Lausanne, Switzerland, October 5, 2014 – The final day of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship second round confirmed the sixth and final team into next week’s Final Round as Russia, the two-time defending World Championship title holder, swept Serbia in a must-win situation with their backs against the wall. Serbia needed just two set wins to advance.
The drawing of lots for the Final Round will take place on Monday at 2 p.m. in Milan at NH Milano Fiori Hotel. Italy will serve as the top seed in Pool G, while Brazil are the top seed in Pool H. Italy defeated China on Sunday night to settle the winner of Pool E, while Brazil topped United States to earn the top spot in Pool F in a battle of undefeated teams.
As part of the drawing of lots, China, United States, Dominican Republic and Russia will all be placed in the same container. The first and third team drawn will go into Pool G with Italy, while the second and fourth teams drawn will go into Pool H with Brazil.
Brazil move into the third phase as the only undefeated team with a 9-0 record (7-0 second round record). Both China and United States suffered their first losses of the tournament and finish in second place in the second round with 6-1 records.
Pool E Standings
1 Italy (6-1, 19 points); 2. China (6-1, 16 points); 3. Dominican Republic (5-2, 13 points); 4. Japan (3-4, 10 points); 5. Germany (2-5, 9 points); 6. Belgium (2-5, 7 points); 7. Croatia (2-5, 5 points); 8. Azerbaijan (2-5, 5 points).
Pool F Standings
1. Brazil (7-0, 20 points); 2. United States (6-1, 18 points); 3. Russia (4-3, 13 points); 4. Serbia (4-3, 11 points); 5. Turkey (3-4, 10 points); 6. Bulgaria (2-5, 6 points); 7. Netherlands (2-5, 6 points); 8. Kazakhstan (0-7, 0 points)
Final Standings (Places 7-24)
7T. Japan and Serbia
9T. Germany and Turkey
11T. Belgium and Bulgaria
13T. Croatia and Netherlands
15T. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan
17T. Argentina, Canada, Puerto Rico and Thailand
21T. Cameroon, Cuba, Mexico and Tunisia
Italy gain top seed in Pool E after giving China first loss - Italy benefited from a sold-out home crowd in Bari to defeat China 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-17) and win Pool E, breaking China's undefeated eight-match win streak in the process. Italy won all four of their second-round matches after losing their final first-round match to Dominican Republic. Valentina Diouf was confirmed as Italy's top scorer with 19 points. China's leading scorer was Zhu Ting, who claimed 16 points. In the World Championship 2014, China won the first set in every game. Before this match, China won 17 times, while Italy won only 13 times. Italy put the first block-point of the match in the third set.
Japan and Dominican Republic go five sets AGAIN, Japan winning - Japan beat Dominican Republic 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12) in Bari to leave the World Championship with a victory. Despite the win, the Japanese women failed to qualify for the third phase in Milan while Dominican Republic will make their first appearance in the World Championship Final Six. Bethania De La Cruz was the top scorer of the match with 25 points. Takada Arisa led Japan with 20 points. Japan have now won both their encounters with Dominican Republic at World Championship. In 1998, Japan beat Dominican Republic in straight sets in the second group stage. Dominican Republic have played six tie-breaks in nine matches in this World Championship, winning four of them. Japan have played five tie-breaks, winning the last two. In the second round, Japan played five sets in three of the four matches and four of their last five matches in the World Championship went the full five sets.
Germany ends World Championship on win streak in defeating Azerbaijan - Germany beat Azerbaijan 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-19) at Trieste on Sunday to conclude the World Championship with two consecutive victories. Germany’s leading scorer was Margareta Kozuch (16), followed by Heike Beier (12). Best scorer of the match was once more Azerbaijan’s Polina Rahimova with 19 points. Germany won both previous World Championship meetings with Azerbaijan: 3-1 in 1994 and 3-0 in 2006. With the victory Germany finished 1-2 against fellow CEV nations. Azerbaijan finished with four victories in this World Championship, matching their output from 2010.
