Poland Sweeps, Japan Outlasts Dominican Republic in 5

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 13th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Women, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball


  • June 12th-June 14th, 2018
  • Wałbrzych, Poland | Centrum Sportowo-Rekreacyjne Aqua Zdrój (Capacity: 2,000)
  • Time Zone: Central European Summer Time (UTC + 2)
  • World Rankings: #5 Russia, #6 Japan, #9 Dominican Republic, #22 Poland
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
12 Jun 17:30 Russia  3–0  Dominican Republic 25–21 25–20 25–16 75–57
12 Jun 20:30 Poland  3–2  Japan 18–25 25–15 25–16 21–25 16–14 105–95
13 Jun 17:30 Dominican Republic  2–3  Japan 15–25 25–14 25–21 27–29 13–15 105–104
13 Jun 20:30 Poland  3–0  Russia 25–21 25–18 25–15 75–54


Japan def. Dominican Republic 3-2

  • Japan defeated Dominican Republic 25-15, 14-25, 21-25, 29-27, 15-13
  • Japan moved to 7-7 (19 points); Dominican Republic moved to 2-12 (9 points)

After falling behind 2-1 in the match, Japan dug deep and pulled out two deuce sets for the win over the Dominican Republic.

The DR outscored Japan 105-104 in the match, but came up just short. Japan boasted six more points off errors (23-17), but trailed its NORCECA foes in kills (72-67) and blocks (14-12). Both teams served up two aces.

Sarina Koga led a group of five Japanese players with double-digit point tallies. Koga notched a team-best 24 points, all on kills, while Nana Iwasaka (15), Risa Shinnabe (14), Mami Uchiseto (10) and Mai Okumura (10) rounded out the group. Shinnabe added 12 kills, while Uchiseto and Iwasaka added 10 putaways each. Iwasaka and Okumura put up four blocks apiece to lead the team at the net.

The Dominican Republic boasted the top two scorers in the match in Yonkaira Pena Isabel (28) and Brayelin Martinez (25) and also boasted a third 20-point scorer in Gaila Gonzalez Lopez (21). Pena Isabel racked up a match-high 26 kills, a block and an ace, while Martinez downed 25 kills. Gonzalez Lopez chipped in 16 kills and a match-high five blocks. Annerys Vargas Valdez and Lisvel Mejia followed with four and three stuffs respectively.

Japan grabbed an early 6-4 lead in Set 1 and went on to a 14-9 lead before winning by 10 at 25-15.

After an early 4-all tie, the Dominican Republic went up by five at 12-7 en route to an 11-point win. The DR won the set in every way, besting Japan 18-9 in kills, 4-1 in blocks and 1-0 in aces, to tie up the match.

The teams were neck-in-neck in Set 3 but Pena Isabel was the X-factor, helping the DR to a 24-21 advantage. Vargas Valdez and Gonzalez Lopez capped the 25-22 win with a stuff.

The Dominican Republic offense excelled in Set 4, but Koga answered and helped Japan to a 29-27 win to send the match to a decisive fifth set.

In Set 5, Japan built a two-point lead after the changeover and held on for the 15-13 win and the match.


Poland def. Russia 3-0

  • Poland defeated Russia 25-21, 25-18, 25-15
  • Poland moved to 8-6 (22 points); Russia moved to 7-7 (21 points)

Poland put up 10 blocks and served up nine aces in a crushing sweep of Russia on Wednesday.

The Poles outdid Russia in every way in the match: kills (40-37), blocks (10-3), aces (9-1) and points off errors (16-13) in a 76-minute victory in front of home crowd of more than 2,300.

Malwina Smarzek, the top scorer in the whole VNL tournament, lived up to billing for her team again with a match-high 20 points on 16 kills, three blocks and an ace. Natalia Medrzyk and Agnieszka Kakolewska followed with 14 and 10 points respectively. Kakolewska managed eight putaways and two blocks, while Medrzyk served up a team-high four aces and tacked on three blocks and seven kills.

Natalia Malykh led the way for Russia with 16 points (15 kills, 1 block), while Irina Voronkova also reached double-digits with 10 points, all on kills. Ekaterina Lyubushkina was next with eight points (5 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace).

The teams were fairly even in Set 1, with neither leading by more than two, but in the end, Poland finished off the 25-21 win on Smarzek cross-court putaway.

After a knot-up at 11-all, Poland broke off a 10-1 run to put the set out of reach. Russia rallied, but Smarzek closed the door at 25-18.

Poland went up 15-10 in Set 3 and increased the lead to seven at 21-14. A stuff by Zuzanna Efimienko-Mlotkowska set off a final 4-1 run to clinch the sweep.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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