Two weeks of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2019 is already in the books. But while some teams remained on top, individual performances vary from the stellar to the struggling. Here are the volleybelles who waxed hot or cooled down.
1) Malwina Smarzek (Poland) – Scoring 41 points in a single match is enough to get you on the hot list. But that’s not the only excellent performance that the Polish opposite spiker dished out. She scored 23 against the Dutch and 31 in their narrow win over Brazil. Outputs like those made her the tournament’s best player for the second week in a row.
2) Paola Egonu (Italy) – It seems like the world’s best opposite hitter at the moment had a personal vendetta against Serbia. Regardlesss of who suited up for Coach Zoran Terzic, Egonu dissected the Serbian defense by collecting 32 points. She did that without a break-in because she didn’t play in the previous game against the United States.
3) Changning Zhang (China) – She skipped the opening week of the VNL. But she did not disappoint when she finally played. After scoring 12 against regional rival Thailand, Zhang made 13 versus Belgium. She topped that by finishing with 17 against South Korea.
4) Ai Kurogo (Japan) – The Japanese had two straight-set victories this week and Kurogo performed well in both. The wing spiker grabbed 20 markers in their game against Turkey. She followed it with 13 over Germany. Not bad for someone who saw limited action in Week 1.
5) Ana Bjelica (Serbia) – She made the most of Tijana Boskovic and Brankica Mihajlovic’s absence. Bjelica only had 20 total points in opening week. That was immediately surpassed by her 24 points against the Dominican Republic. It doesn’t include her 12 against USA and 14 versus Italy.
6) Meryem Boz (Turkey) – The team captain saw spot minutes in the first round. However, she delivered when her number was called this week. Boz was in charge as she tallied 17 points against Germany and a game-high 25 over Russia.
Players in a slump
1) Lucia Bosetti (Italy) – She scored 12 or more points in two games last week. This week, she did that just once when she made 16 against the Dominicans. But her five points against the United States and eight against Serbia is not a good sight.
2) Sarah Wilhite Parsons (USA) – The outside hitter had 14 against Belgium and 16 versus Bulgaria last week. She did not hit double-figures in Week 2. Her highest output was nine points in the Serbia game. Parsons was limited to six points in their five-set loss to the Dominican Republic.
3) Miroslava Paskova (Bulgaria) – She did well in the opening week despite ending up winless. Paskova scored 21 opposite Belgium and 12 in the match against USA. But after her 14-point output against the Poles this round, she only made five against the Netherlands and six versus Brazil.
4) Kim Heejin (South Korea) – Things went south for her after the 18-point output from the Belgium game. Facing their Asian rivals, she came up with six and nine points against Thailand and China, respectively.
5) Ebrar Karakurt (Turkey) – The 19-year-old average a shade under 19 points per contest in their Week 1 matches with South Korea, Netherlands, and Serbia. But after managing just eight points in their three-set loss to Japan, Karakurt did not play in Turkey’s games with Germany and Russia.