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VolleyRuller96

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Everything posted by VolleyRuller96

  1. Men's Volleyball CEV European League 2018

    LEG 2 SUMMARY - GOLDEN LEAGUE Luxembourg, May 23, 2018. Estonia, Turkey and Finland lead Pools A, B and C respectively after Leg 2 at Golden European League. Estonia and Finland earned 6 points each, with Finland being the only team to lose one set after two rounds of the competition. Turkey top Pool B with 5 points after defeating The Netherlands in five sets on Wednesday. The Dutch team remain right behind with 4 points. POOL A Slovakia vs. Sweden 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 25-16) It was the first match between Slovakia and Sweden in 11 years. Previously Slovakia won three times, Sweden once. Sweden led 16-12 in the first set, but Slovakia turned the score and won 25-23 with a well timed ace from opposite Peter Mlynarcik. Sweden played a really strong third set and took the lead (14-8), extending it to 22-16 before taking the set 25-19. Slovakia were back in the game in the fourth set, winning it comfortably (25-16). Top scorer of the match was Fredrik Gustavsson from Sweden with 25 points. Tomáš Kriško from Slovakia, who came back to the line-up collected 15 points. 27-year-old setter Jakub Hrinak (Slovakia) recorded his debut in the national team. Andrej Kravárik, coach of Slovakia: "Sweden risked a lot in the service and we had troubles with our reception in the first set. I think key was the first set, because we were down and we came back. All of my players played well and I want also to thank our spectators here in Poprad. It was a much needed victory for us, because we had lost nine games in a row." Johan Isacsson, coach of Sweden: "We had as many chances as we had against Belgium. We took the third set, but I think it is important to win the first set when you play away and we had a chance. Slovakia played at home, they are a strong team. I am proud of my players, but we need to play much better block-defence." Estonia vs. Belgium 3-1 (25-16, 25-20, 27-29, 25-17) Birthday-boy Oliver Venno was the second best scorer for the winning side Estonia with 16 points, one less than teammate Renee Teppan. For the second game in a row opposite Venno was used as outside-hitter, so Estonia had a powerful attack again. The win was a sweet revenge for Estonia, as last summer Belgium stopped Estonia´s road to their first ever participation in the FIVB World Championship when the Red Dragons beat Estonia in the decisive match in the third round of qualifications. About 2,000 spectators attended the match in Rakvere. Gheorghe Cretu, coach of Estonia: ”We play with two opposites and up to some point it gives us a very powerful attack. But at some point the opponent team will crack it open and things will get more complicated, as it's not possible to keep our game perfect all the time. Belgium has one of the best coaches in the world, so I did not expect an easy game. But I am happy with the result, I think the players still remembered last year's game against Belgium, so Oliver got a nice birthday present from the guys.” Andrea Anastasi, coach of Belgium: “They played better than us, we have only been together for a week and it shows in the game. Our block and defence were bad, the service was ok. This competition is like this for us, we need time to get better but there is no time. But some young players get good experience here, so I am happy about that.” POOL B Turkey vs. The Netherlands - 3-2 (25-23, 21-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-12) The team of Turkey claimed an important 3-2 win in their matchup vs. The Netherlands in the second leg of #EuroLeagueM. Many Volleyball supporters attended the match that took place on Wednesday and made an exciting atmosphere in the sports hall in Van (Turkey). 5000 spectators enjoyed some high-class Volleyball on Wednesday. Metin Toy from Turkey finished the match scoring 21 points with 45% efficiency in attack while Burak Gungor recorded 15 points to his name for the winning side. Maarten Van Garderen from The Netherlands was named Best Player of the match scoring 21 points as well, but this was not enough and the Dutch players lost for a very first time in the competition. 
Nedim Ozbey, head coach of Turkey: “We knew it would be a very tough match today, we played very well in the first two sets. We tried to stay focused especially in the last parts of each set, but they were putting a pressure on us with their actions on the service line and in attack. Fortunately, we were always able to fight back and in the end we won this match. Thanks to all of our fans who supported us today. The atmosphere was incredible.” Murat Yenipazar, player of Turkey: “It was a match with a lot of ups and downs and this remains the main problem for our team, we suffer from lack of concentration. The only part of the game, when we were totally focused, was the scoring of the last points in the first two sets and the fourth one. I’m happy that we won the game against The Netherlands.” Nedim Ozbey, head coach of Turkey: “We knew it would be a very tough match today, we played very well in the first two sets. We tried to stay focused especially in the last parts of each set, but they were putting a pressure on us with their actions on the service line and in attack. Fortunately, we were always able to fight back and in the end we won this match. Thanks to all of our fans who supported us today. The atmosphere was incredible.” Ukraine vs. Slovenia More details will follow soon... POOL C Czech Republic vs. Finland 1-3 (23-25, 25-21, 19-25, 21-25) • The first set was a very close one, until the Finns broke away to lead 24-19; the hosts scored four times in a row but it was not enough to end the set in their favour. • The second set followed a similar plot, with the Czechs eventually winning it. • Finland responded by taking the third and fourth sets with great passing and, as a result, they secured their second straight victory in as many matches they have played this far. • The Czech fans contributed a great atmosphere, which the home stars enjoyed very much. There were many Finnish fans as well. Jakub Janouch, captain of Czech Republic: “I would like to thank all the fans who came to support us today. The match started at 8pm on a weekday and the fans were just great. For our next matches we have to train harder because we still aren’t good when it comes to our teamwork.” Sauli Sinkkonen, captain of Finland: “We achieved a victory at home last Saturday and I am so glad that we won again today.” Spain vs. Portugal 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 29-27) Spain extended their streak at home, achieving a new victory. The president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, was in Guadalajara, accompanied by Agustín Martín Santos-President of RFEVB and Antonio Román-Major of Guadalajara. Authorities congratulated the Spanish team. Spain had a great performance on the block, controlling the Portuguese attack. Spain showed their improvement and avenged their first match defeat in the Golden European League. Both teams are tied in the pool, with one victory apiece over each other . Spain’s Andrés Villena was the man of the match with 24 points and 5 blocks. Fernando Muñoz, coach of Spain: “Personally, I am very happy and proud. Today was a special moment for some teammates, because they played their first match wearing the national shirt of Spain.” LEG 2 SUMMARY - SILVER LEAGUE Luxembourg, May 23, 2018. Latvia and Croatia confirmed their strong start to the CEV Silver European League. Both secured two victories in as many matches after Leg 2, becoming the top teams in their respective Pools A and B. On Wednesday Latvia needed three sets only to beat the Former Y.R. of Macedonia, while Austria claimed second place in Pool A and recorded their first victory in the competition after a 3-0 win over Kosovo. In Pool B, Croatia required four sets to win against Belarus. Albania followed their example with a 3-1 win against Hungary, but the team remain third in Pool B. POOL A Kosovo vs. Austria 0-3 (18-25, 12-25, 17-25) • After losing to Latvia last Saturday, Austria celebrated their first victory in the competition, beating Kosovo 3-0 in Gjilan. • The first set was a close affair up to 14-all before Austria edged ahead and imposed their rule. • Austrian rising Volleyball star Paul Buchegger top scored with 17 points. • As they paid their first-ever visit to Kosovo, Austria travel home with maximum three points from this game. • The men’s national team of Kosovo played their first-ever match at Bashkim Selishta-Petriti