Fourth day capped by exciting action, big crowds


A full house at the Palalottomatica Hall to watch Italy defeat Germany 3-1

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 27, 2014 – The fourth match day of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 yielded exciting action on the court in Rome, Trieste, Verona and Bari with Italians flocking to watch the 24-team field.

Seven teams headed into the day with undefeated records, and all seven go home victors today. However, three of the four teams which had not lost a set could not stay undefeated in the set ledger as Italy, Russia and Brazil all lost at least one set today. China is the lone team which has gone unscathed in losing a set.

All this sets up for three matchups on Sunday involving undefeated teams. In Pool A, Italy (12 points) meets Dominican Republic (10 points). In Pool B, both Brazil and Serbia head into their final first-round match with 11 points having been extended to five sets in at least one match thus far. Russia and the United States will meet in Pool C with both teams having the maximum 12 points.

With one day left, 12 of the 16 teams have been confirmed into the second round. Pool B has two slots yet to be determined, while Pool C and Pool D will settle their last spot on Sunday.

Pool A

Tunisia sets two historical markers, Croatia wins the match – Croatia won their second match of Pool A with a 3-0 (25-6, 21-25, 25-16, 25-13) victory over Tunisia to qualify for the second round and avoided losing their third straight match. Tunisia set two firsts in this match. Their six points was the lowest ever recorded in World Championship history dating back to when side-out scoring started in 2002. However, they came back to win their first set in World Championship history over the course of 18 matches – the most matches played without a set victory. Croatian Fabris Samanta was the best scorer of the match with 22 points and Karla Klaric added 14 points. Tunisia's best scorer was Kaouthar Jemaii with 11 points all on attack. This was the first meeting between the two countries in the World Championship.

Dominican Republic remain undefeated in win over Argentina – Dominican Republic claimed their fourth victory in the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 Pool A first round, defeating Argentina for 3-1 (25-13, 25-20, 19-25, 25-18). Dominican Republic booked a visit to the second round, while Argentina will not be able advance to the second round. Dominican Republic won their fourth match in a World Championship for the first time. Including their last match at the 2010 World Championship, Dominican Republic are now on a five-match winning streak (team record). Argentina have lost seven consecutive World Championship matches, including all four matches in 2014. The top scorer of the match was Dominican Republic’s Gina Mambru with 17 points, followed by her teammate Annerys Vargas scoring 16 points. For Argentina Lucia Fresco scored 12 points and Paula Nizetich with 10 points. Dominican Republic doubled Argentina's block total (12 to 6). Yael Castiglione celebrates her 29th birthday on the day of the match.

Italy recovers from slow start against Germany, still undefeated – Italy claims the fourth victory out of four matches in Pool A in Rome, defeating Germany 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-10, 25-18) after a difficult start in the first set. Italy are one victory away from duplicating their team-best 5-0 start that occurred in their World Championship title year of 2002. 10,612 people came to see the evening match of this day. Italy lost their first set in the 2014 edition top open the match. Italy had its streak of five consecutive World Championship match victories in three sets snapped. Germany have failed to win a single set just three times in their last 26 World Championship matches. This was the fifth head-to-head match in the World Championship. Germany won the first two, but Italy has now won the last three meetings. PalaLottomatica was full in every inch for this big match, and the Italian flag was waving all over the sport hall. Italy has three players scoring high: Valentina Diouf (17), Valentina Arrighetti (16) and Carolina Costagrande (15); but the top scorer of the match was Margareta Kozuch for Germany, scoring 22 points in the match.

Pool B

Bulgaria thunders past Cameroon - Bulgaria defeated Cameroon in straight sets (25-16, 25-20, 25-23) in Pool B in Trieste on Saturday and are nicely positioned in third place of the standings with six points from four matches. This was the first meeting between Bulgaria and Cameroon at the World Championship as well as in a major tournament. Today was Bulgaria 90th match at the World Championship, and are 5-0 against teams from Africa in the World Championship history. Cameroon will have to pack their bags after Sunday’s last Pool B match in Trieste. Kremena Kamenova, in her first starting-six appearance at 2014 FIVB Women’s World Championship, was Bulgaria’s top scorer with 12 points followed by Strashimira Filipova and Dobriana Rabadzhieva with 10 points each. Nana Tchoudjang was Cameroon’s top scorer with 14 points followed by an inspired Moma with 11 points.

Serbia hold back Canada upset bid – A total of 2,600 spectators saw a superior Serbia dominate Canada 3-1 (25-7, 26-28, 25-21, 25-15) in the second match of Pool B in Trieste. Serbia played against Canada for the first time at World Championship. Serbia are already qualified for the second round in the Women’s World Championship. Serbia have won their first four matches of a single World Championship for the third consecutive time (2006, 2010). Canada are on a 16-match losing streak against European opposition in the competition (1978-2014). Top scorer for Serbia was Milena Rasic with 17 points, followed by Tijana Boskovic (15) and Jelena Nikolic (13). For Canada Kyla Richey was the best scorer with 13 points, then Charuk Lucille and Marcelle Shanice with 11 points each.

