U.S. beats Thailand in volleyball opener

OSAKA, Japan -- The United States overcame a slow start for a 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-21 win over Thailand on the opening day of the women's volleyball world championship.

Top-ranked Brazil defeated Kenya and defending champion Russia rallied to defeat the Dominican Republic in other matches Friday.

Jaqueline Carvalho scored a team-high 12 points as Olympic champion Brazil posted a 25-15, 25-16, 25-11 win over Kenya in Group B.

"Kenya played a very good match," Brazil's coach Jose Guimaraes said. "This is very important to volleyball. My team didn't play well in the first and second sets, but in the third we played very well."

Fabiana Claudino and Joyce Silva added 10 points each for Brazil, which is bidding for its first gold medal at the women's world championship.

Ekaterina Gamova led the way with 20 points in Russia's 21-25, 25-9, 25-17, 25-11 victory over the Dominicans in Group D.

The first round involves four six-team groups and a round-robin schedule. The top four teams in each pool advance to the second round for crossover play. The semifinals and finals will be played in Tokyo on Nov. 13-14.

In other first-round matches, Peru beat Algeria 25-16, 25-12, 25-18 and Serbia coasted to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-14 win over Costa Rica in Group A. Germany defeated Kazakhstan, 25-21, 25-14, 25-16 in Group D.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.