Brazil already had four wins after two weeks of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2019. Meanwhile, Germany was languishing at the bottom with a 1-5 record. However, it was the underdogs who defeated the favorites in five sets. The tiebreaker was hotly contested. However, the Germans just had more at the end, 15-13.
It is Germany’s second win in seven matches. Louisa Lippmann waxed hot by scoring 26 attack points, two blocks, and two aces. Hanna Orthmann contributed 19 while Marie Scholzel and Jennifer Geerties made 11 apiece. Paula Guedes scored 21 while Gabriela Guimaraes was limited to 14 points.
The Germans survived even though they committed 34 unforced errors. Felix Koslowski’s squad took an extended set two, 31-29, and the fourth set, 25-20. They also made seven more attack points than Brazil (77-70). Germany also unleashed a strong service game with a 7-0 advantage. But this upset is not the only fascinating story in Day 7 of VNL 2019. There are other performances worthy of praise.
Ajcharaporn Kongyot sizzles against Bulgaria
It would be hard to find a better stat line than what Kongyot produced against their European opponents. The young wing spiker had 17 attack points in four sets. But she made overall damage by connecting on five service aces and eight kill blocks. That’s around two blocks per set against a squad with taller players. Kongyot made 11 points in the second set which they won, 25-20.
The Bulgarians are still looking for their first win after seven matches. However, they had a good chance of ending their drought in this game as they claim the opening frame, 27-25. Unfortunately, Thailand won the next three sets but by slim margins. Ivan Petkov’s crew was right in the contest by ending sets three and four with 22 points apiece.
Thailand simply had a more explosive game. They made 60 attack points as compared to Bulgaria’s 51. That was enough to address their higher error count, 26-21. Pleumjit Thinkaow made 12 points while Chatchu-on Moksri added 11.
Variety of attacks is crucial in volleyball. Aside from distributing the ball to more attackers, their should be a mix of the zones where they strike from. But it seems like the Belgium-Russia game is an exception to the conventional wisdom. Only four Belgians scored in the match while seven tallied points for the Russians. Despite that, Belgium still emerged victorious.
It was a close contest as well as Russia tallied 22, 20, and 22 points. Every point did count. The Belgians had four more attacks, two more blocks, and one more ace. The Russians also had 23 unforced errors while Belgium committed 19. Britt Herbots, the VNL’s fifth leading scorer, paced Belgium with 20 markers. Kaja Grobelna and Marlies Janssens made 14 and 11, respectively. Celine Van Gestel added seven.
Indre Sorokaite shines for Italy over the Netherlands
You would expect a team to win in three sets if they have a 61-30 edge in attack points. That wasn’t the case for Italy during their match against the Dutch. Jamie Morrisson’s crew took set two, 25-22, and tallied 19 in the succeeding set. But while the Italians dominated in offense, there is much room for improvement in limiting their errors.
Coach Davide Mazzanti won’t be pleased with the 29 errors her team committed. That’s the only reason why the Netherlands, who only had 14 errors, were able to stay in the game. Sorokaite led four Italian players in double-figures with 24. Elena Pietrini and Miryam Sylla earned 18 and 17, respectively. Team captain Cristina Chirichella finished with 14.
On the other hand, Nicole Oude Luttikhuis is the lone Dutch in double digits with 13. While Italy takes this victory, they head into their match against Japan thinking about controlling their blunders.
The Chinese dominated their Asian rivals Japan in three sets, 27-25, 25-18, 25-21. Zhu Ting led the way with 18 points while Yuan Xinyue added 14. Meanwhile, Sarina Koga and Yuri Nabeya had 15 and 12, respectively, for the Japanese. Lang Ping’s squad finished with an 8-2 advantage in kill blocks. China earns their fifth straight win to stay at 5-2 while Japan is at 4-3.
On the other hand, Turkey edges the Dominican Republic in four sets, 25-20, 25-21, 24-26, 25-18. Gozde Yilmaz led all scorers with 22 points while Hande Baladin added 18. Bethania de la Cruz led the Dominicans with 17 markers while Brayelin Martinez only made 16. The Turks stay on top of the Volleyball Nations League 2019 standings at 6-1. The Dominican Republic slide to 3-4.
Serbia bounced back by escaping the tough challenge put up by Poland in three sets, 27-25, 25-21, 25-22. VNL top scorer Malwina Smarzek had a sub-par 19 points considering that she scored 41 in a game last week. Meanwhile, the reigning world champions found the winning points through blocks, aces, and less errors. Katarina Lazovic had 18 for Serbia while Jelena Blagojevic supported with 13.
Finally, the United States bucked a slow start to start their home stretch with a win over South Korea. Kim Yeonkoung finally played in VNL 2019 and made six points in the first set which they took, 25-19. However, the Americans dominated the rest of the way, 25-15, 25-22, 25-18. Chiaka Ogbogu led the USA with 16 points while team captain Jordan Larson ended with 13. Kim Heejin paced South Korea with 14. The Americans improve to 6-1 while the Koreans slide to 1-6.