|Russia, Brazil on verge of FIVB Women’s World Championship top four semifinal spot as Italy hand USA first defeat|
FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page
Russia, who beat Poland, and Brazil, who were too good for Cuba, top Pools E and F respectively with five wins from five but the battle for the other two (top four) semifinal spots is really heating up with USA second in Pool F with a 4:1 win:loss record, Germany and Italy (both 3:2) third and – thanks to Italy’s surprise win - even the Netherlands remain in contention with a 2:3 win:loss record despite getting beaten by Thailand. With two more matches remaining in the second round after Monday’s rest day, there are some very interesting fixtures ahead with USA to play the Netherlands and Brazil while Germany must play Brazil and the Netherlands. Italy are also right in contention, especially considering that Thailand and Cuba sit as their next two opponents.
In Pool E, Russia is followed by Japan (4:1) with Korea, Serbia (both 3:2) and Poland or Turkey (both 2:3) still in contention with the remaining games on Tuesday and Wednesday promising an exciting run in with Japan playing Korea and Russia, Serbia playing Russia and Korea and Poland and Turkey playing each other on Wednesday.
The FIVB Women’s World Championship Japan 2010 second round consists of eight teams of two pools (top four teams from each first round group) and four matches over five days for each team with results against fellow first round teams being taken into account in the second round. The top two teams from each pool enter the semifinals for 1-4 positions, the third and fourth teams in the second round will play the semifinals for positions 5-8 while fifth and sixth teams will play the semifinals for positions 9-12. The bottom two teams from each group exit the tournament.
Pool E in Tokyo
Russia, the most successful side in the FIVB Women’s World Championship with five titles, maintained their unbeaten run in this edition by beating Poland 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 33-31). The tallest player in the tournament at 2.02m Ekaterina Gamova top scored for Russia with 19 points while Anna Werblinska was Poland's best with 14 as Russia recorded their eighth win out of 11 matches against their European neighbours. "It was a very tough match, but we knew it would be before the match,” Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin said. “And we knew how important this match would be and how significant it would be to advance. The decisive factor of the match did not depend on tactics but on delivering our own style of Volleyball."
Meanwhile, world No. 21 Korea bounced back from their heart-breaking five-set defeat to Poland on Saturday by earning a hard fought 3-1 (24-26, 25-15, 25-18, 25-23) victory over winless Peru to keep alive their top four semifinal aspirations. The tournament’s second best scorer Yeon-Koung Kim was Korea’s top scorer with 21 points while captain Leyla Chihuan led Peru’s brave effort with 16.
Serbia also kept their top four semifinal hopes intact by overcoming China 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22) in the first ever match between the two countries to move to 3:2. Serbia had a lot to thank 22-year-old universal Jovana Brakocevic for after she came on in the first set to top score with 19 points, while China’s top scorer for the tournament Wang Yimei again led her side’s scoring also with 19 points. The defeat ruled two-time champions China, who have a 1:4 win:loss record, out of the running for the top four semifinals for only the third time in eight editions.
In the last match of the day, Japan recovered from Saturday's loss against China with a solid 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 25-13) win over Turkey - Japan’s fourth in as many matches against Turkey in all FIVB competitions. Japan’s second best scorer in the tournament Yukiko Ebata celebrated her 21st birthday in style by top scoring for the second successive match for the home side with 24 points followed closely by leading scorer Saori Kimura with 22. Meanwhile, the tournament’s top scorer Neslihan Damel from Turkey failed to be her side’s main scorer for the first time in the tournament with 14 points. That honour, on this occasion, going to captain Esra Gümus, who recorded 19 points.
Pool F in Nagoya
Two-time silver medallists Brazil moved within a whisker of a top four semifinal spot for the fourth time in five editions as the world No. 1 came from behind to beat world No. 6 Cuba 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-18). Brazil retained its perfect record in the tournament with the win, while Cuba lost for the second straight night and are consigned to – at best – the semifinals for positions 5-8 for the third successive World Championship. The Olympic champions out blocked their opponents 15-8 and had a 7-6 edge in the service winners category. Sheilla and Fabiana were the primary forces in the victory for Brazil registering 17 and 15 points respectively. Kenia Carcaces paced the Cubans with a match-high 19 points.
Earlier, the Netherlands put their top four semifinals hopes in jeopardy after a shock 3-1 loss (25-15, 25-23, 15-25, 26-24) to Thailand. The victory marked the first time ever in an FIVB competition that the Thais had beaten the Dutch team. Onuma Sittirak was one of five Thailand players to score in double digits finishing with 18 points while Caroline Wensik registered 18 for the Netherlands. “I don't know what happened,” Dutch captain Manon Flier said. “We didn't play well. We made many unforced errors. Thailand had a good defence. I am very disappointed. We played our best in the third set, but gave away the fourth with too many errors.”
