Day three to feature first meetings with eight undefeated teams


Italian fans celebrate their home team's 2-0 start

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 25, 2014 – Day three of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 will showcase new head-to-head contests for several of the matches spread across Rome, Trieste, Verona and Bari.

Half of the dozen matches will feature brand new series encounters within the World Championship history. In Pool A in Rome, Croatia and Dominican Republic meet for the first time. In Pool B in Trieste, Cameroon and Serbia will greet each other for the first time. Two of the three matches in Verona will feature new matchups – Thailand against Mexico and Kazakhstan versus Russia. In Pool D in Bari, Belgium and China will battle for the first time in World Championship history.

While these six matches are first-time opponents, two matches will feature opponents very accustomed to facing each other during World Championship competition. Cuba and Japan will be meeting for the seventh time when they take the court in Bari’s Pool D, while the Netherlands and United States will meet for the sixth time in Pool C at Verona.

Through the second day of competition, eight of the 24 teams in the World Championship remain undefeated. In Pool A, Italy and Dominican Republic go into day three with 2-0 records. Brazil and Serbia are the only undefeated teams in Pool B. In Pool C, a three-way tie has Russia, United States and Netherlands at the top with 2-0 records and a maximum six points. China are the only undefeated team in Pool D.

Pool A

Germany vs. Tunisia – Germany are 1-1 with four points following Wednesday’s win against Argentina. Tunisia is 0-2 in Pool A without a set victory after losing to Dominican Republic 3-0 on Wednesday. Germany is 2-0 against Tunisia in World Championship competition, winning 3-0 as East Germany in the first group stage and later in same event in Round of 13-16. Tunisia are seeking their first World Championship victory in their third appearance (0-16 record).

Croatia vs. Dominican Republic – Dominican Republic have five points and a 2-0 record after taking down Tunisia 3-0 on Wednesday. Croatia is 1-1 in Pool A with three points after losing to Italy on Wednesday. Croatia and Dominican Republic have not met each other in World Championship history. Croatia’s three previous World Championship matches vs. NORCECA teams ended in straight sets – losses to Cuba (1998) and USA (2010) and victory over Cuba (2010).

Argentina vs. Italy – Host Italy is 2-0 with six points after two days in Pool A, including Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Croatia. Argentina are seeking their first win in this World Championship after falling to 0-2 with a 3-0 loss to Germany on Wednesday. In the first and only other meeting between Italy and Argentina, the Italians limited the South Americans to 22 points in the 1982 World Championship. Earlier this year Argentina placed fifth in the FIVB World Grand Prix Group 2, an encouraging sign for the young squad averaging 24 years of age.

Pool B

Canada vs. Brazil – Brazil remained perfect in Pool B at 2-0 and six points after sweeping Cameroon on Wednesday. Canada fell to 1-1 with three points after losing to Turkey in straight sets on Wednesday. Brazil is 2-0 against Canada in the World Championship – a 3-1 victory in the first stage of 1978 and in the second stage in 1982. Canada has not won a set against Brazil in any major FIVB competition, a span of five matches (1984 and 1996 Olympics, 1991 and 1995 World Cup, and 2003 World Grand Prix).

Cameroon vs. Serbia – Serbia are 2-0 with five points in Pool B after a 3-2 win over Bulgaria on Wednesday. Cameroon is in search of their first World Championship victory as they are 0-2 in 2014 after losing to Brazil on Wednesday. Cameroon and Serbia have not faced each other in previous World Championship competitions. Serbia have won all three previous meetings World Championship meetings against CAVB nations, all in straight sets. After not winning a set in their first World Championship in 2006, Cameroon won the third set of its 2014 World Championship match before falling to Canada 3-1.

Turkey vs. Bulgaria – Turkey head into their match with Bulgaria at 1-1 and three points after sweeping Canada on Wednesday. Bulgaria is 0-2 with one points after losing 3-2 to Serbia on Wednesday. European rivals Turkey and Bulgaria have not met in World Championship competitions in years past. Bulgaria is 4-1 against Turkey in the European Championship, having won the first four meetings in straight sets. However, Turkey won the last European Championship meeting, a four-set win in 2005.

Pool C

Thailand vs. Mexico – Thailand or Mexico will win their first match of the 2014 World Championship as they meet on Thursday. Mexico goes into the matchup with a 0-2 record after losing to Russia 3-0 on Wednesday. Thailand is 0-2 after losing to Netherlands on Wednesday. Thailand and Mexico will meet for the first time in World Championship competition on Thursday. The team’s programs have contrasting coaches with experience for Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai with Thailand and Jorge Miguel Azair Lopez being new to Mexico. Radchatagriengkai has led the Thai program since 2001, amassing 331 matches as head coach. Azair Lopez, while new to the Mexico women’s team in 2014, served as head coach of Mexico’s men’s team at the 2010 World Championship.

Kazakhstan vs. Russia – Russia take a 2-0 record with six maximum points into their Thursday match with Kazakhstan after a victory over Mexico on Wednesday. Kazakhstan fell to 0-2 in Pool C following a three-set loss to United States on Wednesday. Russia and Kazakhstan take the court against each other for the first time in World Championship competition. Russia have played a former Soviet Republic twice before in the World Championships, beating Ukraine 3-1 in 1994 and Azerbaijan 3-1 in 2006. Kazakhstan has three players who were on the 2008 Olympic Games team including Inna Matveyeva, who is the third oldest player in the competition at 35 years, 11 months.

Netherlands vs. United States – The Netherlands and United States will meet on Thursday in a battle of undefeated teams with 2-0 records and six points. The United States swept Kazakhstan on Wednesday, while Netherlands beat Thailand. United States have won all five previous meetings, winning in straight sets only twice (1956, 2010). In 1970, 2002 and 2006, Netherlands pushed to five sets. Netherlands have qualified for every World Championship since 1990. USA have five players – Rachael Adams, TeTori Dixon, Kim Hill, Kelly Murphy and Kelsey Robinson – who are in just their first or second years playing at the National Team level.

Pool D

Puerto Rico vs. Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan is 1-1 after two days of Pool D as they could not pull a second straight upset in losing to China. Puerto Rico are 1-1 with three points heading into the Thursday match after defeating Cuba. Azerbaijan defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 in the 2006 World Championship in the only previous meeting in the competition. Puerto Rico are winless in all previous 13 meetings with CEV sides at the World Championship, taking only one set in the process.

Cuba vs. Japan – Japan recovered from being upset on day one by taking down Belgium to improve to 1-1 with four points. Cuba are 0-2 going into the day three encounter after losing to Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Long-time rivals Cuba and Japan meet for the seventh time World Championship competition. Cuba have won the last four World Championship meetings (twice in 1978, once in 1990 and 2006), but they now have the four youngest players (Caraballo, Chapman, Ricardo and Rendon) in this year’s World Championship. Japan, which won the first two meetings in the head-to-head World Championship series, have the two shortest players in the tournament with Sayaka Tsutsui at 157cm and Hitomi Nakamichi at 159cm.

Belgium vs. China – China are 2-0 entering the third day of Pool D following a win over Azerbaijan on Wednesday. Belgium are 1-1 with three points following a 3-1 loss against Japan on Wednesday. China and Belgium have never met before in the World Championship history. China beat Belgium 3-1 in the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round earlier this year. Belgium was playing in the World Grand Prix for the first time, winning Group B to advance to the Final Round.


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