Sapporo, Japan, November 13, 2011 – Title holders Italy, World Grand Prix champions USA and 2003 champions China will start the fourth and final round of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup on Wednesday holding down first, second and third spots respectively as the 11-day tournament heads to Tokyo following the completion of round three in Sapporo and Okayama on Sunday.
Women’s World Cup Results/Standings, Match Info, Photos or Live Scoring
World No. 7 Italy continued their outstanding tournament, which offers the medallists a ticket to the 2012 Olympic Games, with their eighth win from as many matches after beating European champions Serbia in straight sets (29-27, 25-19, 25-20) to move to 23 points, two ahead of world No. 2 USA, who beat the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-14) for their seventh win and four ahead of China, who were far too strong for Korea, collecting their sixth victory 3-0 (25-21, 25-8, 25-16).
Italy followed up on their impressive win against Brazil on Saturday with another outstanding display of determination and application in a match which heralded the return to full competition of Serbia captain Jovana Brakocevic. History was in Italy’s favour having won all of their previous five matches against Serbia. Including results as Serbia and Montenegro, and Yugoslavia, Italy had won eight out of 11 matches, all of them since losing the first three at the 1951 and 1975 European Championships, and 1978 World Championships and Italy continued in that vein thanks to “La Mama” Simona Gioli who posted a game-high 21 points, including a tournament high eight blocks.
“We deserve to arrive in this situation, I think we played a difficult match because the Serbian team – despite not having all their players – played very well,” Italy coach Massimo Barbolini said. “At the end we won a very important match and regarding the next round, it’s very important because we can try to arrive in the top three teams. We play Germany and USA, so I think we have to try to play as well as we have until now.”
USA’s win over the Dominican Republic in Okayama continues an impressive head-to-head run in FIVB competitions which stands in the Americans’ favour 11-2, including winning the last nine. “Tonight was a very important night for us to finish this round strong going into the last round,” USA captain Lindsey Berg said. “The Dominican Republic have very physical players and we have to come out to play a tough game every time we play them. Tonight, they came out strong again and we’re really happy for our victory.
Meanwhile, three-time champions China consolidated their place in the World Cup top three, continuing their incredible head-to-head run against Korea with their 24th victory in 32 contests, including seven out of the last eight encounters (Korea’s win coming in last year’s World Championship) of which six were 3-0.
There were sensational scenes soon after in Sapporo in the key late game when Japan stunned Brazil with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-23) win which heaped more despair on the Olympic champions, who, after winning three matches consecutively 3-2 have now lost in straight sets to Italy and Japan – Brazil’s first back to back defeats since the 2007 World Grand Prix (when they lost four in a row). The victory was even more incredible considering it was only Japan’s 12th in 57 matches against the world No. 1 and only second in the last 25 matches dating back to 2002. Japan now move up to fifth place on 16 points with five wins and three defeats while Brazil’s chances of claiming an Olympic ticket look increasingly slim as they sit seven points behind third place on 12 despite also having a five win and three defeat record.
Earlier, Germany also stayed within touching distance of the top three, recording their sixth win to stay in fourth on 18 points thanks to their 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-18) win over Argentina in the first ever FIVB match between the two countries in Okayama. And Algeria won the battle between the winless teams prevailing over Kenya 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-23).
Joining Algeria and Kenya, in terms of having their Olympic Games qualification chances now ruled out in the World Cup, was Korea, the Dominican Republic and Argentina. With three games remaining and only a maximum of nine points on offer and they all now trail third place China by more than nine points.
The World Cup now takes in two travel/rest days before the fourth round starts in superb style with China (3rd) playing USA (2nd), Italy (1st) taking on Germany (4th) and Japan (5th) up against Kenya (12th) at the Yoyogi Stadium while at the Tokyo Metropolitan, the Dominican Republic (9th) play Serbia (7th), Algeria (11th) take on Korea (10th) and Brazil (6th) face Argentina (8th).
The World Cup, which offers tickets to the London Olympic Games to the three medallists, continues until November 18 after each of the 12 teams team has played each other once, offering three points for a 3-0 or 3-1 win (a 3-2 result gives two points to the winner and one to the loser). The men’s tournament follows in Japan from November 20 to December 4.
LIVE SCOREBOX – Day 8 | November 13, 2011
The first whistle for each match will sound 10 minutes after the start time listed
FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup Highlights
Tournament Leading Scorers
1 Bethania De La Cruz de Peña (DOM) 168 points
2 Carolina del Pilar (ITA) 125 points
3 Kimura Saori (JPN) 123 points
4 Hui Ruoqi (CHN) 119 points
Sheilla Castro (BRA) 119 points
Top Scoring Performances
42 – Bethania De La Cruz de Peña (Dominican Republic) v Germany on Nov 12
29 – Bethania De La Cruz de Peña (Dominican Republic) v China on Nov 8
29 – Kim Yeon-Koung (Korea) v Brazil on Nov 8
27 – Carolina del Pilar Costagrande (Italy) v China on Nov. 5
Top Scorers by Day
November 4: 24 – Bethania De La Cruz de Peña (Dominican Republic) v Argentina
November 5: 27 – Carolina del Pilar Costagrande (Italy) v China
November 6: 24 – Saori Kimura (Japan) v China
November 8: 29 – Bethania De La Cruz de Peña (Dominican Republic) v China and Kim Yeon-Koung (Korea) v Brazil
November 9: 24 – Sheilla Castro (Brazil) v Serbia
November 11: 21 – Paula Pequeno (Brazil) v China
November 12: 42 – Bethania De La Cruz de Peña (Dominican Republic) v Germany (World Cup record)
November 13: 26 – Destinee Hooker (USA) v the Dominican Republic
Top Blocking Performances
8 – Simona Gioli (ITA) v Serbia on Nov. 13
7 – Foluke Akinradewo (USA) v Germany on Nov. 9
7 – Christiane Fürst (GER) v Algeria on Nov. 11
7 – Fabiana Claudino (BRA) v China on Nov. 11
Top Service Ace Performances
7 – Paula Yamila Nizetich (Argentina) v Algeria on Nov. 6
Highest Set Score
32-30 – Germany v USA (Set 1) on Nov. 9
Highest Scoring Matches
223 – Brazil beat China 3-2 (25-23, 25-27, 21-25, 25-20, 17-15) on Nov. 11
219 – Germany beat Serbia 3-2 (25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11) on Nov. 8
214 – Dominican Republic beat Germany 3-2 (30-28, 22-25, 25-14, 18-25, 15-12) on Nov 12
211 – Italy def. China 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12) on Nov. 5
210 – China def. Japan 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13) on Nov. 6
For more information contact:
FIVB Press Director Richard Baker
firstname.lastname@example.org or +81 (0)80 2584 4604