Meanwhile, Germany kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the top four semis for the first time since 1994 by routing the Czech Republic in straight sets (25-8, 25-17, 25-16). Germany, ranked 15th, overpowered the 38th-ranked Czechs, who joined Cuba and Thailand in the group in being eliminated from medal contention. Margareta Kozuch led Germany with 20 points all but one via spikes. Kristyna Pastulova compiled 10 points for the Czech side.
And in the last match of the day, Italy handed the United States a 3-1 defeat (25-16, 24-26, 27-25, 27-25). It was a gritty performance by fourth-ranked Italy against the world No. 2 Americans who had lost only two sets entering the match. Serena Ortolani was a pivotal player for Italy finishing the match with 23 points while USA’s Destinee Hooker, who finished with a match-high 24 points, put on another display of power but could not lift her team to victory.
The FIVB Women’s World Championship started with 24 teams and is played from October 29 until November 14 encompassing five cities across first and second rounds, semifinals and finals. The top four teams in the four first round (Oct. 29 - Nov. 3) pools advanced to the second round (Nov. 6 - Nov. 10) before the top six teams in the each of the two pools will advance to the semifinals (Nov. 13) and finals (Nov. 14).
Pool E (Tokyo): Russia 10, Japan 9, Serbia 8, Korea 8, Poland 7, Turkey 7, China 6, Peru 5
Pool F (Nagoya): Brazil 10, USA 9, Germany 8, Italy 8, Netherlands 7, Cuba 6, Czech Republic 6, Thailand 5
Match Schedule – November 9 (November 8 is a rest day)
Pool E - Tokyo Pool F – Nagoya
11:15 PER v TUR 11:45 BRA v GER
13:30 POL v CHN 14:00 NED v USA
15:45 SRB v RUS 16:15 ITA v THA
18:45 JPN v KOR 18:30 CZE v CUB
Highest Scorer By Day
Day 1 (1st Rd): 28 points by Destinee Hooker (USA) in USA’s 3-1 win over Thailand in Matsumoto
Day 2 (1st Rd): 35 points by Manon Flier (NED) in Italy’s 3-2 win over the Netherlands in Hamamatsu
Day 3 (1st Rd): 27 points by Neslihan Darnel (TUR) in Turkey’s 3-2 win over the Dominican Republic in Osaka
Day 4 (1st Rd): 34 points by Aneta Havlickova (CZE) in Czech Republic’s 3-2 win over Italy in Hamamatsu
Day 5 (1st Rd): 29 points by Neslihan Darnel (TUR) in Korea’s 3-2 win over Turkey in Osaka
Day 6 (2nd Rd): 28 points by Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale (POL) in Poland’s 3-2 win over Korea in Tokyo
Day 7 (2nd Rd): 24 points by Destinee Hooker (USA) in Italy’s 3-1 win over USA in Nagoya and by Yukiko Ebata (JPN) in Japan’s 3-1 win over Turkey in Tokyo
Highest Set Score
34-32 (CRO v CUB in Pool C) played on October 29 (Day 1) in Matsumoto and (PER v CRC in Pool A) played on November 3 in Tokyo. * Women’s World Championship records
Highest Scoring Matches
235 (CZE v ITA in 1st Round) 3-2 (25-27, 27-29, 25-23, 25-22, 17-15) played on November 2 in Hamamatsu
220 (POL v JPN in 1st Round) 2-3 (28-26, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 12-15) played on October 29 in Tokyo
218 (NED v ITA in 1st Round) 2-3 (25-18, 21-25, 23-25, 28-26, 12-15) played on October 30 in Hamamatsu
212 (TUR v DOM in 1st Round) 3-2 (25-20, 25-14, 23-25, 23-25, 17-15) played on October 31 in Osaka
211 (CZE v BRA in 1st Round) 2-3 (25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 9-15) played on October 30 in Hamamatsu
Tournament Top Scorers
163 Neslihan Darnel (TUR)
145 Yeon-Koung Kim (KOR)
145 Saori Kimura (JPN)
128 Destinee Hooker (USA)
127 Manon Flier (NED)
Birthdays on November 8
Nadja Schaus (GER) turns 26
FIVB Tournaments Coming Soon
FIVB Club World Championships (December 14-21, 2010) in Doha, Qatar
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships (June 17-26, 2011) Rome, Italy
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images