By Daniel Etchells

Russia celebrate their victory over Serbia to secure their place in the third round ©Getty Images  Two-time defending champions Russia secured the sixth and final place in the third round of the International Volleyball Federation Women's World Championship in Italy after cruising to a 28-26, 25-18, 25-17 victory against Serbia in Pool F.

The Russians trailed their opponents by one point ahead of the encounter in Verona, but the win means they will join Brazil and the United States in the next phase of the competition.

Brazil and the US put their unbeaten records on the line in a battle to finish in first place and it was the South Americans who came out on top, winning 25-23, 25-22, 25-21.

In the Pool's two other matches in Modena, Turkey overcame Kazakhstan 25-15, 25-13, 25-14 to end their campaign with a third consecutive win, while The Netherlands beat Bulgaria 24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 25-16.

Meanwhile in Pool E, hosts Italy secured top spot after ending China's unbeaten record with a 22-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-17 victory in Bari.

The Dominican Republic, who had already qualified in third place, were beaten by Japan 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12 in the same city. 

Hosts Italy pulled off an impressive win against China to top Pool E ©Getty ImagesHosts Italy pulled off an impressive win against China to top Pool E ©Getty Images

In Trieste, Germany comfortably overcame Azerbaijan 25-15, 25-23, 25-19 to end with back-to-back wins, while Belgium recorded a 25-12, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18 triumph over Croatia to finish in sixth position.

The six remaining nations will now be split between Pools G and H as the competition reaches its climax in Milan.  

Winners of Pools E and F, Italy and Brazil, will be kept apart with the teams finishing in second and third place drawn randomly. 

The top two teams from Pools G and H will advance to the semi-finals. 

The third round commences on Wednesday (October 8). 

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