Tokyo, 3rd November 2007 – The FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2007 had its second day of competition today in Tokyo and Hamamatsu. The images from Fuji TV were focused on six matches that gave shape to the new standings. Brazil, Italy, Serbia, U.S.A. and Japan have their 2-0 record after two days of competition.
World Championship bronze medallists Serbia had to work hard for a 3-1 victory over Thailand in the first game of the second day of the World Cup at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday. World No. 9 Serbia came home 25-20, 18-25, 25-17, 26-24 to improve their win-loss record to 2-0. Thailand, ranked 30th in the world, dropped to 0-2 but won their first set of the World Cup. “We thought we were well prepared for this game” said Serbian Captain Vesna Citakovic “but during the game we did not make what we’ve scheduled. But we were able to win and that is what is important.”
European champions Italy won their second straight match beating wild card Dominican Republic 3-0. Italy's victory, by 25-17, 25-16, 25-17, improved their win-loss record to 2-0, while dropping the Dominicans to 0-2 after their loss the previous evening to Japan. “We played well without mistakes” said Italian Head Coach Massimo Barbolini “only four on serve, two in attack and none in reception. Against the Dominican Republic that is very good because this team has a strong serve.”
Japan grew stronger as the match went on to record a 10th straight victory over Korea. Japan, who had won the past nine meetings between the two teams since Korea beat them in the Athens Olympics, had too much power and experience and came through 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 25-16. In front of 10,000 boisterous fans, the World Cup hosts improved their win-loss record to 2-0. Japanese player Miyuki Takahashi told the media that “the Koreans worked hard so I could not play very well in the first and second sets. I had trouble with my timing against the Korean block. In the third set I could play my own game after the advice of the coach and my teammates.”
In Hamamatsu, the United States shocked Cuba in a five-set thriller Saturday, overcoming their rivals 20-25, 25-21, 25-18, 20-25, 15-11. The Americans had a disorganized start to the fifth set, allowing Cuba an early 3-0 lead, but then the Cubans got sloppy and the U.S. took a 7-5 lead before allowing Cuba back into the game with a couple of errors of their own. But consecutive spikes by Kimberly Glass brought the U.S. level at 10-10. The two teams drew level again at 11 but Glass again came up big and Haneef-Park gave the Americans match point at 14-11 before a great block by Danielle Scott-Arruda ended the match.
Poland played steady volleyball to breeze past an error-plagued Peru 25-17, 25-17, 25-16. Peru Captain Leyla Chihuan: “We are trying to do better but we didn't expect great progress with this team. Our teamwork and team spirit is low; it's not that we have a problem with the coaches or players, but we're not at a sufficiently high level to win. But we'll keep trying.”
Brazil had few problems as they dominated Kenya 25-16, 25-7, 25-14 in their second World Cup match. “We tried our best but Brazil is ranked much higher than us and their Volleyball is on a different level. Their setter is very good, so I tried to watch where she was putting the ball and adapt accordingly” stated Kenyan player Brackcides Khadambi.
The 1st Round matches will continue tomorrow: the third day of the World Cup will be staged again in Tokyo and Hamamatsu.
Brazil, Italy, Serbia, U.S.A., Japan 4 points; Cuba, Poland 3; Korea, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Peru, Kenya 1.
(2 points for victory, 1 for loss)
MATCH DESCRIPTIONS, PRESS CONFERENCES, FREE PICTURES
As usual, the FIVB will provide complete real time coverage of the event. Match descriptions, press conference reports and free pictures downloadable in high resolution for Media purpose are available from the home page of the FIVB website (www.fivb.org).
“FOLLOW ME” BY ANDREA ZORZI. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC STORY FROM ITS CAPTAIN’S WORDS
Andrea Zorzi, the former Italian national Volleyball player and two times World Champion, is working on his special blog “Follow Me” from the FIVB website home page. The last video uploaded is the interview with Dominican Republic captain, Andino Cosiri Rodriguez.
photo Getty Images