sports hall in the city of Gjilan. Peter Wohlfahrtstätter, player of Austria: “We watched a lot of videos of Kosovo and we knew every player. We did too many mistakes but we managed to get back in good shape. Since last Saturday, we had another two, three training sessions together in order to establish a better connection and chemistry, and this is the result.” Michael Warm, head coach of Austria: “We are happy that we won today and we were extremely focused and concentrated. The next match in Skopje will be another tough one. We saw the match of Kosovo against the Former Y.R. of Macedonia and we tried to pay attention to their middle-blocker, and that was key towards our victory today.” Latvia vs. Former Y.R. of Macedonia 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-19) • After beating Austria last Saturday, Latvia recorded their second straight victory in the competition. • Nikola Gjorgiev top scored for the visitors with 12 points. • Edvarts Buivids paced Latvia with 16 as Deniss Petrovs delighted the home fans in his hometown Daugavpils with a solid performance. Deniss Petrovs, player of Latvia: “The Former Y.R. of Macedonia was an opponent that we did not know very well, however we managed to win. Today I felt like we had a better chemistry in the game. I was very honoured to receive the MVP title – especially while playing in my hometown. Now we are looking forward to the next game with Kosovo.” Nikola Gjorgiev, player of the Former Y.R. of Macedonia: “Latvia was a tough opponent and we did not expect this to be an easy game, especially after seeing how they fought in Austria. We started well, however we made many mistakes. The good thing is we still have time to improve our game. Good luck to Latvia in the next games and we will now prepare for our game with Austria.” POOL B Hungary vs. Albania 1-3 (25-22, 21-25, 21-25, 23-25) Both teams lost their first games in Pool A. Albania gained their first victory in this year’s Silver European League, while Hungary are still winless after two rounds. Albania started the first set strongly, but Hungary bounced back, tied at 17-17 and kept the lead to win 25-22. Both teams kept the score tight in the second set, with neither leading by more than three points, up until 18-18. At that moment, Albania seized an opportunity to go 22-18 ahead, and eventually won the set 25-21. The visiting team dominated the third set since the beginning, leading 5-2, 16-12 and 22-18, eventually recording a 25-21 win. Albania took a seven-point lead in the fourth set (16-9), but Hungary managed to equalise at 19-19. Albania were able to stop their opponent and won the set in the end with 25-23. Top scorers of the match were Hungary’s Krisztián Pádár with 12 points and Albania’s Gazmend Husaj with 20 points. Anton Qafarena from Albania was named the best player of the match. Péter Blazsovics, player of Hungary: “We started the match really well, but after the first set our performance began to drop. Our coach tried to help us with substitutions, but it didn’t achieve the desired effect. We fought really hard but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the victory. We will try to improve our performance for the next match.” Gazmend Husaj, captain of Albania: “We have a very young team, we are trying to develop from match to match. I hope we can build on this victory for the upcoming games.” Belarus vs. Croatia 1-3 (25-21, 17-25, 19-25, 20-25) • The 211 cm tall opposite of Belarus, Artur Udrys, displayed a very solid blocking game in the early stages of the match and the attacks killed by Andrei Radziuk paved the way towards a 25-21 win for Belarus. • However, Croatia showed great defence in the remainder of the match and Belarus could not keep their pace high despite many substitutions. Leo Andrić scored two aces in a row to seal a 25-17 win for Croatia in the second set. • The setter of Croatia, Tsimafei Zhukouski, made it very difficult for Belarus to read the Croatian game. Andrić top scored in the end with 28 points as the only 17-year-old Uladzislau Davyskiba scored his first point (an ace) with the Belarusian senior national team. Viktar Beksha, head coach of Belarus: “Croatia played better in defence and obviously their serve today decided the outcome of the match. It was difficult for us to receive their serves. We need to work on our own mistakes.” Ivan Rančić, head coach of Croatia: “Our new team performed well here in Minsk. We carefully prepared for this game from a tactical standpoint. Belarus is one of the favourites of the Silver European League, so it was important for us to keep concentration and win. We are sure that we will have more interesting matches with this opponent.”
  2. Men's Volleyball CEV European League 2018

    DAY 1 LEG 2 GROUP A Slovakia 3-1 Sweden (25-22 / 25-18 / 19-25 / 25-16) GROUP A Estonia 3-1 Belgium (25-16 / 25-20 / 27-29 / 25-17) GROUP B Turkey 3-2 Netherlands (25-23 / 21-25 / 25-20 / 20-25 / 15-12) GROUP B Ukraine 3-0 Slovenia (25-23 / 25-23 / 25-18) GROUP C Czech Republic 1-3 Finland (23-25 / 25-21 / 19-25 / 21-25) GROUP C Spain 3-0 Portugal (27-25 / 25-15 / 29-27) GROUP A Kosovo 0-3 Austria (18-25 / 12-25 / 17-25 ) GROUP A Latvia 3-0 Macedonia (25-17 / 25-16 / 25-19) GROUP B Hungary 1-3 Albania (25-22 / 21-25 / 21-25 / 23-25) GROUP B Belarus 1-3 Croatia (25-21 / 17-25 / 19-25 / 20-25)
  3. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    WOMEN'S Week 2, day 3 SCHEDULE (24 MAY 2018) all times are CEST 08:40 United States - Belgium 09:00 Germany - Russia 11:30 Poland - Thailand 12:00 South Korea - : Italy 12:10 Japan - Netherlands 13:00 Dominican Republic- Brazil 14:00 China - Serbia 16:00 Turkey - Argentina
  4. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    PRELIMINARY ROUND STANDINGS after 5 played matches System: 1. CHINA is automaticaly qualified as final 6 Host. 2. TOP 5 TEAMS after the preliminary round qualify for the final round. 3. If China is among the top 5 teams , THE 6-th RANKED TEAM also qualifies. 4. The 12 CORE TEAMS can not be relegated. 4. The WEAKEST PLACED CHALLENGER team may be relegated from the competition if they lose the relegation playoff against the FIVB Challenger Cup (to be played at a later date) winner. Tie-Break Criteria: 1.Matches Won/Lost Ratio (MW/ML) 2. Points Achieved (3 PTS = 3:0 or 3:1 win ; 2 PTS = 3:2 win ; 1PTS = 2:3 defeat ; 0PTS = 0:3 or 1:3 defeat) 3. Set Ratio. Nation MW ML PTS SET 1. 4 1 13 14:4 2. 4 1 12 13:5 3. 4 1 12 13:6 4. 4 1 11 13:6 5. 4 1 11 12:6 6. 4 1 11 12:6 7. QUALIFIED 3 2 10 11:7 8. 3 2 9 9:8 9. CHALLENGER 2 3 6 8:11 10. 2 3 6 7:10 11. CHALLENGER 2 3 4 8:13 12. CHALLENGER 1 4 5 8:12 13 1 3 4 5:12 14: 1 4 3 6:12 15 1 4 3 5:13 16: : CHALLENGER 0 5 0 2:15
  5. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    DAY 05 SUMMARY UNITED STATES 3-0 NETHERLANDS Toyota, Japan, May 23, 2018 - Jordan Larson provided a sublime demonstration of her immense skill and inspiring leadership as she spearheaded the United States to a hugely impressive 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-23) romp against the Netherlands in the inaugural women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Wednesday. The American captain dominated the highly-anticipated Pool 5 clash against the previously undefeated Dutch as she racked up a game-high 18 points, including 14 spikes from 37 attempts, as well as two blocks. Larson's fellow outside hitter Kimberley Hill was also in irresistible form, scoring the first point in each of the three sets, giving her world no. 2 ranked team the vital early lead, as she finished with 12 kills. The Dutch had been the only unbeaten team in the new competition, winning all three of their matches in Russia last week, then saving a match point before beating Belgium in a five-set thriller in Toyota on Tuesday, but found the Americans too strong on the night. The Dutch captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues was the driving force for her team, finishing with 14 points, while opposite spiker Lonneke Sloetjes was the next best with 12. The US had won their last eight matches at world level major tournaments against the Netherlands dating back to 2009 and immediately signalled their intentions to make it nine on the trot. With Lauren Gibbemeyer missing the match and Michelle Bartsch-Hackley playing only as a substitute after the pair played the starring roles in USA's 3-0 win over Japan on Tuesday, Kelly Murphy (10), Foluke Akinradewo (8) and Tetori Dixon (6) filled the void with a combined tally of 24 points. USA raced out to a 10-5 lead and sealed the opening set after just 22 minutes with a cleverly disguised dink from Larson after she combined with American setter Carli Lloyd, who played