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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Claims Volleyball Title

ReutersGodina spiking the ball against Walewska Oliveira in the Volleyball World Championship final in Osaka on Thursday.
OSAKA, Japan -- Russia won its sixth women's volleyball world title with a 3-2 victory over favorite Brazil on Thursday.

Less than one week after its 3-1 loss to Brazil in the group stages, the Russians turned the tables to score a 15-25, 25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 15-13 victory.

The difference between the two matches was the presence of Russian playmaker Lyubov Shashkova, who missed the Pool F defeat to Brazil last week because of a leg injury.

Shashkova formed an impenetrable wall along with two other big women, Yekaterina Gamova and Yelena Godina, which eventually eclipsed the powerful and previously unbeaten Brazilians.

"Russia could win the world title for the first time in 16 years because these three players were playing at the highest level," Russia's Italian coach Giovanni Caprara told a news conference.

"These three players have a very strong motivation and without that it is impossible to play well.

"Shashkova is like a mother and sister to the players. To the national team she is everything."

Brazilian coach Jose Guimaraes had watched his team overcome a host of tough opposition to reach the final.

When it came to the crunch, just a few points made the difference.

"Our players fought hard until the very last moment," Guimaraes said at a news conference. "They worked hard in the tiebreak set and I think in that kind of situation it is difficult to decide which team wins and which one loses."