The first week of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2019 is in the books. Teams will get four days rest before they return to action against a new pool. The competition had a fair share of five-setters and upsets so far. These indicate that Week 2 matches will even be more exciting.
This is the most shocking result among all straight-set matches in Day 3. The reigning world champions gave Tijana Boskovic and Brankica Mihajlovic the day off against Korea to preserve them against Turkey. However, things didn’t go according to Coach Zoran Terzic’s plan.
While the Turks only had seven kill blocks in the match, the Serbs only came up with four. Giovanni Guidetti’s troops also dominated in attack points, 42-34, and aces, 8-4. Turkey’s 29 digs also took a lot of scoring opportunities away from the home team.
The Serbians were not in sync during the match because they only had two great sets in the entire game. That could be a factor why Boskovic is the only player in double figures with 15. While all of her scores are from attacks, she needed 32 attempts to get that many points. Even Mihajlovic made 23 tries to get seven attack points.
On the other hand, Ebrar Karakurt continues to dazzle in the Volleyball Nations League. She paced Turkey with 15 attacks, four aces, and a block. The 19-year-old outside hitter is averaging 18.67 points through three games. However, she’s not the only one doing damage for the Turks. Hande Baladin is scoring 15.67 points per match which includes her 11 versus Serbia.
Turkey can build on their good start by hosting Germany, Japan, and Russia in Week 2. Meanwhile, Serbia can still bounce back from this early defeat as they face the Domincan Republic, USA, and hosts Italy.
Italy remains undefeated
The Italians have been in cruise control after that grueling five-setter against Poland. They score their second consecutive three-set victory against a German squad that missed the services of scorer Louisa Lippmann. Indre Sorokaite led the way with 15 points while Elena Pietrini added 11.
Sarah Luisa Fahr and Francesca Villani had nine markers apiece. However, the 17-year-old Fahr is impressive at the net by getting three kill blocks in five tries. Lena Stigrot and Hanna Orthmann combined for 21 points against the Italians. Both teams were did not have an excellent set.
While Italy remains unscathed in the VNL, head coach Davide Mazzanti shared that they still have much to work on. One of which is maintaining concentration because it creates a lot of avoidable problems. They will have time to address those concerns before they play hosts in Week 2.
Meanwhile, Germany is one of three teams that are still looking for a victory. They are currently second to the last in the Volleyball Nations League standings. Felix Koslowski’s troops will have a chance to reverse the trend against the Russians, the Japanese, and the Turks.
The Thais are on a freefall. They have lost five of their last six games dating back to the Montreux Masters. Their latest defeat came in straight-sets fashion against Poland. Known for their floor defense, the 2018 Asian Games silver medalists registered only one dig versus the Poles.
That allowed Jacek Nawrocki’s players to gather 40 attack points to go with ten blocks. Thailand also committed 20 unforced errors while Poland only had 11. Ajcharaporn Kongyot has been a bright spot in the loss with 16 points. Malika Kanthong added seven points while Onuma Sittirak contributed six.
The United States remain undefeated by defeating Bulgaria in straight sets, 25-20, 25-16, 25-21. USA unfurled its balanced scoring with Sarah Wilhite leading the charge with 16 points. Rettke, Jordan Thompson, and Mikaela Foecke had 11 points apiece. Middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu added nine. Miroslava Paskova is the only Bulgarian player in double figures with 12.
Belgium defeated Japan in four sets, 22 – 25, 25 – 20, 25 – 23, and 25 – 18. Britt Herbots paced the Belgians with 23 points. Kaja Grobelna and Celine Van Gestel contributed 15 and 14, respectively. Yuki Ishii led Japan with 20 markers while Miwako Osanai and Nana Iwasaka had 12 and 10. The Belgians dominated in blocks, 10-3, and led in aces, 8-5.
The Netherlands got their first victory in the Volleyball Nations League 2019 via a straight-sets triumph over South Korea. Four Dutch players scored in double figures as Indy Baijens and Juliet Lohuis tallied 12 and 11, respectively. Nika Daalderop and Eline Timmerman had ten points each. Korea’s Heejin Kim and Seungju Pyo combined for 21 points.
China completed a four-set win over the Dominican Republic, 16 – 25, 25 – 23, 25 – 23, 25 – 23. Duan Fang scored 23 while Liu Yanhan added 21. Yang Hanyu finished with 15 points, four off kill blocks. Bethania De La Cruz De Peña and Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez had 21 markers apiece for the Dominicans.
Finally, Brazil bounced back by defeating Russia in three sets, 25 – 15, 25 – 17, 25 – 14. Ana Guedes led Brazil’s charge with 17 points. Mara Ferreira Leao and Gabriela Braga Guimaraes added nine apiece. Margarita Kurilo paced the Russians with 12.