a key role in her team's victory. The Dutch, who got six points each from the athletic trio of Anne Buijs, Yvon Belien and Nicole Kool, played better the longer the match went but were unable to close out a set. The Netherlands led 15-14 in the second before the Americans went on a run of five points to regain control, then the Dutch rallied back from 19-12 to 19-19 before Akinradewo sealed the USA's win with a devastating block. The USA's next match is against Belgium on Thursday while the Netherlands faces the pool hosts Japan. ITALY 3-0 GERMANY Suwon, South Korea, May 23, 2018 - An energetic all-round performance from Miryam Fatime Sylla inspired Italy to their first triumph of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-20) victory over Germany on Wednesday. Inserted into the starting line-up after a lively showing off the bench against Russia on Tuesday, Sylla showcased powerful offence juxtaposed by resilient defence to help end Italy's four-match drought at the VNL. Sylla provided a slew of highlight reels through unwavering passion and hustle to thrill the sparse crowd at the Suwon Indoor Gymnasium. She finished with 15 points, including 11 spikes and 3 kill blocks, but her influence could not be totally reflected on the scorecard due to the wing spiker's fanatical hustle. She was the clear standout but Italy had numerous tireless contributors, including Serena Ortolani (13 points) and Marina Lubian (12 points). Germany competed hard but were outplayed by their buoyant opponents to lose their second match in the second phase of the VNL. They were led by star Louisa Lippmann (15 points) but dynamic captain Maren Fromm was well held with just 8 points. It was an important victory for Italy, who had started the VNL disastrously with four straight losses to sit second last on the overall standings behind Argentina heading into this fixture. Conversely, after a momentous upset of powerhouse Brazil in the opening match of the VNL, Germany have now lost four straight and their campaign is spiralling out of control. Italy's dominance of their European foes continued with their 11th victory from the past 12 matches at the world level, including an unbeaten run stretching six years. In a clash of two desperate teams, a hungry Italy started strong with Rossella Olivotto and Sylla proving tough to pass at the net as they built an early four-point buffer. However, an aggressive Germany were not rattled and continued to throw haymakers, including most memorably winning a 33-second rally to get within a point midway through the opening set. There wasn't much separating the teams with players exuding vigour marked by Lippmann diving in desperation to engineer a German point to level the scores. Lippmann was seemingly everywhere and she showed off her aerial prowess to hammer home a spike to give her team the early edge. However, Italy hit back but were erratic at times none more so than the mercurial Sylla, who followed a thunderous spike with a service error. Sylla, who was clearly enjoying her starting role, had undoubtedly helped energise her team through her power at the net as Italy won four points in succession to claim the first set in 29 minutes. Italy's momentum carried over into the second set to build an early four-point lead marked by a booming spike from high-flying Ortolani. Sylla continued to inspire her team through hustle and continual brilliant saves made amends for the occasional error as Italy eyed an invaluable two-set lead. In trademark fashion, Germany kept fighting hard but Italy had all the answers as Ortolani produced a kill block to once again stretch her team's lead to four points. Sylla's thundering spike, her sixth point of the stanza, fuelled Italy to a two-set lead as they sensed an end to their VNL drought. Full of belief, Italy continued their dominance and overcame the gritty Germans, who never stopped trying in the third set but lacked the precision of their opponents - particularly on serve. In a mirror image of the previous two sets, Italy held the edge and they celebrated with gusto when Lippmann served long on match point. The teams will round out the second phase on Thursday with Germany taking on Russia and Italy playing hosts Korea. SERBIA 3-1 POLAND Macao, China, May 23, 2018 - Serbia dug deep and had star Brankica Mihajlovic's magic to thank as they overcame Poland 3-1 (20-25, 27-25, 26-24, 25-15) on the 2018 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League's second night of action in Macao. There were assorted problems with Mihajlovic's ball toss throughout the match but - apart from maybe weighing on her mind overnight - they were of little matter in the end as she contributed 17 points to the total. The 27-year-old's reach helps makes the world number-three ranked Serbia a potent force. Mihajlovic was more than ably supported by Ana Bjelica (15 points) and a spirited effort from middle blocker Jovana Stevanovic (14 points) and a record so far of 4-1 will have coach Zoran Terzic happy enough with his team's progression. They face world number one China in their final Pool 7 game in Macao on Thursday and it promises plenty as it's a rematch of the Rio Olympics final, won by the Chinese. For the Poles there was the disappointment of knowing they served for the set in each of the first three stanzas despite falling behind 1-2. Malwina Smarzek (17 points) was again the star despite the defeat and an overall record of 2-3 so far in the VNL perhaps doesn't reflect how much potential is in this squad. The big question coming in was what version of Poland fans would see on the second day of play in Macao, the world-beaters who topped the number-one ranked Chinese or the team that in normal circumstances is ranked 22nd in the world. The Poles came out flying in the first set, using the placement and accuracy that had brought the Chinese undone the night before. But the Serbs, who have looked out of sorts despite only losing one match so far in the VNL, gradually found their rhythm. When she finds her groove Mihajlovic is one of the premier players on the planet and on Wednesday she was responsible for some breathtaking displays of power, something no doubt noted by position coaches whose teams look set to draw the Serbs as the tournament progresses. SOUTH KOREA 3-0 RUSSIA Suwon, South Korea, May 23, 2018 - Another standout performance from Kim Yeon Koung guided Korea to a rare triumph over Russia as the hosts notched their fourth straight victory of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Wednesday. The inspirational captain was at her brilliant best throughout the Pool 6 encounter, particularly during the tense third set, as she led Korea to a convincing 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-17) win to provide plenty of cheer for the local fans. Kim scored 10 of her 21 points in the third stanza meaning she has mustered 50 points in the second phase. She was well supported by Kim Su Ji (4 blocks) and Jaeyeong Lee (9 spikes) as Korea overpowered their world number 5 opponents. Russia were paced by Irina Fetisova's 12 points but they had a number of players struggle, including star Irina Voronkova and captain Kseniia Parubets who combined for just 12 points. In the 50th match between the teams, the contest loomed as a blockbuster with home strong Korea coming in with a trio of victories, while Russia's sole defeat was to in-form Netherlands in the first phase. Russia had long been a hoodoo team for Korea winning 43 of the previous 49 encounters, including three straight over the past four years, but were outclassed by the 2014 Asian Games champions who have now stretched their unbeaten run at the Suwon Indoor Gymnasium to eight matches. Russia made a spectacular start with the powerful Voronkova continuing on from her starring role against Italy on Tuesday with an emphatic spike to immediately silence the energetic crowd. Perhaps due to the swirl of anticipation in the stadium, both teams started nervously with the play marred by a slew of errors in the early going. Soon enough, the vaunted teams started to find their range with a deft touch from Voronkova juxtaposed by a thunderous spike from the high-flying Jeongah Park as the hosts rattled off a quick five points to open up a handy buffer much to the delight of their ardent fans. Middle blocker Su Ji was impregnable at the net with a couple of early kill blocks as Korea started to take control of the contest but Russia remained in touch due to the efforts of Parubets, who showcased a masterclass in precision with one notable spike. Undoubtedly fuelled by the support in the stands, an attacking Korea rattled their opponents through a lethal combination of power and dogged