Italy Extends Winning-Streak to Five with Win vs. Turkey at FIVB WGP

  0 Derek Johnson | July 21st, 2017 | Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB World Grand Prix, International Volleyball, NORCECA volleyball


  • Group 1
  • July 21-23, 2017
  • FIVB World Grand Prix, Week 3
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Pool H1
  • Schedule/Results

Pool H1 kicked off with Italy defeating Turkey in a match that ended with a resounding fourth set score of 32-30. It gives Italy five consecutive victories and keeps them in good positioning to make the final six.

The second match was between the Dominican Republic and Thailand. The host-nation pushed it to a fifth set to net a point, but were unable to come out on top as the Caribbean nation got a much-needed win for their final six chances.

Pool H1 Standings:

1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 3 1 3.000 102 93 1.096
1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 2 1.500 106 100 1.060
1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 3 0.666 100 106 0.943
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 0.333 93 102 0.911

ITALY DEF. TURKEY 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-21, 32-30)

The Italians used an aggressive match on both ends of the court to defeat Turkey in four sets and earn the top spot in the pool after day one.

After falling in the first set by an eight point deficit, Turkey countered in the second. Meryem Boz (19 points) and Beyza Arici (14 points, six blocks) led the way in evening the match at 1-1 in sets. It wasn’t always positives for Boz though; she did have 18 kills, but it came on 61 swings, as the Italian defense responded nicely.

One of the strongest arms in the tournament, Paola Ogechi Egonu, led the way for Italy with 23 points and 17 kills. She also recorded all four of Italy’s aces as she was prominent in a third set win.

Set four basically leaked into a fifth set with the vast amount of extra points each side produced. The score got into the thirties before the Italians finally put a clamp on the match, 32-30. Miryam Fatime Sylla, Caterina Bosetti and Raphaela Folie contributed along with Egonu in the win, as the trio racked up 43 combined points on 35 kills.

The Italians ended up with more kills (56-43), blocks (13-10) and aces (4-3). Turkey did have eight less team errors and collected nine more digs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their counterpart.

“It was a great match,” Italian head coach Davide Mazzanti told FIVB post-match. “We did better in covering, especially in the third and the fourth sets. Turkey’s serves were really good today and we had to rush our game. This is a really important game for us on the way to the Finals.”

Beyond giving Italy a five match losing streak after they started 0-2, the win continues to keep the European side in good positioning to make the final six. Two more wins secures their spot, while one would create dependency on tiebreakers or on some other teams to lose. The big match is tomorrow with Dominican Republic, who are just one win behind Italy in the Group 1 table.

Another match, another loss for Turkey who have struggled to get things going in this event. They’re just 1-6 overall, but they have pushed some quality teams in doing so. Fellow 1-6 Thailand will be their opponent tomorrow, with the winner securing a spot away from relegation.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DEF. THAILAND 3-2 (17-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 15-7)

It took a comeback from down 2-1 in sets for the Dominican Republic to defeat the team playing in front of their home crowd in Thailand. It was a match won with physicality for the Caribbean nation, who out-blocked Thailand 14-5 and had 10 more kills in the match.

It was Thailand who would jump ahead early after a dominating first set and a tight win in the third. Chatchu-On Moksri was at the forefront, as she netted 23 points on 16 kills, five aces and two blocks in the match. Beyond that, Thailand found it difficult to establish another option. The other seven players to take a swing totaled 33 kills on 131 swings. Although it didn’t cost them early, it would in the later sets.

While Thailand had an uneasy attack, the Dominican Republic were strong in coming back to force a fifth. Through the totality of the match, five different Dominicans had double-digit kills (just two for Thailand). Gina Altagracia Mambru Casilla led the way with 25 points on 20 kills and five aces as she helped the team blitz their Asian counterpart for a 15-7 fifth-set victory. The top-four point-leaders for the Dominican Republic logged 51 kills on 11 swings.

The Dominican Republic had to have this win. Now comes the big one though. If they can upend Italy and their five-match winning streak, they will be feeling good about their final six chances. A loss, and they’ll need some help from other results.

Thailand drops to 1-6, but they’ve had flashes of strong play throughout the tournament so far. Belgium, who is in 12th, could still win a match and force tiebreakers for relegation, but with their difficult remaining schedule it looks unlikely. Still, Thailand can secure it won’t happen if they can come out on top with 1-6 Turkey tomorrow.

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