinal round.