defence. Kim stretched the margin to a sizeable six points with a perfect put away down the line and, soon enough, Korea - despite the best efforts of the explosive Voronkova - closed out the first set in 31 minutes. After a quiet start, middle blocker Ekaterina Efimova tried to rally her team with a couple of spikes to open the second set but Korea regained control with starring efforts from the leaping Lee and Kim, whose jump serve menaced as the hosts enjoyed a commanding 12-3 lead. Just when Russia appeared to be struggling, Fetisova lifted her output and helped trim the deficit as the match tightened but several errors from the visitors proved costly. Threatened by a Russian charge, Korea rediscovered their blistering best capped off by a sizzling 86 kph ace from Sohwi Kang, whose mesmerising serve was proving a handful, as the hosts powered to an invaluable two-set lead. Ensuring they maintained a stranglehold of the contest, Kim dominated through a slew of decisive blocks to deny the visitors. Russia gamely tried to engineer a comeback but were unable to pierce a gutsy Korea, who were hustling and diving with great vigour. The rallies intensified with Kim's deft touch capping off a pulsating 26-second rally to give Korea a 13-9 lead as the spectators jumped to their feet. Korea had all the answers and eventually wrapped up the comprehensive victory through a stellar serve from Lee Hyo Hee to spark a wave of euphoria from the capacity crowd. The teams will round out the second phase on Thursday with Russia taking on a slumping Germany and Korea playing a rejuvenated Italy. JAPAN 3-0 BELGIUM Toyota, Japan, May 23, 2018 - Propelled by sensational performances from Risa Shinnabe and Sarina Koga, Japan posted their first win at home in the inaugural women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-19) victory over Belgium on Wednesday. The two Japanese wing spikers combined for 28 points, with Shinnabe leading the way with 16, highlighted by 15 kills. Koga finished with 12 kills despite being substituted in the second set as the Pool 5 hosts bounced back after Tuesday's loss to the United States to beat the Yellow Tigers in straight sets. Her replacement Yuki Ishii made an immediate impact, racking up eight points in quick time, while Mai Okumura was a constant threat at the net, finishing with nine. Teenager Britt Herbots was once again at the heart of Belgium's challenge, picking up a game-high 17 points to overtake Kaja Grobelna as her team's leading overall pointscorer in the tournament. The 18-year-old, showing no signs of fatigue as she leapt, ran and dived all over the court, also scoring off two blocks, was well supported by Celine Van Gestel, who finished with nine points, and Grobelna, who tallied six. The Belgians suffered a gut-wrenching loss to the Netherlands on Tuesday when they were beaten 3-2 after failing to convert a match point in the fourth set and were unable to raise their game against a Japanese side that enjoyed the bulk of support from the enthusiastic crowd at the Sky Hall. The Japanese captain Nana Iwasaka clinched the first set with a perfectly executed spike that found a way past the Belgian blockers then Okumura made it 2-0 with an unstoppable angled hit from the net. With Marlies Janssens leading the defence and the acrobatic Herbots starting to find some gaps at the back of the opponents' court, the Yellow Tigers took the lead in the third set but were overhauled by the hosts who picked up maximum points. Japan's next match is against the Netherlands on Thursday while Belgium faces the daunting challenge of playing the in-form US, who beat the previously unbeaten Dutch 3-0 earlier on Wednesday and are yet to drop a set in Toyota. BRAZIL 3-0 ARGENTINA Ankara, Turkey, May 23, 2018 - Monique Marinho Pavao was the star of the show as Brazil continued their hot streak in the women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League after battering South American rivals Argentina in straight sets 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-14) in Ankara. It was a classy and ruthless performance from the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix winners who are starting to motor after claiming their 4th straight win in the inaugural competition, and few would bet against them from matching their Grand Prix gold from last year if they continue in this rich vein of form. Argentina, ranked 11th in the world, are still awaiting their first point after 5 successive losses in what's been a chastening campaign for Guillermo Orduna's women thus far. Brazil rested a few of their star players, but the likes of Monique, Ana Beatriz and captain Roberta Silva were instrumental as they had far too much attacking verve for a beleaguered Argentina side. Monique's attacking prowess yielded 16 points, while Amanda Francisco weighed in with 12; Carol and Beatriz were pivotal blockers with three and two respectively. Elina Rodriguez led Argentina's scoring charts with eight points, but the dangerous Anahi Tosi (four points) was kept relatively quiet with Argentina suffering a torrid afternoon inside the Baskent Volleyball Hall in the Turkish capital. Brazil were pushed hard by Pool 8 hosts Turkey on Tuesday in an enthralling four-set victory that lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes, but they looked fresh from the off against Argentina and scored 8 straight points to power into a 10-2 lead. With Drussyla Costa and Tandara Caixeta starting on the sidelines, it was up to Monique to provide the firepower and she didn't disappoint. Aided by the tireless setter Roberta and ably supported by Beatriz and Amanda Francisco, Monique was superb at the net and powered home eight points in the first set alone as Brazil took the opener 25-9 after only 20 minutes. Argentina - error-strewn and lacking confidence - were unable to even reach double figures. Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes, who has led his country to three Olympic gold medals - two for the women's team and one for the men's - would've had an easy team talk at the end of the first set, but Argentina came out with much more urgency in the second and put their rivals under considerable pressure. With the scores locked at 9-9, Carol's superb block put the Brazilians back in front and they managed to eek out a 14-11 lead before Argentina coach Orduna called a time out. But very little changed with Brazil - marshalled by impressive libero Suelen Pinto - able to keep the Volleyball Nations League's bottom side at arm's length with Monique the reliable scoring outlet, and Beatriz contributing with some superb blocks. Brazil duly wrapped up the second set 25-20 to move to the brink of victory. Argentina had never taken a set off Brazil at world level in six competitive meetings and they never looked likely to change that unwanted stat. Monique's powerful spike, which connected with Argentine setter Helena Vidal's face, just about summed up Argentina's afternoon as Brazil opened up a 3-1 lead in the 3rd, and that lead was out to 8-4 by the first technical time out after another Monique spike. Brazil kept up their ruthless mix of silky attacking and tenacious defending and a wonderful 39.3-second rally was finished off brilliantly by Amanda to bring up match point. And Guimaraes' women finished off the third set 25-14 to wrap up an emphatic three-set victory - their 7th successive straight-sets win over their South American rivals at world level. Brazil's win - achieved in only 1 hour and 20 minutes - means they've now lost just two of 32 world-level fixtures played in Europe. CHINA 3-1 THAILAND Macao, China, May 23, 2018 - China looked to captain Liu Xiaotong and she duly delivered with 17 points and, just as important, a calming presence as the world's number one ranked team downed a spirited Thailand 3-1 (25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 25-17) at the 2018 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League in Macao.Liu came up big when it mattered as the world 16th-ranked Thais had the Chinese second-guessing each other as they worked some acute angles. The captain was ably supported by wing spiker Fang Duan (15 points) and middle blocker Hu Mingyuan (15 points) but time and again the Chinese just couldn't seem to put the ball away, when opportunities were there for the taking. Put that down to pressure and the passion with which the Thais play. They kept coming back at their more illustrious opponents and had Chatchu-On Moksri (13 points) and Ajcharaporn Kongyot (12 points) in particular working their socks off all night as they flew in from the wings.A huge rally to end the fourth set, finished with a killer's instinct by Ajcharaporn, provided