Talking points from Day 1 of the 2019 Montreux Masters

The first day of the Montreux Masters 2019 has ended and it brought out interesting results. Here’s what transpired during the three matches on schedule.

Turkey defeats Switzerland in four sets

Coach Giovanni Guidetti’s squad faced a tough challenge from the home team. However, they have to do something about the 39 unforced errors they commited if they want to win the tournament.

The Turks made up for their mistakes and Switzerland’s superiority on service by dominating in attacks and blocks. Turkey tallied 49 spike points while the Swiss only had 32. Meanwhile, Yasemin Guveli had eight of Turkey’s 17 blocks. That is one blocks less Switzerland’s total.

Likewise, Turkey scored the win by giving their younger players most of the minutes. Meryem Boz and Meliha Ismailoglu took a back seat to Fatma Yildirim and Gozde Yilmaz who combined for 31 points. Guveli added 12 while Boz had nine.

On the other hand, Maja Storck soared as the only Swiss player in double figures with 20. Gabi Schottroff added nine, six off blocks, while Laura Kunzler tallied eight.

The home team will play Thailand on May 14 at 1645H GMT.

Japan edges China in four

Kumi Nakada did not hold back her artillery in this match even with the VNL just around the corner. The result? Winning the rematch of the Asian Games 2018 semifinal. In contrast, China allowed their younger players to put in the work. It was not enough to deny victory from the Japanese.

As expected, the taller Chinese net defenders dominated in blocks, 15-9. But Japan countered that with floor defense by capturing 65 digs and 34 receptions. Ai Kurogo paced Japan with 21 points while Yuki Ishii added 15 attacks and three blocks. Nana Iwasaka and Mai Okumura contributed ten and eight points, respectively.

Li Yingying’s torched the Japanese with 25 points. Hanyu Yang added 11 while Yixin Zheng made eight. China competed without star players Zhu Ting, Yan Ni, and setter Ding Xia.

Japan will battle Poland while China competes with Germany. Both games are slated on the 14th.

Italy starts defense with a loss to Thailand

No Paola Egonu, no Miryam Sylla, no Monica de Gennaro. That’s the handicap Team Italy is facing in their title defense. Talented players such as Elena Pietrini and Indre Sorokaite have taken their place in the Montreux Masters. However, it was not enough against the best team Thailand can field.

Davide Mazzanti’s crew enjoyed a 19-4 rout in blocks, seven of which came from Sarah Luisa Fahr alone. But their 24 unforced errors paved Thailand’s path to victory. The Thais also punished last year’s champions with 11 service aces and 52 attack points.

Nootsara Tomkom’s ball distribution enabled four players to score in double figures. Onuma Sittirak led the Asian Games 2018 women’s volleyball silver medalists with 16 markers while Malika Kanthong contributed 15. Pleumjit Thinkaow and Ajcharaporn Kongyot made 14 and 11, respectively.

Alessia Orro took over setting duties from Ofelia Malinov who is part of the Montreux roster. Her playmaking allowed Sorokaite to gather 15 points while Elena Pietrini added 14. Fahr added 12 while Nwakalor scored nine.

The Italians must win against Turkey on May 15 to keep their title hopes alive.