FIVB World Grand Prix – Group 1
- July 7-30, 2017
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Pool H1
Italy def. Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-15)
Thailand def. Turkey 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-11)
Italy defeated the Dominican Republic to grab a spot in the World Grand Prix Final Six, while Thailand secured its second win of the competition with a sweep of Turkey.
Italy 3, Dominican Republic 0
A balanced attack, including six players with six points or more, aided Italy in a sweep of the Dominican Republic.
The Italians also outdid the Dominicans 44-29 in kills, 8-5 in blocks and 2-1 in aces.
Caterina Bosetti and Miryam Fatime Sylla led Italy with 11 points and 10 kills each. Sara Bonifacio and Paola Ogechi Egonu chipped in nine points apiece, while Cristina Chirichella (7) and Ofelia Malinov (6) rounded out the group. Malinov led the team with four blocks. Egonu put down eight kills and served up an ace, while Bonifacio and Chirichella added seven putaways.
“I am very happy for this result,” Chirichella said. “We played close matches but we finally came out on top. We have already qualified for the Final Six. With this result, we are motivated to move on. We will try to improve our game day by day and continue hard training. I hope we will have a good result in the final round.”
Gina Altagracia Mambru Casilla led the DR with 10 points, all on kills, while Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez followed with nine points, all on kills. Annerys Victoria Vargas Valdez put up a team-best two blocks to go with her four kills.
“I am quite disappointed with our performance today,” DR setter Niverka Dharlenis Marter Frica said. “We lost because we didn’t play well today. We will prepare and focus on the next match against Turkey tomorrow. We just finished the match and we have yet to think about tomorrow game, but we will try our best to win.”
Thailand 3, Turkey 0
Thailand’s offensive prowess and Turkey’s miscues were the recipe for success in a sweep on Saturday, delighting the home crowd of 10,000.
Thailand racked up 15 more kills (45-30) and three more aces (7-4) and had help from 17 Turkish errors in the victory. Turkey did put up nine blocks in the match (to Thailand’s 6), but it was not enough.
A trio of players paced Thailand with double-digit point tallies. Hattaya Bamrungsuk (11), Chatchu-On Moksri (11) and Wilavan Apinyapong (10). Bamrungsuk put up a team-best five blocks and added six kills, while Moksri managed eight kills, two aces and a block. Apinyapong and Pimpichaya Kokram led the offensive charge with nine kills apiece.
“Today we played well both offensively and defensively,” Thai captain Pluemjit Thinkaow said. “They struggled with their service reception, so it was easy for us to play against them. We were able to play according to our game plan. Our combination plays caused them some problems. I am very happy that we won at least one match in our home soil. It is going to be very tough match to play against Italy tomorrow. They are a very strong team with good basic and they have good spikers. We have to work hard in order to challenge them. But we will play our best to please our fans.”
Hande Baladin and Polen Uslupehlivan led the way for Turkey with 11 and 10 points respectively, including 10 kills apiece. Meryem Boz accounted for three of the team’s nine blocks in the match.
“I feel ashamed,” Turkish coach Giovanni Guidetti said. “It was the worst match ever of my career. Sorry for the Thai fans that it wasn’t a good volleyball match. Congratulations to Thailand for their victory.
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