arguably the highlight of the tournament so far. But the Chinese squad is deep with talent - Tuesday night's star Li Yingying was basically given a night off - and the likes of Liu have seen and done it all before.The 28-year-old captain and wing spiker could be seen rallying her charges as the game played out in the fourth set and they rose to the occasion.The victory snapped a 0-2 streak for the world number one ranked Chinese, who had lost to South Korea (3-0) last week in Ningbo and then to unfancied Poland (3-2) the previous night in Macao.Chinese coach Lang has mixed and matched her squad, opting to give China' new generation of players plenty of court time. But it is a move that has impacted on their normal free-flowing game.Ahead of the Chinese in Macao now waits Serbia, the team they beat for gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and another team who have been slow to reach top form as the VNL has played out into its second week. TURKEY 3-1 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Ankara, Turkey, May 23, 2018 - Gamze Alikaya's wonderful individual performance inspired Turkey to a rare home victory as they saw off the Dominican Republic in 4 sets (25-20, 17-25, 25-20, 25-19) in the FIVB women's Nations League at the Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara. Turkey were good value for their victory and showed real tenacity and courage to recover from Tuesday's defeat to Brazil in the same arena as they posted a 4th victory in 5 Nations League matches. Dominican Republic were a threat from spike range, but their form from Tuesday's impressive 3-0 victory over Argentina largely deserted them as they were outgunned by the hosts, whose victory sparked jubilant scenes at the final whistle. Seyma Ercan was Turkey's top scorer with 17 points, including 16 spikes, but it was setter Alikaya's display which provided the creative spark to propel the hosts to an impressive victory. Libero Hatice Orge Guner was a pivotal figure defensively, while Zehra Gunes (15 points) and Hande Baladin (14 points) were excellent attacking outlets as Giovanni Guidetti's girls added attacking flair to their renowned defensive strength and blocking capabilities. Dominican Republic were indebted to their Nations League top scorer Brayelin Martinez, who chipped in with a game-high 26 points. Yonkaira Pena Isabel weighed in with 15 points, but their attacking verve wasn't enough as they were too often carved open - with their serving particularly erratic. The first set was a slow burner with neither side able to get a stranglehold. Pena Isabel was a menace for the Dominican Republic and she tied it up at 8-8, but 5 straight points for the Turks, including 3 successive spikes from Ercan, put the host nation 13-8 in front and in control. Alikaya's creativity and the sound defensive work of Orge Guner were providing the bedrock while Meryem Boz was the early attacking force, but the visitors were always a threat with Martinez firing home a few powerful spikes. Turkey though weathered the storm and took the first set 25-20. The Caribbean nation, who came into this match having won only once in their opening 4 Nations League encounters, came out all guns blazing in the 2nd set with Martinez - who's 6ft 7inches tall - increasingly prolific with her spikes as the visitors reached the first technical time out 8-3 in front. That lead increased further with the Dominican Republic utilising their power as Lisvel Eve crashed home a spike to make it 16-10. The visitors' Brazilian coach Marcos Kwiek was enjoying what he was seeing. Martinez showed her subtle side with a wonderful finish to push her team onto the 20-point mark, and they went from strength to strength to finish off the set at a canter (25-17) and level the match at one set apiece. Turkey, who had won just 1 of their last 10 home matches at world level, looked jittery at the start of the 3rd set, but a couple of points from captain Erdem Dundar had them 8-7 in front at the first technical time out. But the Caribbean nation, who had won 9 of their previous 12 matches in Europe prior to this contest, levelled the set at 12-12, only for Turkey to score 3 successive points to regain control. With visiting libero Ana Binet struggling under intense Turkish serving, the hosts managed to forge a lead with Gunes providing 2 crucial blocks. Guidetti's players wrapped up the set 25-20 to move to within touching distance of victory. Turkey had a 5-1 winning record against Dominican Republic prior to this match and they sensed victory again with a ferocious start to the 4th set. With Baladin increasingly influential, the hosts built up a sizeable 4-point lead at the first technical time out. The Caribbeans were continuing to make service errors, but their aerial scoring power always made them a threat and it took real Turkish resilience to put them away. Alikaya's majestic touch made it 16-11 as Dominican Republic heads began to drop, and Turkey moved through the gears to wrap up the set 25-19 in relatively serene fashion to seal just a 2nd home win in 11 attempts. The hosts move up to 4th place in the Nations League table, while it's back to the drawing board for the Dominican Republic who have just 1 win from 5 outings.
  6. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 Turkey 3-1 Dominican Republic (25-20 / 17-25 / 25-20 / 25-19)
  7. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 China 3-1 Thailand (25-23 / 26-24 / 22-25 / 25-17)
  8. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 Brazil 3-0 Argentina (25-9 / 25-21 / 25-14) :
  9. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 Japan 3-0 Belgium (25-19 / 25-20 / 25-19)
  10. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 South Korea 3-0 Russia (25-19 / 25-14 / 25-17)
  11. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 Serbia 3-1 Poland (20-25 / 27-25 / 26-24 / 15-25)
  12. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Looks like is going to win after all. Very similar situation for us was in the game against the United States... Well too bad But I still think the girls play surprisingly good so far . WIth a bit of luck they might have won this 3-0 and 3-1 against the U.S - two very close matches. We still have some matches to play so i hope we finish in the top 10, especially since we won;t have that hard opponents in the tournament played in Poland.
  13. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    What a beggining for us 1-0 against Olympic Silevr Medalists
  14. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 Italy 3-0 Germany (25-22 / 25-18 / 25-20)
  15. Men's Volleyball CEV European League 2018

    Group Stage, LEG 2 out of 6 Day 1 out of 1 - 23 may 2018 - schedule all times are CEST GOLDEN LEAGUE GROUP A 18:00 Slovakia - Sweden 19:00 Estonia - Belgium GROUP B 15:30 Turkey - Netherlands 18:00 Ukraine - Slovenia GROUP C 20:00 Czech Republic - Finland 20:45 Spain - Portugal FREE STREAMING OF THE GOLDEN LEAGUE MATCHES IS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/channel/volleyball-cev-golden-european-league-men SILVER LEAGUE GROUP A 17:30 Kosovo - Austria 19:30 Latvia - Macedonia GROUP B 16:00 Hungary - Albania 19:00 Belarus - Croatia FREE STREAMING OF THE SILVER LEAGUE MATCHES IS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/channel/volleyball-cev-silver-european-league-maenner
  16. Women's Volleyball CEV European League 2018

    Group Stage, LEG 2 out of 6 Day 1 out of 1 - 23 may 2018 - schedule all times are CEST GOLDEN LEAGUE GROUP A 18:00 Azerbeijan - Portugal 18:30 Bulgaria - Ukraine GROUP B 18:30 Hungary - Croatia 18:30 Finland - France GROUP C 16:00 Belarus - Slovakia 17:00 Czech Republic - Spain FREE STREAMING OF THE GOLDEN LEAGUE MATCHES IS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/channel/volleyball-cev-golden-european-league-women SILVER LEAGUE GROUP A 17:00 Estonia - Switzerland 20:00 Kosovo - Sweden GROUP B 19:00 Albania - Austria 19:00 Israel - Georgia FREE STREAMING OF THE SILVER LEAGUE MATCHES IS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.laola1.tv/en-int/channel/volleyball-cev-silver-european-league-frauen
  17. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 05 United States 3-0 Netherlands (25-19 / 25-21 / 25-23)
  18. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    I searched, but all I found is that SporTV broadcasts some of the games in Brazil I don't know about Uruguay but I think usually there have been broadcast of the games in Argentina and Peru too. If you are really interested and have Facebook, maybe you could try to contact your country's volleyball body or FIVB via messenger and ask them if there is any way you could watch the games.
