Exciting Day 1 matches with upsets and thrilling finishes


Lausanne, Switzerland, September 23, 2014 – The opening day of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 started with thrilling matches in all four cities, highlighted by Azerbaijan upsetting No. 3 Japan in five sets.

Japan finished the recent FIVB World Grand Prix with the silver medal. Azerbaijan are currently No.37 in the world.

Italy played in front of their home fans and came away with a crowd-pleasing three set victory over Tunisia in Pool A in Rome. The crowd was pumped up from the second contest on the Rome court as Dominican Republic edged Germany in five sets among top 10 teams in the world, coming back from a 9-6 deficit in the tiebreaker.

Serbia earned a key early victory with an opening day four-set win over Turkey.

Croatia slides by Argentina – Croatia claimed a 3-1 victory (25-17, 26-28, 26-24, 25-19) over Argentina in the opening Pool A match of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 at the PalaLottomatica in Rome. Croatia used its experience from the most recent 2010 World Championship as Argentina had not appeared in the premier FIVB since 2002. Samanta Fabris came off the bench to lead Croatia with 16 points.

Canada secures opening win over Cameroon – In a first meeting between the two countries, Canada climbed past Cameroon 3-1 (25-12, 25-15, 20-25, 25-14) on Tuesday to open Pool B of the World Championship in Trieste. In the process, Canada snapped a nine-match losing streak in World Championship competition. Kyla Richey led Canada with 17 points.

Netherlands plays strong behind backers – Netherlands took energy from the crowd to sweep Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21) on Tuesday to start Pool C of the World Championship in Verona. Netherlands have now won their opening World Championship match in the last six editions. Celeste Plak paced Netherlands with 17 points.

China churns past Puerto Rico – China continued their mastery of Puerto Rico by defeating the NORCECA opponent 25-23, 25-18, 25-20 on Tuesday to start Pool D of the World Championship. China has won all five head-to-head World Championship matches in straight sets. Zhu Ting led China with 15 points as she and her teammates totaled 11 blocks.

Dominican Republic holds back Germany rally - Dominican Republic edged Germany 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 16-14). Dominican Republic, which tallied 17 blocks to offset Germany's 5-1 ace advantage, used a 4-0 run to overcome a 9-6 deficit in the fifth set to win the match. Germany battled to stay in the match by winning the fourth set after trailing 19-15.

Serbia wins key first-round match - In a very balanced game Serbia won over Turkey 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22) in Pool B of FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Trieste. Serbia, ranked 8th in the world, won their second World Championship match against Turkey, ranked 11th. Turkey won against Serbia in 2010. Top scorer of the match was Serbia’s Tijana Boskovic with 22 points.

Russia experience trumps spirited Thailand - Dominating Russia beat a spirited Thailand in three sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-22) in the first World Championship match they played against each other at the FIVB Women’s World Championship at PalaOlimpia in Verona. Russia have now won 23 of their last 24 World Championship matches dating back to their bronze medal match in 2002.

Azerbaijan pulls upset of Japan - Azerbaijan upset Japan 3-2 (17-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-12, 15-9) in the second match of pool D on the first day in Bari. Polina Rahimova led Azerbaijan with 33 points, followed by Kseniya Kovalenko with 15; Japan were led by Saori Kimura with 20 points. It was the first meeting between Japan and Azerbaijan in the World Championships; they have never met in any of the other major tournaments – Olympic Games, World Grand Prix and World Cup.

Italy pleases their crowd - Italy dominates Tunisia in its first match of this home FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 edition and claims a 3-0 victory. (25-11,25-13,25-8). Cristina Chirichella was the top scorer of the match with 12 points. 10,000 people audience give the welcome to their national team. Italy are looking to become the first hosts to win the world title since Japan in 1967.

Brazilians too much for Bulgarians - In front of 2,200 fans, Brazil won against Bulgaria 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-16) in Pool B at PalaTrieste. Brazil have now won 22 of their last 24 World Championship matches, while Bulgaria has lost four in a row. This was Bulgaria’s first appearance in the World Championship since 2002. Brazil’s best scorer was Sheilla with 15 points while Dobriana Rabadzhieva and Elitsa Vasileva contributed 14 kills each for Bulgaria.

USA wake up after slow start against NORCECA rival - USA beat Mexico in four sets (19-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-14) in a hard-fought match in Pool C at Verona. USA broke a three-match losing streak at World Championships, the most recent of which was in the 2010 bronze medal match. Mexico and USA played against each other at a World Championship for the first time in 40 years. Kimberly Hill and Tetori Dixon were the top scorers in the USA team with 15 points.

Belgium blitzes past Cuba - Belgium beat Cuba 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-16) in pool D in Bari as the victors scored seven aces in the second set alone. Belgium, with a 10-3 block advantage, was led by Laura Heyrman’s 14 points. Cuba’s Melissa Vargas was the top scorer in the match with 15 points.


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