Belgium overcomes Croatia in their final matches – Belgium ended their World Championship participation with a 3-1 (25-12, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18) victory over Croatia to finish in sixth place in Pool E, one spot ahead of Croatia. Both teams were 2-5 in the second round, but Belgium had seven points to Croatia’s five. Belgium was led by Lise Van Hecke and her 21 points, while Croatia was paced by Samanta Fabris’ 14 points. Croatia ended their tournament with three consecutive losses in the second round, which equals their longest losing streak ever from 2010. Belgium’s victory was their only win in the second round. Overall, Belgium had four wins in this World Championship, three more than their previous appearance in 1978. With their first set win over Croatia, Belgium earned their 50th set victory in their World Championship history.
Brazil top Pool F, halt USA’s winning streak - Undefeated Brazil put an end to USA’s eight winning streak beating them to top Pool F in the last match of the second round in Verona. Both teams primarily rested their normal starters in the match as both had already earned qualification to the Final Round. Tandara Caixeta was the top scorer of the match with 21 points for Brazil, followed by USA top scorer Nicole Fawcett with 13 points. Brazil have now won four of the eight World Championship meetings they had with USA. The South Americans had previously won in 2010 and 2006. Brazil have claimed victories in 30 of their last 32 world championship matches only losing the finals in 2006 and 2010. The only team that could take a table point against Brazil in this tournament are Turkey, who lost against them in five sets. USA had won maximum points in their first eight matches of the World Championship.
Russia sweep Serbia to advance to Final Round - Two-time defending champions Russia swept Serbia (28-26, 25-18, 25-18) in Verona to qualify for the Final Round after a shaky second round. Russia, who are 6-3 at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014, took the third and last available spot to reach the finals from Pool F with 13 points. All Serbia needed reach the Final Round was two set victories to take the final spot. Russia’s Nataliya Goncharova tallied a match-high 19 points and was backed by teammate Tatiana Kosheleva with 17 points. Serbia’s Tijana Boskovic totaled 17 points and Milena Rasic added 13 points. Russia have now defeated Serbia both times they played at the World Championship. The first time was in 2010, when they won 3-0. Russia also beat Serbia in straight sets at the European Championship in 2013. Before this win, Russia have lost three of the previous four matches. The last time they conceded three in a four match span was in 1982-86 as Soviet Union. With this straight set win, Russia interrupted their streak of one set lost in each of the previous five matches. It was their longest streak in the history of the World Championship. Serbia only lost in straight sets twice at this Championship – both to end the tournament against USA and Russia.
Turkey gain top 10 finish with sweep of Kazakhstan – Turkey won their third straight second round match following a 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-14) victory over Kazakhstan to earn a spot in the top 10 of the final standings. Turkey’s Neriman Ozsoy was the best scorer of the match with 13 points, while Sana Anarkulova led the score table for Kazakhstan with 11. The Turkish dominated the game in serving (10-1 in aces) and blocking (8 to 5). Turkey and Kazakhstan had never met at the World Championships before. Turkey had never won three consecutive games in the competition before. Kazakhstan have failed to win a set in the second round: 3-0 defeats against Brazil, Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The last 11 world championship matches involving Kazakhstan have ended in straight sets (W2-L9).
Netherlands rally past Bulgaria - With Pool F having already produced its three participants to the final six, Bulgaria and the Netherlands had nothing but pride to defend in their last game at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014. In Pool F final match, the Dutch prevailed 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 25-16). The Netherland’s Manon Flier was the best scorer for the Netherlands with 24 points, but Bulgaria’s Elitsa Vasileva did even better as she scored 25. Serve was crucial to the Dutch success (9 aces to 3) as well as Carlijn Jans’s 4 blocks (12 overall for the Netherlands, 9 for Bulgaria). Bulgaria had won all three previous World Championship meetings with Netherlands by 3-0. Only against Cuba (5), Brazil (4) and Russia (4) had Netherlands lost more World Championship matches in straight sets. In all World Championships since 1998, Netherlands managed to win at least one match in the second round/second group stage. Since they had previously lost three matches over three in the second round, the win over Bulgaria fixed it.