  19. Hi! Welcome to Totallympics, hopefully you will enjoy it here
  20. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    WOMEN'S Week 2, day 2 SCHEDULE (23 MAY 2018) all times are CEST 08:40 United States - Netherlands 09:00 Germany - Italy 11:30 Poland - Serbia 12:00 South Korea - Russia 12:10 Japan - Belgium 13:00 Argentina - Brazil 14:00 China - Thailand 16:00 Turkey - Dominican Republic
  21. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    PRELIMINARY ROUND STANDINGS after 4 played matches System: 1. CHINA is automaticaly qualified as final 6 Host. 2. TOP 5 TEAMS after the preliminary round qualify for the final round. 3. If China is among the top 5 teams , THE 6-th RANKED TEAM also qualifies. 4. The 12 CORE TEAMS can not be relegated. 4. The WEAKEST PLACED CHALLENGER team may be relegated from the competition if they lose the relegation playoff against the FIVB Challenger Cup (to be played at a later date) winner. Tie-Break Criteria: 1.Matches Won/Lost Ratio (MW/ML) 2. Points Achieved (3 PTS = 3:0 or 3:1 win ; 2 PTS = 3:2 win ; 1PTS = 2:3 defeat ; 0PTS = 0:3 or 1:3 defeat) 3. Set Ratio. Nation MW ML PTS SET 1. 4 0 11 12:3 2. 3 1 10 11:4 3. 3 1 9 10:4 4. 3 1 9 9:5 5. 3 1 9 10:6 6. 3 1 8 10:5 7. 3 1 8 9:6 8. QUALIFIED 2 2 7 8:6 9. CHALLENGER 2 2 6 8:8 10. CHALLENGER 2 2 4 7:10 11. CHALLENGER 1 3 5 7:9 12. 1 3 3 5:9 13 1 3 3 5:10 14: 1 3 3 4:10 15 0 4 1 2:12 16: : CHALLENGER 0 4 0 2:12
  22. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    DAY 04 SUMMARY RUSSIA 3-0 ITALY Suwon, Korea, May 22, 2018,- A clutch all-round performance from Irina Voronkova has guided a confident Russia to a perfect start in the second phase of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-12, 25-23) win over hapless Italy on Tuesday. The straight sets scoreline belied the competitive and highly energetic affair but Voronkova stepped up at various stages when Russia was threatened by a plucky Italy, who are now in deep trouble without a win from four games. Voronkova finished with 14 points (11 spikes and 3 serves) and she was ably supported by middle blocker Irina Fetisova (12 points), Natalia Malykh (12 points) and captain Kseniia Parubets (11 points) in an even performance from the victors. Serena Ortolani (14 points) tried her hardest for a gallant Italy, who matched Russia's intensity for two of the sets. Russia's sole loss in the first phase was to in-form Netherlands and they have continued their strong form into the second week. It was sweet revenge for Russia who had lost to Italy in last year's World Grand Prix in a five-set heartbreak. Russia had long dominated the matchup over their European foes with 22 wins from 27 matches although, in a quirk, four of Italy's victories had been on Asian soil. Anchored near the bottom of the overall standings after a winless opening phase, Italy is now in major strife despite some encouraging signs but they will rue a poor second set. Most of the lively crowd at Suwon Indoor Gymnasium were eagerly anticipating watching their beloved home team later in the evening but the fans were treated to a high-octane affair. Ominously, it was a poor start for Italy with Anastasia Guerra serving into the net to start the game as the energetic and confident Russians took control early with a 4-1 lead before Italy found their groove due to some sensational defensive work from middle blocker Marina Lubian. An aggressive Italy aimed to dictate through power but that desire to dominate backfired through a series of errors to hand Russia the initiative. The early going was marked by terrific net work from both desperate teams during a tight first set as the scores were deadlocked on numerous occasions. With scores level at 24, opposite spiker Malykh produced a thunderous spike to give her team the lead and Russia closed out a gruelling first set in 29 minutes. Despite the heartbreak of losing the opening stanza, Italy came out with intent in the second set but were matched at every step by Russia, who were led by powerful serving from Voronkova. Following a familiar pattern, Russia appeared to be getting on top but the brave efforts of wing spiker Lucia Bosetti, who produced an astonishing block to deny a powerful attempt from Ekaterina Efimova, kept Italy in the game before the floodgates opened. Malykh and Voronkova produced a series of thunderous spikes with Russia winning 10 of 11 points to take firm control of the match with one of Voronkova's high-powered spikes powering at 100 kmph. Fetisova was also proving impregnable and a booming net kill gave Russia the lead and, soon enough, a two-set advantage. With their backs against the wall, Italy battled bravely in the third set with Miryam Fatime Sylla dominating on serve to give her team a handy 7-3 lead before Russia fought back. Much like the first set, the scores see-sawed and there were several fantastic long rallies but Russia's defence held firm marked by winning a pulsating 28-second exchange with the scores locked at 9 apiece. Aiming to avoid a fourth straight loss, Italy blunted Russia's power with dogged defence at the net as they edged ahead 18-15. In a vital moment in the set, with the fans on their edge of the seats, Russia won a long rally as they cunningly manoeuvred from defence to attack punctuated by a thunderous spike from Voronkova to get Russia within one point. Shortly later, a brilliant block by Fetisova to deny Rossella Olivotto evened the scores and Russia could sense victory was imminent. Despite some jitters, including a service error from youngster Anna Kotikova, Russia fittingly closed it out winning another long rally. The teams will be back in action on Wednesday when Italy takes on Germany, while Russia play hosts Korea. NETHERLANDS 3-2 BELGIUM Toyota, Japan, May 22, 2018 - Lonneke Sloetjes produced a brilliant all-round performance to lead The Netherlands to a heartstopping 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 23-25, 31-29, 15-10) win over Belgium in a sensational start to Week 2 in the inaugural women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Tuesday. Sloetjes finished with 26 points, including 21 spikes from 49 attempts, as well as three vital blocks as the Dutch survived a match point to stretch their unbeaten run in the competition to four matches after winning each of their three games in Russia last week. Outside hitter Anne Buijs also had a superb match, finishing with 20 points after The Netherlands saved a match point in the fourth set to beat their European neighbours in a classic match that lasted 2 hours 17 minutes. Kaja Grobelna scored a game-high 28 points for Belgium while Britt Herbots racked up 22 points in another impressive performance from the teenage wing spiker but their combined tally of 50 points was not enough to get the Yellow Tigers over the line. Ranked five places ahead of Belgium on the world rankings and in great form after finishing 3-0 in Week 1, The Netherlands went into the match as slight favourites but had to produce their absolute best to overcome the Yellow Tigers. With middle blocker Marlies Janssens (7 blocks) providing stiff resistance at the net and Grobelna, Herbots and Celine Van Gestel (13 points) starring in attack, Belgium looked all set for victory after carving out a hard-earned 2-1 lead. After trailling for most of the fourth set, the Yellow Tigers drew level and had a match point at 29-28 but with the athletic Buijs taking control, the Dutch survived and reeled off three points in a row to force a deciding fifth set. The crowd at Sky Hall were treated to an nailbiting encounter as the teams went for broke in the fifth set, diving all over the court as every point was hotly contested, with many decided by thrilling rallies and monster blocks as the tension escalated. Dutch wing spiker Maret Balkestein-Grothues was heavily involved and finished with 14 points as the Netherlands finally got in front for the first time before pulling clear late in the fifth set while Yvon Belien and Celeste Plak, who was substituted after the third set, each scoring 10 in an all-round team effort. Belgium's next match is against the Pool 5 hosts Japan on Wednesday while The Netherlands face the USA. SERBIA 3-1 THAILAND Macao, China, May 22, 2018 - Opposite spiker Tijana Boskovic steadied Serbian nerves and drove them on to 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 19-25, 25-19) victory over a spirited Thailand as Week 2 of the 2018 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League took the action to the southern Chinese city of Macao. The reach and range of the 21-year-old Boskovic (30 points) eventually proved insurmountable at the net and her efforts, combined with and hot-and-cold effort from wing spiker Brankica Mihajlovic (12 points) saw the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalists improve