Kelsey Robinson played a key role in the US victory ©Getty Images

Defending champions United States eased past Germany as they began their International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Grand Prix campaign in China today.

The six-time winners of the major women's tournament, who are also the world champions and Olympic silver medallists, breezed to a 25-15, 25-17, 25-12 victory at the Beilun Gymnasium in Ningbo.

Kelsey Robinson was in fine form for the Americans, registering nine blocks and two spikes in the success.

"It is an honour to play against Germany," said USA coach Karch Kiraly.

"Germany is a young team, they have good coach, they will be a good team in the next few years.

"On our side, we focussed on what we can get in this match.

"This is our first step."

There was also a win for hosts China in Pool A1 of the tournament, with three pools of four, which combine to form the 12-team round robin, all now underway.

Italy defeated Serbia in Rio de Janeiro
Italy defeated Serbia in Rio de Janeiro ©Getty Images

China also won in straight sets, easing past Thailand 25-14, 25-14, 25-11 in front of their own fans.

In Pool B1 in Olympic host city Rio de Janeiro, hosts Brazil picked up a second win by beating Japan 25-20, 25-23, 25-15.

There was also a victory at the Carioca Arena 1 for Italy, who recovered from their opening loss to the Brazilians by seeing off winless Serbia 25-16, 25-19, 29-31, 25-17.

Hosts Russia began Pool C1 with a four-set victory over The Netherlands in Kaliningrad.

The opening two sets were shared in their 25-22, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16 victory.

Turkey beat Belgium in straight sets, 25-22, 25-23, 26-24.

Action in Pool A1 and Pool C1 continues tomorrow.