Teams inching closer to World Championship Final Round berths


China's coach Lang Ping has her team performing well in the second round

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 2, 2014 – Halfway through the second round, teams are beginning to separate themselves into three groups in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014: those likely to reach the Final Round of six teams, those chasing the dream and those mathematically eliminated from the championship.

In Pool E, the leaders maintained their spots with China holding first at 14 points. Italy (13 points) and Dominican Republic (11) gained three points for second and third place. Japan was stretched to five sets today for the fourth time in this World Championship, but they won the tiebreaker for the first time to stay within contention of a top three spot out of Pool E with eight points.

In Pool F, the standings got a lot more interesting as Russia were upset by Turkey in five sets. With the loss, Russia fall to fourth place and Turkey are already eliminated. Russia trail pool leader USA (15 points) and second-place Brazil (14 points) with matches against both Brazil and Serbia to end the round. Serbia (11 points) are in third place, just ahead of Russia, and have USA still on the schedule.

Pool E Standings
1. China (4-0, 11 points); 2. Italy (4-1, 13 points); 3. Dominican Republic (5-0, 11 points); 4. Japan (2-3, 8 points); 5. Croatia (2-3, 5 points); 6. Belgium (1-4, 4 points); 7. Germany (0-5, 3 points); 8. Azerbaijan (1-4, 2 points).

Pool F Standings
1. United States (5-0, 15 points); 2. Brazil (5-0, 14 points); 3. Serbia (4-1, 11 points); 4. Russia (3-2, 10 points); 5. Turkey (1-4, 4 points); 7. Netherlands (1-4, 3 points); 6. Bulgaria (1-3, 3 points); 8. Kazakhstan (0-5, 0 points) 

Pool E
Dominican Republic rally past Azerbaijan to get 3 points - Dominican Republic rallied past Azerbaijan 3-1 (23-25, 25-11, 25-21, 25-17) in Bari to remain unbeaten in seven matches at the 2014 World Championship. Having collected seven wins in a row connecting the first and second stage, Dominican Republic kept alive their chance of reaching the top six for the first time in history. In a matchup of the two best scorers of this World Championship, Polina Rahimova notched up game high 26 points for Azerbaijan while Bethania De La Cruz finished with 16 for Dominican Republic. These nations have met once before at a World Championship, in 2006, at Saporro, Azerbaijan won 3-1. Dominican Republic have won all five World Championship matches against European teams. Domincan Republic reaped 33 points from opponent errors, compared to 20 for Azerbaijan.

Japan win key five-set match over Germany - In a very tight match Japan beat Germany 3-2 (23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 16-25, 15-11) in Trieste. Top scorers of today’s match were Japan’s Saori Sakoda and German captain Margareta Kozuch with 21 points each, followed by Germany’s Maren Brinker with 19. Japan has played four five-set matches in this World Championship, the first three being losses. The last World Championship match between Germany and Japan ended 3-1 in 2002. However, Japan have won six of the last seven main tournament matches against Germany, including their last in the 2013 World Grand Prix (3-2). Germany have lost four straight World Championship matches. 

Italy cruise by Belgium - The host Italy marched towards the top six of the 2014 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-18) win over Belgium in Pool E to stay undefeated with 13 points and in second place. Nadia Centoni had 17 kills and three blocks to lead Italy into their second win in a row in the second round pool E play in Bari with Carolina Del Pilar Costagrande and Antonella Del Core adding 15 and 11 respectively. Italy and Belgium have played each other once before in the World Championship. In 1978, Italy won in straight sets in the second group stage. Nadia Centoni was the top scorer of the match with 20 points. Italy have always won at least one set in major tournament matches against Belgium.

China crush Croatia to stay undefeated and in lead of Pool E - China beat Croatia 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-15) at Trieste to stay undefeated in the tournament and on top of Pool E with 14 points. Top scorers were China’s Ruoqi Hui with 15 and Yunli Xu with 14 points. On the other side double digits were achieved by Senna Usic (11) and Samanta Fabris (10) for Croatia. China have won four out of five encounters against Croatia at major tournaments, including the last three. China have lost only two sets at this World Championship, fewest of all nations. United States follow with three sets conceded. China have won seven straight World Championship matches.