their VNL record to 3-1, as the Thais fell to 1-3. While Boskovic was sometimes guilty of wild serves - most notably to hand the Thai's the third set - she seemed to rally her teammates to the cause the longer the match went on, challenging calls and urging them on. She was rested in the fourth set by coach Zoran Terzic and reacted with a look that could have frozen ice. Thai coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul's game plan was to go deep, and dodge the Serb's two most imposing players, and it worked best in that second and third sets when the likes of Thai top-scorer Onuma Sittirak (15 points) gave as good as she got against her team's more fancied opponents. But the Serbs proved just why they are one of the strongest teams in the women's game come the fourth stanza. Captain Milena Rasic (13 points) was particularly strong when the pressure was on and will be looking to build on Tuesday's success when the Serbs next turn out, against Poland on Wednesday. The Macao crowd had warmed to the Thais and their underdog status, after the two-time Asian champions had lost to the Netherlands (3-0) and Russia (3-1) in the VNL's first round. Inventive attacks had their opponents double-guessing in the middle two sets. But a yellow card for dissent in the fourth set for Terzic seemed to rally the Europeans, and experienced heads prevailed for the Serbs, particularly Bozkovic who by that stage had made her presence felt across the court. SOUTH KOREA 3-1 GERMANY Suwon, South Korea, May 22, 2018,- Kim Yeon Koung showcased her impeccable leadership to inspire Korea to a thrilling comeback victory over Germany on Tuesday in front of a delighted home crowd. Kim dominated in all areas to ensure the hosts recovered from a slow start to overcome a gritty Germany in a 3-1 (23-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-16) win to start the second phase of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League in style. With a game-high 29 points, Kim was the standout but she was well supported by Jeongah Park (13 points) and Jaeyeong Lee (12 points). Dynamic duo Louisa Lippmann and Maren Fromm combined for 33 points to lead Germany. The result continued Korea's dominance over Germany stretching four games during the last six years. In front of a loud and capacity crowd at the Suwon Indoor Gymnasium, the Pool 6 encounter followed a familiar trend between the teams with Korea now having beaten Germany four straight times despite losing the first set on each occasion. Fresh off their major upset of China to cap off the first phase, Korea has won three straight while Germany has slumped to three consecutive losses after shocking Brazil to memorably open the VNL. Unbeaten at world level in Suwon and fuelled by a boisterous crowd, Korea came out strong with explosive attack but the gritty Germans repelled the constant waves with dogged defence to quiet the energetic fans. Middle blocker Marie Scholzel was terrific in the early going as Germany stormed out to a 16-11 lead punctuated by several imposing kills by Lippmann. Perhaps starting too energised amid the cauldron, a rash Korea endured numerous errors but eventually rediscovered their noted high-octane game with Kim inspiring a fightback. However, Germany kept their noses in front and despite some hiccups, including when Scholzel faltered on serve with the visitors ahead 22-18, they wrapped up a 31-minute first set to stun the crowd. Middle blocker Lisa Grunding emphatically denied a spike attempt to showcase her renowned blocking ability as Germany made the ideal start to the second set and soon led 6-2 as the ardent local fans started to get nervous. The feisty German defence blunted Korea but Kim gamely rallied a comeback, which seemed to inspire her team and spark the crowd. But Germany kept responding with Scholzel providing a highlight reel with an imperious spike to give her team a 14-9 advantage as the visitors continued to defy their fancied opponents. Attempting to avoid a major hole, Korea once again rallied through Kim, who served calmly and was seemingly everywhere, and a spectacular spike from wing spiker Lee brought the fans to their feet and trimmed the margin to two points. It was bedlam shortly after when a high-flying Kim produced her 10th spike to give Korea the lead and momentum. However, Germany would not be overawed as Fromm produced a spectacular spike to even the scores at 21 as the pulsating second set reached a crescendo with the teams trading points. Germany demonstrated composure to save two set points but Lippmann missed a spike and, quite fittingly, Kim closed out the 39-minute second set with a brilliant backcourt spike to level the contest. Korea's momentum continued in the third set with Hyo Jin Yang producing several kill blocks to stifle Germany, who appeared to be buckling under the tidal wave before clutch serving from Scholzel reduced the margin to just five points. Soon enough, the 2014 Asian Games champions reground and wrapped up the stanza to take firm control of the contest. There was no respite from Kim who continued to dazzle with spikes and blocks to deflate Germany in the fourth set. Germany kept fighting but they were continually halted by Kim and Lee, who was dazzling the fans with her aerial prowess. The crowd erupted in euphoria when Korea eventually wrapped up victory to continue their long held dominance at home. Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday with Korea playing a confident Russia, while Germany take on winless Italy. UNITED STATES 3-0 JAPAN Toyota, Japan, May 22, 2018 - Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Kimberley Hill combined for 38 points as the United States turned on the power to beat Pool 5 hosts Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-23) in the inaugural women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Tuesday. Utilising their height advantage at the net, the two American heavy hitters dominated in attack, with Bartsch-Hackley scoring 21 points and Hill finishing with 17 as Team USA chalked up an 11th consecutive win over Japan, dating back to 2011. The Americans, ranked No.2 in the world, were even more dominant in defence, outscoring Japan 12-2 in blocking, led by Lauren Gibbemeyer, who was an almost impenetrable presence at the net, collecting a game-high seven blocks. While the sixth-ranked Japan could not match the USA in defence, they did marginally outpoint them in spikes, with 10 players registering at least one kill. Yuki Ishii led the way for Japan with 13 spikes from 28 swings while Mami Uchiseto and the left-handed Mari Horikawa had six each. With the win, the USA improved to 3-1 in the tournament after hosting Pool 3 last week while Japan dropped to 1-3 with the loss after an entertaining match for the crowd at Sky Hall Toyota. The USA took control of the match right from the outset with Bartsch-Hackley and Hill leading the attack and Gibbemeyer frustrating the Japanese hitters with her extended reach. Kelly Murphy (7 points) and Rachael Adams (4 points) were also prominent before the Japanese started to find some inroads in the third set with captain Nana Iwasaka (4 points) and Risa Shinnabe (4 points) spotting some holes in the American defence. Japan led by three points late in the set but the visitors kept chipping away and inched past right at the end to win in straight sets. Japan's next match is against Belgium on Wednesday while the USA faces the Netherlands, the only unbeaten team in the competition. