Italy, USA, Russia, China on to second round at Japan 2018


Keeping a steady pace since the start of the World Championship, Italy scored their third three-set win on Tuesday

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 2, 2018 – Italy and China recorded their third straight-set victories in Pool B on Tuesday to make certain their participation in the second round of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan. In Pool C, USA and Russia also stayed unbeaten and secured their spots among the best 16 of the tournament.

Italy had very few issues in their match against Cuba. With a 15-point contribution, Paola Egonu was once again the team’s best scorer on the way to a 3-0 win.

Later on, China shut out Canada with 14 points from the game’s top scorer Zhu Ting. After their five encounters in major world-level competitions, Canada have yet to win a set.

With an impeccable record of 9-0 in sets each, Italy and China top the current Pool B standings (in that order on point ratio) and have both secured their progression into the next round.

Russia opened the competition day in Kobe with a three-set victory over Azerbaijan, their sixth out of six matches against this opponent at major world-level competitions or European Championships. Nataliya Goncharova scored 17 times to once again top the charts for Russia, but Azerbaijan’s Polina Rahimova, with 19 points, not only became the best scorer of the match, but also topped the current tournament ranking with a total of 66 points. She also leads the servers with nine aces, including two against Russia.

USA extended their winning streak against Korea in major world-level competitions to 11 consecutive games with a four-set victory in Pool C. The Americans recovered from a first-set loss and, led by sub-in Kelly Murphy with 18 points in the match, won the next three to emerge victorious. Korea’s Jeongah Park hammered out 26 points to become the World Championship’s best scorer of the day and second best of the tournament with two points fewer than Rahimova.

With USA and Russia leading the pool standings with three wins each, they can no longer be surpassed by winless Korea and Trinidad & Tobago and hence are sure to finish among the top four.

USA’s Kelly Murphy spikes past the block of Korean star Yeon Koung Kim

Other Tuesday highlights: 
• All nine matches in Pool B so far have finished in three sets.
• Turkey got back on the winning track with a 3-0 win over Bulgaria in Pool B, their first victory over this opponent in major world-level competitions. The Turks managed to score as many as 12 stuff blocks in the match to help improve their tournament record to 2-1.
• World Championship rookies Trinidad & Tobago registered a historic first set win in their four-set Pool C loss to Thailand.
• In that match, Thailand scored 11 aces and 12 blocking points to help push for the victory, but near the end of the third set their main scorer since the start of the tournament, Pimpichaya Kokram, was carried off the court with a right knee injury. She went to the hospital for a check-up, but coach Danai Sriwachamaytakul hopes it is nothing serious.

China’s Zhu Ting in action against Canada

Match Centres:

The Russians had reasons to celebrate in their successful match with Azerbaijan

The fifth competition day in Japan on Wednesday features a set of 12 matches to be played across all four pools in Yokohama, Sapporo, Kobe and Hamamatsu.

Match Centres for Wednesday, 3 October:
Argentina v Netherlands in Yokohama (Pool A) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Mexico v Germany in Yokohama (Pool A) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
Japan v Cameroon in Yokohama (Pool A) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)
Turkey v Italy in Sapporo (Pool B) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Canada v Cuba in Sapporo (Pool B) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
China v Bulgaria in Sapporo (Pool B) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)
Azerbaijan v Trinidad & Tobago in Kobe (Pool C) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Korea v Russia in Kobe (Pool C) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
USA v Thailand in Kobe (Pool C) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)
Puerto Rico v Dominican Republic in Hamamatsu (Pool D) at 13:40 local time (04:40 GMT)
Kazakhstan v Serbia in Hamamatsu (Pool D) at 16:10 local time (07:10 GMT)
Kenya v Brazil in Hamamatsu (Pool D) at 19:20 local time (10:20 GMT)


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