The FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2019 Week 4 is just around the corner. This would be the time when teams will make their push for the Final Six. Every game will have weight now especially because four teams are in a logjam for second place. Therefore, here are games that you need to pay close attention to.
United States, Turkey, China, Poland play in Pool 16
Each game is a must win. Four of the top five teams in VNL 2019 will clash heads for solidify their spot into the final round. The round will kick off with a VNL 2018 championship rematch between the United States and Turkey. All of their matches in the VNL so far have been five-setters. However, the Americans have won all of them. Still, that is no guarantee that their winning streak against the Turks will continue. All we know that the game will be fiercely fought when they play.
Follow that up with China versus Poland and you have a superb double-header. The Chinese have called their main players which resulted to a seven-game win streak. Meanwhile, the Poles have been impressive with their blocking and the sensational performances of Malwina Smarzek. This will be too close to call even if Lang Ping’s crew will have home field advantage.
A losing record from this pool could spell danger for the Final Six hopes of that squad. On the other hand, winning two or three games will bring them closer to the final round given that they have survived the strongest storm. The games are slated from June 11 to 13. Two matches are scheduled daily, one at 0800H GMT and the other at 1200H.
Serbia, Japan, Brazil, Thailand bunched in Pool 15
If Pool 16 is the group for the top contenders, Pool 15 is for those who are try to squeak into the Final Six. Brazil is ranked sixth with a 6-3 record while Japan and Serbia are not far behind at 5-4. They would need to win their games as well because a bad week from one of the teams in Pool 16 can elevate them to a higher rank.
Meanwhile, Thailand can reach nine wins if they sweep this round and the next one. But that would be a tall order given the level of opposition. However, they could still play spoiler if they can’t win all of their remaining games. The Thais will open the matches against Serbia on the 11th while Japan and Brazil play next. Two matches are slated daily until the 13th. The first game is scheduled at 0640H GMT while the next is at 1010H.
Belgium and Dominican Republic headline Pool 14
These two teams also own a 5-4 record and would like to have a great week to come closer to the top six. But aside from competing against each other, they would have to face Germany and the Netherlands as well. The Belgians are led by their hitters Britt Herbots, Celine Van Gestel and Kaja Grobelna..
Meanwhile, the Dominicans have Brayelin Martinez who is looking to build from her great performance in Week 3. She will be supported on offense by Bethania Dela Cruz. The Belgium-Dominican Republic showdown will be on June 13 at 1500H GMT. Two more matches are scheduled on that time slot for the 11th and 12th. The latter part of the double-headers are slated at 1800H.
Italy making the push in Pool 13
This could be the week wherein Italy can claim the top spot in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2019. They are grouped together against South Korea, Bulgaria, and Russia that are in the bottom three spots in the standings. The Italians have a great shot at 3-0 if only they can limit their unforced errors.
Italy will face Bulgaria on June 11 at 1800H GMT. Then, they are slated to play versus South Korea the following day at the same time. They will finish the pool against Russia at the same time on the 13th. Aside from getting the struggling teams in the draw, they will benefit from playing in front of their home crowd.