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 3-0 ARGENTINA Ankara, Turkey, May 22, 2018 - Brayelin Martinez and Yonkaira Pena Isabel both scored 15 points as the Dominican Republic secured their first ever victory in the inaugural women's FIVB Nations League after a tense three-set victory 3-0 (26-24, 26-24, 25-19) over Argentina. This Pool 8 clash was expected to be a tight battle between two sides who were still searching for their first win of the Nations League, and both teams looked far from assured in an error-strewn but engrossing battle in the Turkish capital, Ankara, with Martinez' and Pena Isabel's points haul enough to see off a ragged Argentine side, who are now rooted to the bottom of the Nations League with 4 defeats from 4 matches. Dominican Republic, who had won the previous 3 meetings with Argentina and 5 of the last 7, had too much power with Martinez a constant thorn in the Argentina side with her power at the net, and she was aided by the likes of Annerys Valdez, while skipper Marte Frita marshalled her team-mates defensively. Anahi Tosi was the game's joint-top scorer with 15 points for Argentina and was always a threat at the net, while Elina Rodriguez and Antonela Fortuna also chipped in with 11 and 9 points respectively. The first set was incredibly close with neither side able to break clear, but it was the Queens of the Caribbean who led 8-7 and then 16-15 at the first two technical time outs. Marcos Kwiek's girls managed to stretch their lead to 20-17 to seemingly give themselves some breathing space, but his opposite number Guillermo Orduna called an Argentine time out and it appeared to do the trick with his side claiming 6 of the next 7 points to move into a 23-21 lead. But the South Americans pressed the self-destruct button and crucial block points from Martinez and Marte put the Caribbean side on the brink of the set, only for Argentina to level at 24-24 after a successful challenge. But two timely Martinez spikes handed Dominican Republic the set (26-24). Into set two and Argentina, who haven't beaten Dominican Republic since 2011, responded from the blow of losing the opener with a more controlled display, helped by the excellent defensive work of libero, Tatiana Rizzo. The set will be remembered for a wonderful 47-second rally which Dominican Republic eventually won through Lisvel Eve's powerful spike. Anahi Tosi was looking increasingly dangerous from spike range as Argentina kept their noses in front at both technical time outs. But it all went horribly wrong for Orduna's side who threw away a 24-21 lead as the Caribbean side won 5 straight points to steal the second set and move into a two-set lead (26-24). Argentina, who are ranked 11th in the world, 2 places below their opponents, looked shell-shocked after surrendering that second set and it was the Caribbean side who started the third set in brighter fashion. They led 8-7 at the first technical time out and surged into a 14-10 advantage with Argentina missing a hatful of chances - most notably Rodriguez who put a straightforward spike long with the scores at 12-10. Dominican Republic, who suffered agonising 5-set losses to South Korea and Belgium in their last 2 matches, weren't to be denied this time. They closed out the set relatively comfortably against the forlorn South Americans, who remain without a point in the women's Nations League. The Caribbeans' greater power at the net - Kwiek's girls amassed 5 points from blocks to Argentina's 1 - proved decisive as they closed out a 26-24 26-24 25-19 victory to lift them up to 10th in the Nations League table. POLAND 3-2 CHINA Macao, China, May 22, 2018 - Malwina Smarzek added a further 35 points to her collection while Poland upset China 3-2 (18-25, 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12) in front of a stunned home crowd as the 2018 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League lit up the southern Chinese city of Macao on Tuesday night. The 21-year-old opposite spiker has now amassed 100 for the tournament and the Chinese had no answer for her power as Polish coach Jacek Nawrocki made some clever rotations, set around the superb all-round court coverage of libero Agata Witkowska. For China it was teenaged star Li Yingying who gave fans a look at the future.The 18-year-old Li has the whole volleyball world watching and duly delivered with 19 points in China's losing effort. But not much else went the way of the 2016 Rio gold medalists with Poland rising to the big occasion in front of China's vocal home fans. As hosts, China are assured of a place in the VNL finals and coach Lang Ping has taken the opportunity to give court time to her younger players. It has had mixed results - as a first-round upset loss to South Korea (3-0) was matched by the Polish on Tuesday night. Poland were quick to pounce on a number of crucial mistakes in the middle sets - Smarzek in particular - as coach Lang mixed and matched her line-up. A record of 2-2 doesn't fully reflect Poland's form, given they took a set off world champions the USA in the first-round before losing 3-1 and ground out a gutsy 3-2 win over Italy. But coach Jacek Nawrocki and his charges didnlt seem to care too much as they celebrated their upset. The big question now is just how quickly China can come up with a line-up that's settled enough to tackle the form teams of the VNL. BRAZIL 3-1 TURKEY ANKARA, TURKEY, MAY 22, 2018 - Tandara Caixeta hit 25 points to inspire Brazil to a 3rd win from 4 games in the women's FIVB Nations League with a gritty 4-set victory (25-17, 25-19, 23-25, 25-21) over hosts Turkey in front of a raucous Ankara crowd. The Brazilians - 2017 World Grand Prix winners - are big hitters on the women's volleyball circuit, and it showed in this Pool 8 clash against an energetic Turkey side who had won their opening 3 Nations League matches. The Turks' good recent form belies their lowly world ranking of 12th, but they'd won just 1 of their last 9 world-level fixtures at home - and the world's 4th-ranked side Brazil added to that unwanted home record. Tandara top-scored with 16 in Brazil's defeat to Germany in their opening fixture and hit a game-high 25 in the victory over Japan, and she matched that tally (25) against Turkey who struggled to defend her ferocious power from the net. Drussyla Costa was also a menace from close range and amassed 16 points while Amanda Francisco added 11 points to her mix of potent serving. Turkey, who fought back superbly to take a tense 3rd set, had their moments with top-scorer and skipper Erdem Dundar influential, she weighed in with 14 points while there were tenacious performances from the likes of Gamze Alikaya, Zehra Gunes (9 points), Meliha Ismailoglu and Hande Balogin (10 points). The South American champions began in blistering fashion and had captain Roberta and the outstanding libero Suelen Pinto to thank for providing the defensive solidity as they manouevred their big spike hitters into the perfect positions. And one of those big hitters Tandara provided signs of what was to come with a powerful spike to put Brazil 6-3 ahead. Turkey roused themselves to level at 6-6 but the visitors turned on the style to score 6 straight points. That gap was out to 7 by the second technical time out, and Tandara added further powerful spikes as the Brazilians wrapped up the opening set with ease (25-17). Brazil had won on their 2 previous visits to Turkey, including last year's 3-2 victory in Ankara on their way to World Grand Prix honours, and they continued to move through the gears in the second set. The hosts were well in the set at 4-4 but Jose Roberto Guimaraes' girls went on a blistering burst of 6 unanswered points to move 10-4 clear. But Turkey, who beat Italy, USA and Poland in their opening 3 matches, fought back superbly in front of 2,500 expectant fans, with Erdem's serving causing the South Americans all sorts of problems as they drew level at 17-17. But Brazil wrestled back control and, thanks to a couple of huge Drussyla spikes, Guimaraes's side closed out the set (25-19) to silence the Ankara crowd. Turkey needed a miracle turnaround and they threw caution to the wind in the 3rd set with Erdem's huge block providing them with a 5-2 lead, which soon became 6-2 with coach Guimaraes calling a Brazilian timeout to try and calm some nerves. And his tactical talk did the trick with Brazil turning the set on its head in dramatic circumstances with Macris Carneiro's instinctive point hauling them level at 10-10, before the South Americans took a 13-11 lead after a wonderful block by Adenizia da Silva. But Turkey - with Italian coach Giovanni Guidetti roaring on from the sidelines - fought back again and took an 18-17 lead after Gunes' tremendous block. Brazil uncharacteristically began to make errors and Tandara's missed spike handed Turkey the set (25-23) and a way back into the match. The momentum was with the home side, but Brazil are masters at handling pressure situations and they did so again. Despite heading into the first technical time out 8-7 behind, Brazil responded with Drussyla finding her range as they scored 7 of the next 9 points to take control. Guimaraes' side established a 16-11 lead at the second technical time out, and despite another Turkish comeback - they scored 3 straight points to move to within 2 of the visitors under the serving of Ismailoglu - Brazil dug deep to get over the line and seal a tense 4-set victory in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Turkey showed enough to suggest they'll be a serious threat in this competition, but they were ultimately outclassed as they suffered an 8th defeat in 9 matches against Brazil. The visitors were good value for their win and make it 3 straight Nations League victories since their opening defeat to Germany.
  23. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    day 04 Brazil 3-1 Turkey (25-17 / 25-19 / 23-25 / 25-21)
  24. Women's Volleyball FIVB Nations League 2018

    Day 04 Poland 3-2 China (18-25 / 25-17 / 25-18 / 22-25 / 15-12) one of the best matches for our girls in many years
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