Brazil rally from two sets down to best Turkey - In front of 3,700 noisy spectators Brazil beat Turkey 3-2 (17-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-10) in Pool B at Trieste. Brazil, which lost a set for the first time in the 2014 World Championship, have won 80 World Championship matches, with only Russia (118) and Japan (85) have won more. Turkey have lost two consecutive World Championship matches in five sets for the first time in the competition. In 126 World Championship matches, Brazil had never faced Turkey. The two countries recently met at the World Grand Prix with Turkey winning in five sets. Brazil had 24 block kills tonight. Top scorer was Turkey’s Gözde Sonsirma with 19 points. Double digits in the Turkish team also for Neriman Ozsoy (18) and Seda Tokatlioglu (16). On the Brazilian side the best scorer was Fabiana Claudino (17 points, 7 of which were blocks), followed by Jaqueline Pereira and Sheila Castro with 16 points each.

Pool C

Kazakhstan knocks Mexico out - Taller Kazakhstan knocked Mexico out of the World Championship in straight sets (25-12, 25-16, 25- 21) in Pool C at Verona on Saturday. After losing four matches, Mexico have lost their chances to compete in the next round of the championship, where they only won one set against USA on Tuesday. Kazakhstan beat Mexico for the first time at a World Championship, as it was their first meeting at this level. The two teams met at the 2014 World Grand Prix and Kazakhstan won in straight sets. With this victory, Kazakhstan have now interrupted a streak of five World Championship losses in straight sets and ended a nine-match overall losing streak. Kazakhstan had lost their previous five World Championship matches in straight sets. Mexico are now on a 14-match losing streak at World Championships. They last won in West Germany in 1982. Captain Andrea Rangel confirmed the top scorer on Mexico’s side with 9 points, while Tatyana Mudritskaya and Sana Anarkulova where the best on Kazakhstan with 15 and 13 points respectively.

Russia on track against Netherlands - Russia beat a fired up Netherlands 3-1 (19-25, 25-13, 27-25, 25-16) in a Pool C match in Verona. Russia, who had already qualified for the second round of competition, have now 12 points after losing only one set in four matches. The Netherlands, who had beaten Kazakhstan and Thailand in straight sets but lost 3-0 to the USA, remain at six points. Russia’s Tatiana Kosheleva led her team with 20 points, while Canada’s Judith Pietersen totaled a team-high 15 points. Russia have now beaten the Netherlands in all their seven World Championship meetings. The Dutch team have only won three sets in these matches. The Netherlands had only three victories in a total of 30 meetings with Russia at major tournaments, beating the opponents 3-1 at the 1995 European Championship, 3-2 at the 2007 World Grand Prix and 3-2 at the 2009 European Championship. Russia have won their last 17 World Championship. The Netherlands’ best World Championship result was seventh place in 1998.

USA marches on undefeated after sweeping Thailand - USA beat Thailand for the second time at a World Championship by overpowering them 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-20) in Verona’s Pool C. USA, who had already qualified for the second round of competition after three matches, have now 12 points after four match days to equal Russia’s result in Pool C. USA beat Thailand for the second time. USA also won against Thailand 3-2 at the World Grand Prix 2014 in August. USA have only conceded one set at this championship in the match against Mexico, the very first set of the tournament on Tuesday. USA have now won 13 of their last 14 first round matches at the World Championship. USA have won their first four matches of a single World Championship for the second consecutive time (2010). USA have never won a World Championship and have not won a medal since 2002.

Pool D

Belgium close in on advancement - Belgium routed Azerbaijan in straight sets (25-21, 25-12, 25-21) in Bari’s Pool D. Taking part in the World Championship for the first time in 36 years, the Belgians are one step away from the second phase. This was the first meeting between Azerbaijan and Belgium at a major tournament. Belgium ended a seven-match losing streak to CEV nations. The Belgians had lost 11 of their last 13 World Championship matches. Azerbaijan was trying to win consecutive World Championship matches for only the second time (last match of 2006 and first match in 2014). Lise Van Hecke led Belgium with 23 points and Polina Rahimova was the best scorer for Azerbaijan with 19 points.

Japan win third straight in victory over Puerto Rico – Japan knocked out Puerto Rico in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-19) in Pool D for their third straight win following an opening loss to Azerbaijan. With the well-deserved victory, the Japanese women improved to 10 points on a 3-1 win-loss record in pool D and secured their berth in the second phase. Japan clinched their 85th win at the World Championship – only Russia has more victories with 118. Japan and Puerto Rico, who had never faced each other in World Championship competition, both reaped 10 points from blocking. Puerto Rico slipped to 1-3 and needed to beat Belgium on Sunday for a chance to stay in contention at the World Championship. Japan’s Kimura Saori was the top scorer of the match with 19 points, followed by Nagaoka Miyu (14).

China over Cuba in battle of past World Champions - China remains at the top of pool D at the end of the fourth day in Bari after defeating Cuba 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-18). China is the only team not to lose a set in this World Championship. China have assured itself a top 16 finish and have never finished outside the top 14 at the World Championship. China and Cuba have played in two World Championship finals (China in 1986 and Cuba in 1998). The last time China managed to win four or more successive world championship matches in straight sets was 1990 when they won six in a row without dropping a single set. This victory was the 79th victory of China on the World Championship. Cuba tied its longest losing streak at the World Championship, which was six set in the 1970 edition. Cuba has not won a single match in their last five World Championship matches.


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