Poland Upsets Top-Seeded China, Serbia Downs Thailand in #VNL Pool 6

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 22nd, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Women, International Volleyball, News


  • May 22-24, 2018
  • Macau Forum | Macau, China (Capacity: 4,000)
  • Time Zone: UTC +08:00
  • World Rankings: #1 China, #3 Serbia, #16 Thailand, #22 Poland
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
22 May 16:30 Thailand  1–3  Serbia 18–25 23–25 25–19 19–25 85–94 P2 P3
22 May 20:00 China  2–3  Poland 25–18 17–25 18–25 25–22 12–15 97–105 P2 P3

Serbia def. Thailand 3-1

  • Serbia defeated Thailand 25-18, 25-23, 19-25, 25-19
  • Serbia moved to 3-1 (9 points); Thailand moved to 1-3 (3 points)

Tijana Boskovic carried Serbia with a 30-point effort, including a match-high 27 kills, to lift the team to a four-set win over Thailand to open week 2 play at the Volleyball Nations League.

Serbia overcame its 25 errors in the match with a dominant effort at the net, outdoing Thailand 60-49 in kills and 10-8 in blocks. The Serbs also outserved their foes 6-4.

In addition to Boskovic’s standout play, Serbia got double-digit scoring efforts from Milena Rasic (13) and Brankica Mihajlovic (12). Rasic led the way at the net with five blocks to go with six kills and a team-leading two aces, while Mihajlovic chipped in nine kills and two aces.

Boskovic becomes just the second player to break the 30-point barrier in VNL play, following the Dominican Republic’s Brayelin Martinez (31 vs. Korea on Week 1).

Five Thai players posted seven or more kills, led by Onuma Sittirak‘s 14 putaways, which all came in the final three stanzas. Pleumjit Thinkaow (7), Hattaya Bamrungsuk (9), Ajcharaporn Kongyot (8) and Chatchu-On Moksri (8) rounded out the offense.

Postmatch reaction: 

Serbia coach Zoran Terzic: “Thailand played really well. I am not satisfied with our play today, especially with our reception and our defense. We are a little sluggish, probably because this is the first match of the week, and Thailand showed their determination. The most important thing is to get the win today and we hope we will improve as the week progresses.”

Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul said: “We tried our best and played really hard in this match. The Serbian players are tall and they defeated us with their powerful play. We are looking to put up a better performance tomorrow against China.”

Thailand captain Pleumjit Thinkaow said: “I am not totally happy as I think our performance could have been better. The Serbian players are tall and their attack is too powerful for us.  We are going to regroup and look forward to playing China tomorrow.”


Poland def. China 3-2

  • Poland defeated China 18-25, 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12
  • Poland moved to 2-2 (4 points); China moved to 2-2 (7 points)

Malwina Smarzek was a one-woman wrecking crew for Poland, notching a tournament-best 35 points in a five-set upset as No. 22 Poland bested top seeded and home-standing China on Tuesday.

Smarzek chalked up 29 kills and served up five of the team’s 14 aces in the victory. Natalia Medrzyk (11) and Agnieszka Kakolewska (10) and Zuzanna Efimienko-Mlotkowska (9) followed Smarzek’s lead in scoring. Medrzyk notched 10 kills, while Kakolewska added six putaways and a team-best three blocks. Efimienko-Mlotkowska chipped in eight kills. Marlena Plenierowicz and Julia Nowicka aided the team from the service line, each accounting for three aces.

For China, Linying Li was the top scorer with 19 points, all on kills. Six other players added five or more points as the team aimed to filled the gap left by three missing playersYuan XinyueGao Yi, and Liu Yanhan who were called for duty at the 2018 World Military Volleyball Championship in Canada from May 25th to June 5th.

Ni Yan (9), Fang Duan (9), Mingyuan Hu (9), Hiangyu Gong (8), Xiaotong Liu (8) and Fangzxu Yang (6) rounded out the scoring for China. Duan, Hu and Liu each tacked on eight kills, while Yan and Gong put up a team-best two blocks.

The Polish side outdid China 14-3 in aces and 11-8 on the block and also had help from 25 Chinese miscues (25-19) in the upset. For its part, China edged Poland 62-56 in kills.

Postmatch reaction: 

Poland captain Agnieszka Kakolewska: “I am very happy and very proud to win this match. Playing against strong opponents like China is always difficult, and to be able to win is a reward for our effort. We fight for every point in every match regardless of the opponent, and obviously we do not always have the opportunity to play against elite national teams, so we are very happy with this win.”

China captain Liu Xiaotong said: “The Poland players gave us a lot of problems with their serves and our reception was inconsistent, which also affected other parts of our game. Despite the problems, our players tried very hard and never gave up, and now we are looking to make adjustments for our next game.”


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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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