FIVB VNL 2019 – week 2 Dream Team

The FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2019 is quickly progressing. Two weeks are in the books and Week 3 is just around the corner. Before that happens, we’d like to form a hypothetical super team based on player performances in Week 2. Therefore, here is the mythical team from last week’s competition.

Hitting paydirt through spikes

Brayelin Martinez (DOM) – Outside Hitter

Her performance against the United States alone makes her worthy of this spot. The main scorer for the Dominican Republic tallied 26 in an upset over the defending VNL champions. Out of that total, 24 are attack points.

But that wasn’t Martinez’ lone stellar outing. She also had 16 points in a loss to Serbia and 19 against Italy. Martinez is currently the VNL’s second best scorer with 123 and second most efficient attacker at 49.33%.

Meryem Boz (TUR) – Outside Hitter

She did not play much in Week 1. That’s why Boz came out swinging when her number was called. After playing spot minutes against Japan, Turkey’s team captain led the way with 17 points opposite Germany. Her breakthrough came via a 25-point explosion against Russia in just three sets.

Malwina Smarzek (POL) – Opposite

Paola Egonu’s 32-point outing was considered. But Smarzek is just on another level ever since VNL 2019 started. She mainted her hot streak that she was named Player of the Week for the second straight time. The Polish spiker also set a new single-game record of 41 points against Bulgaria. Four of her points were kill blocks.

Smarzek also tallied 31 in their five-set victory over Brazil. She finished the week with 23 points against the Netherlands. Belgium, Russia, and Serbia must find a way to slow her down in Week 3.

Forming the Bureau of Net Defense

Agnieszka Kakolewska (POL) – Middle Blocker

As Smarzek delivers the points, it’s Kakolewska’s job to stop their opponents from doing the same. Poland’s team captain registered seven blocks against the Brazilians. Meanwhile, her encore resulted in six stuff blocks versus the Dutch. She leads the league in blocks with 24 and is the VNL’s best in that department with 0.96 per set.

 Lisvel Elisa Eve Mejia (DOM) – Middle Blocker

Listening to music is one of her hobbies, as per the FIVB VNL website. No wonder she was making sweet rhythms at the net for the Dominican Republic. Mejia had five blocks in just seven attempts when they faced Italy. After a down game against Serbia, Eve tallied seven rejections in their upset of the United States. The Dominicans will be in good hands if she can continue this against Turkey, Bulgaria, and host Thailand.

In charge of setting and digging

Micha Hancock (USA) – Setter

The former Penn State standout made sure that the United States will have balanced production on offense. Four Americans reached double-digit scoring in their clash with Serbia. Andrea Drews led the way with 21 while Haleigh Washington and Dana Rettke had 16 and 15, respectively.

Madison Kingdon Rishel added 13 in the win. Sarah Wilhite Parsons was just two points shy of double figures. Hancock added two attacks, a block, and an ace in the cause. The balance was maintained against Italy as four players scored at least 13 points each. Jordan Thompson came close with eight while Washington contributed six.

She was still impressive in the loss to the Dominican Republic. Hancock took the reins from Jordyn Poulter in the third set and helped extend the match to a decider. That enabled five USA players to collect 11 points or more. More importantly, every American who played had points to show for.

Lenka Durr (GER) – Libero

The German defensive specialist has performed well despite their struggles on offense. She is currently the Volleyball Nations League’s second-best digger with 2.42 per set. Likewise, Durr leads the competition in receptions at 39.8%. It’s just unfortunate that her efforts went to waste as the Germans suffered straight-set setbacks against Russia, Turkey, and Japan.

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