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Brazil, Italy, US Advance at Women's World Volleyball Championships

Brazil's volleyball players reacts after their winning point against the Netherlands during the first round match of the world women's volleyball championship in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, 31 Oct 2010

Top-ranked Olympic champion Brazil, European champion Italy and the United States have secured their spots in the second round of the women's world volleyball championships in Japan.

Brazil dumped the Netherlands, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-14) in Pool B Sunday to improve their tournament record to 3-0. Elsewhere in the group, Italy defeated Kenya, 3-0, while the Czech Republic downed Puerto Rico by that same score.

The United States topped Pool C after defeating Germany, 3-0, while Thailand beat Croatia, 3-0 and Cuba edged Kazakhstan, 3-2.

Russia and South Korea are tied for the lead in Pool D, after scoring 3-0 wins over Canada and China respectively. In the other group match, Turkey beat the Dominican Republic, 3-2.

In Pool A, Serbia and host-Japan remain perfect at 3-0, with Japan topping Algeria, 3-0 and Serbia downing Peru, 3-1. Poland was also a winner, defeating Costa Rica, 3-0.

The tournament is comprised of four six-team pools in a round-robin format. The top four teams in each pool advance to the second round. The semifinals and finals are set for November 13 and 14 in Tokyo.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.