WOQT Recap: Japan grows in power & Peru steals the show

Japan, Peru, Italy and Korea took the stage at the Day 2 at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo, securing victories over Kazakhstan, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Netherlands respectively. Catch up with all the action!

Check out WOQT  Day 1 recap here.

Italy vs Thailand

Result: 3-1 (17-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-16) – watch full match here

Despite a great opening from WOQT Day 1 heroines Thailand, who wanted to keep the momentum after their victory over Dominican Republic, were stopped by Italy. The European team claimed second victory in the competition.

Italy’s captain Antonella Del Core admitted the team did not expect such start from the Thai team.

[quote cite=’Antonella Del Core via FIVB’]We got off to a bad start. We were overwhelmed by their rhythm at the start. We came back from the second set.[/quote]

Coach Marco Bonitta praised Thailand for their high level game in the first and fourth set, but was satisfied that his team addressed their problem eventually in the second set.

Tomorrow all teams will have a rest day to come back the day after on court, where Italy will face Dominican Republic, while Thailand will have its second European clash against Netherlands.

Full WOQT preview can be found here.

Peru vs Dominican Republic

Result: 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 26-24) – watch full match here

Could Peru be our WOQT Cinderella alongside Thailand? Second team of the South American Olympic Qualifier stunned the crowd with surprising straight set victory over Dominican Republic.

The young team, led by Mauro Marasciulo, celebrates its first victory in Tokyo. Prior to the event the coach admitted that Peru went through tough times in the past few years and is working hard to make its way to the top volleyball. After the match, Marasciulo focused on key issues that his young team need to improve.

[quote cite=’Mauro Marasciulo via FIVB’]After winning the first set you have to play carefully in the second set. That requires hard work, which is sometimes difficult for a young team. Players without experience can make mistakes, so we must give them more experience.[/quote]

Dominican Republic, despite return of Bethania De La Cruz, face problem of the second loss at the WOQT. The team tries to stay positive, but their chances to win the ticket to Rio 2016 have slightly melted.

[quote cite=’Bethania De La Cruz’]We expect a rough road here the rest of the way but will do our best. The situation is tough for us now. We still have chances.[/quote]

WOQT Results & Predictions

Nicklin Hames5'10"SSo.
Kenzie Knuckles5'8"L / DSFr.
Megan Miller5'6"L / DSSo.
Aneska Szabo6'3"OHJr.
Chen Abramovich5'6"L / DSSo.
Emma Gabel5'7"L / DSFr.
Capri Davis6'1"OHSo.
Madi Kubik6'3"OHFr.
Lexi Sun6'2"OHJr.
Jazz Sweet6'3"OHJr.
Nicole Drewnick6'1"SFr.
Fallon Stutheit6'2"MBFr.
Riley Zuhn6’5″MB / OHFr.
Callie Schwarzenbach6'5"MBSo.
Lauren Stivrens6'4"MBJr.
Hayley Densburger5'9"L / DSJr.


R – FIVB Ranking
NO – Next Opponent
NGP – Next Game Prediction
OFRP – Our Final Result Prediction

Netherlands vs Korea

Result: 0-3 (27-29, 23-25, 21-25) – watch full match here

Coach Giovanni Guidetti warned that Asian style of volleyball might be an issue for Netherlands. His concerns turned out to be true, when the Dutch faced Korea on the WOQT Day 2. Koreans claimed straight sets victory with their leader Kim Yeon-Koung scoring 24 points! Guidetti couldn’t ignore opponent’s performance.

[quote cite=’Giovanni Guidetti via FIVB’]Kim Yeon-Koung is something special. I have never seen anything like that in my 20 years in volleyball.We all know she is special, but that was really something.[/quote]

Korea’s captain Kim Yeon-Koung explained that her team had a long discussion after the loss on a Day 1 and shared to key to win in the upcoming matches.

[quote cite=’Kim Yeon-Koung via FIVB’] The players played as one today and it will have a big impact in the coming matches.[/quote]

Full WOQT schedule can be found here.

Japan vs Kazakhstan

Result: 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-11) – watch full match here

This is a dream start for the WOQT hosting team Japan with two straight set wins after the Day 2. Japan is the only team without losing a single set, but coach Masayoshi Manabe warned there is still long way to go to secure an Olympic berth. Japanese are yet to face competition favourites, including Europeans Netherlands and Italy, as well as one of their main ‘local’ opponents Korea. Japan will be playing Korea on the Day 3.

[quote cite=’Masayoshi Manabe via FIVB’]The tough portion of the tournament starts now with the next five games. We play Korea next and Yeon-Koung is one of the best players in the world.[/quote]

For Kazakhstan the situation doesn’t look very bright. After their second loss without scoring any points, the Olympic berth seems farther than ever.

[quote cite=’Vyacheslav Shapran via FIVB’]We could not even play 20 percent of what we could do. The home crowd made it tough for us. Our team is still lacking experience. Many of the players were nervous tonight in the first time playing against Japan and could not play to their full potential.[/quote]