China and USA kept their hopes alive for a semifinal spot at FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 on Thursday, bouncing back powerfully after their straight-set losses the day before.
China came from two sets down to score an impressive 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-12) comeback over the Dominican Republic while USA proved too strong for Russia 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23).
With today's results, World No. 1 Brazil and hosts Italy have earned advancement into the semifinals without stepping on the court on Thursday.
USA have outlasted Russia 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23) in Pool G to keep their hopes alive for a berth in Saturday's semifinals. Russia still have a chance, though when they face Italy on Friday.
The defending champions can join Italy in qualifying if they win for three points (3-0 or 3-1). Any other result and it will be Italy and USA through to the medals round, with Russia heading home.
In Pool H, the Dominican Republic simply collapsed in the tiebreak with China scoring an amazing 3-2 comeback that keeps them alive in the race for a berth in the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championships Italy 2014.
To claim their place in the top four, the Asian side will be looking for Brazil to defeat the Dominican Republic on Friday.
For the Dominican Republic, any victory is good enough to see them through to the medals round. It was the Dominican Republic's seventh tiebreak in ten matches at these World Championships.
It is small consolation for the Dominican Republic, who had been close to a historic victory, but their star player, Bethania De La Cruz, is now officially top scorer of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championships Italy 2014. De la Cruz scored 39 points (tournament high as well in a single match) against China and with a total of 233 has surpassed the 229 of Azerbaijan's Polina Rahimova.
Six matches are played during the third phase of the tournament, running from October 8-10 in Milano's Mediolanum Forum - with two pools of three teams each: Pool G: Italy, USA, Russia; Pool H: Brazil, China, Dominican Republic. The top two teams of each pool qualify to the semifinals.
The third round of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship will end on Friday with the third competition day of Round III.
Pool G: Italy, USA, Russia
Pool H: Brazil, China, Dominican Republic
Qualified for semifinals: Brazil, Italy
Italy-USA / 3-0 / VIEW
USA-Russia / 3-1 / VIEW
Brazil-China / 3-0 / VIEW
China-Dominican Republic / 3-0 / VIEW
Top scorer by day
Polina Rahimova- 33 of Azerbaijan v Japan on 23-9-14
Brankica Mihajlovic- 31 of Serbia v Bulgaria on 24-9-14
Polina Rahimova- 32 of Azerbaijan v Puerto Rico on 25-9-14
Lise Van Hecke- 23 of Belgium v Azerbaijan on 27-9-14
Tatiana Kosheleva-31 of Russia v USA on 28-9-14
Bethania De La Cruz De Peña-30 of Dominican Republic v Belgium and
Lise Van Hecke-30 of Belgium v Dominican Republic on 1-10-14
Tatiana Kosheleva-32 of Russia v Turkey on 2-10-14
Bethania De La Cruz De Peña-37 of Dominican Republic v China on 4-10-14
Bethania De La Cruz De Peña-25 of Dominican Republic v Japan and
Vasileva Elitsa-25 of Bulgaria v Netherlands on 5-10-14
Antonella Del Core-15 of Italy v USA on 8-10-14 and
Thaisa-15 of Brazil v China on 8-10-14 and
Jaqueline-15 of Brazil v China on 8-10-14 and
Fe Garay-15 of Brazil v China on 8-10-14
Bethania De La Cruz De Peña-39 of Dominican Republic v China
Top scoring performances
39- Bethania De La Cruz De Peña of Dominican Republic v China on 9-10-14
37- Bethania De La Cruz De Peña of Dominican Republic v China on 4-10-14
36- Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan v Croatia on 4-10-14
33- Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan v Japan on 23-9-14
32- Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan v Puerto Rico on 25-9-14
32- Tatiana Kosheleva of Russia v Turkey on 2-10-14
Top blocking performances
10- Kubra Akman of Turkey v Bulgaria on 25-9-14
9- Zhu Ting of China v Japan on 28-9-14
Top serving performances
6- Regla Gracia Gonzalez of Cuba v Azerbaijan on 29-9-14
5- Mizuho Ishida of Japan v Azerbaijan on 23-9-14
5- Margareta Kozuch of Germany v Croatia on 28-9-14
Top team blocking performances
24- Brazil v Turkey on 27-9-14
19- China v Japan on 28-9-14
Top team serving performances
13- Azerbaijan v Croatia on 4-10-14
13- Croatia v Tunisia on 27-9-14
12- Germany v Croatia on 28-9-14
Highest scoring sets
36-34 Thailand v Mexico (2nd set) on 25-9-14
34-32 USA v Russia (1st set) on 28-9-14
32-30 Netherlands v Mexico (1st set) on 28-9-14
Highest scoring matches
220- USA v Russia 3-1 (34-32, 25-19, 29-31, 26-24) on 28-9-14
218- Azerbaijan v Puerto Rico 3-2 (25-20, 24-26, 26-24, 16-25, 17-15) on 25-9-14
218- Croatia v Dominican Republic 2-3 (22-25, 13-25, 25-22, 26-24, 17-19) on 25-9-14
218- Turkey v Russia 3-2 (19-25, 25-27, 25-22, 25-22, 15-13) on 2-10-14
218- China v Dominican Republic 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-12) on 9-10-14
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images