Pool F
Serbia sweep Kazakhstan out of Kazakhstan - Serbia saw Kazakhstan off in three sets (25-13, 25-15, 25-20) and 63 minutes in the second round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship at Verona. Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlovic was the best scorer on court with 12 points, followed by Stefana Veljkovic and Kazakhstan’s Radmila Beresneva with 10. With this defeat, Kazakhstan have now missed their chance to make it to the final round in Milan. Serbia have won all the three meetings they played against Kazakhstan at major tournaments, with the European side previously beating the Asian 3-1 at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and 3-0 at the 2011 World Grand Prix. They have won six matches of the total seven they played at the tournament. Kazakhstan have played six matches against CEV nations. They have never defeated a European side at a World Championship. The last nine matches played by Kazakhstan have been decided in straight sets, of which they lost seven. The Kazakhstan squad became the country’s greatest sporting success as the first team to reach the second round of a World Championship.

Turkey rally past Russia, who slide to 4th place - Turkey rallied from two sets down to defeat two-time defending world champions Russia in a five-set battle (19-25, 25-27, 25-22, 25-22, 15-13) in in Modena. Tatiana Kosheleva was the top scorer of the match providing Russia 32 points, while Gozde Sonsirma led the Turkish score table with 31. Winning serves (8) and blocks (11) were perfectly equal for the two sides; and Russia was defeated even though they scored four more points in attack, and made four fewer mistakes. After losing their 17 match winning streak was snapped to end the first round, Russia have now lost two of their last three matches. Turkey and Russia had played one match in Italy before. At Monza in a 2011 European Championship quarterfinal, Turkey won in straight sets. Turkey had lost the last four matches of 11 World Championship matches against fellow CEV sides. Russia have given up at least one set in each of their last five World Championship matches. The last time they did this in four straight: four consecutive 3-1 victories in November 2006. Russia were unbeaten in their last 19 matches against CEV sides (since 1986) at the World Championship. They won nine of these in straight sets.

Brazil sweep Netherlands to remain on track for Final Round - Undefeated Brazil beat the Netherlands for the seventh time in seven World Championship meetings in four sets (23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-16) at Verona to stay undefeated in Pool F with 14 points. Brazil's Fernanda Rodrigues was the top scorer of the match with 20 points, followed by Thaisa Menezes with 19. The best scorer on the Netherlands side was Lonneke Sloetjies with 13. Having lost both matches of the second round, young Netherlands have missed their opportunity to advance to the final round in Milano. Brazil played 20 matches against the Netherlands at major tournaments and only lost one, at the World Grand Prix in 2007. In 20 meetings, they conceded only 11 sets against the Netherlands team. The two teams met at seven World Championships and at the last four. Brazil won all seven matches. Brazil have won three of their first seven matches in straight sets, with only CEV teams claiming sets off them (Turkey, Serbia and the Netherlands). The Netherlands have now lost four of their first seven matches. They lost in straight sets only to Serbia on Wednesday.

USA builds on undefeated streak with sweep of Bulgaria - The USA’s clean path in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2014 continued in Modena after defeating Bulgaria 3-0 (25:17, 25:18, 25:16) to move to 15 points in the second round. Kelly Murphy was the top scorer for the USA with 14 points, while the Premium Panathlon -Lella Pavarotti award for the most impressive player of the match was given to Kelsey Robinson by 2002 World Champion Simona Rinieri. Emiliya Nikolova led the score for Bulgaria with 13 points. USA dominated the net and service line advantages of 7-0 in blocks and 7-2 in aces. Bulgaria were unbeaten in two matches against United States at World Championships. In 1956 and 1998, the Bulgarians won 3-1 and 3-0 respectively. United States are the only nation with maximum points after seven matches (21) and in the second round with 15 points. United States started the World Championship with seven victories for only the second time, after winning the first 10 matches in 2002. Back then, their first defeat came in the final against Italy. United States have won 10 of their last 12 matches against teams from Europe. The two defeats came against Russia and Italy in 2010.


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