FIVB World Championships – European Qualification Women
- May 24- June 4, 2017
It was a mixed bag of results in Viana do Castelo, Portugal on Wednesday, as Day 1 of Pool F play included a pair of upsets.
No. 27 Portugal upset No. 14 France in five sets, No. 32 Estonia defeated No. 24 Finland in four and No. 3 Germany swept Slovenia.
Only Women’s Pool B saw action last week, with Serbia topping that group. The remaining five women’s pools began five days of play on Tuesday or Wednesday. Pool E began on Tuesday.
Germany 3, Slovenia 0
The Germans were never really tested never trailing by more than two and leading by as many as seven in a 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 win over Slovenia.
Germany kicked off the match by scoring the first eight points. Slovenia pulled with two at 16-14, but the Germans held them at bay for the 25-18 win, including 13 Slovenian miscues. Set 2 saw the Germany lead 16-12 at the midway point, despite hitting just 35 percent in the stanza. Set 3 saw the Germans expand an 8-7 advantage to seven at 21-14 and stave off a late Slovenian charge for the 25-22 win and the sweep. Germany racked up four of its five aces in the final stanza.
Louisa Lippmann accounted for a match-high 21 points, including 17 kills, two blocks and two aces. Maren Brinker managed 12 points, with 10 kills, a block and an ace.
Iza Mlakar tallied 19 points, with 16 kills, two blocks and an ace to pace Slovenia.
Neither team played a particularly clean match with Germany committing 22 miscues and Slovenia making 23 errors. Germany managed a 39 percent hitting efficiency, while Slovenia hit at a 28 percent clip.
Portugal 3, France 2
The Portuguese came back from down 2-1 in the match to steal away a 27-25 Set 4 win and just edge out the French 15-13 in the fifth to seal the upset. Portugal won the match 25-21, 13-25, 23-25, 27-25, 15-13.
Portugal led the majority of Set 1, although the French erased a four-point deficit and boasted a two-point lead of its own midway through. France led Set 2 from wire to wire. After leading for the latter half of Set 3, France trailed 23-22, but scored three straight to grab the victory. Set 4 was a back and forth battle, with Portugal leading 8-6, then trailing 16-15, before going up by three and holding off the French to send the match to a decisive fifth set. The Portuguese led 5-4 at the first timeout of Set 5 and pushed the advantage to four at 12-8 before closing out the win.
Portugal served up 11 aces in the match, including four in the final stanza, while allowing six. The Portuguese overcame 11 French blocks and 38 of their own miscues in the victory.
Julia Kavelenka racked up 25 points to lead the Portuguese effort, including 18 kills and five aces. Juliana Isabel Antunes added 18 points with 12 kills, four aces and two blocks.
Juliette Fidon scored 19 points for the French, including 14 kills and five aces. Kelly Oublie (17), Christina Bauer (14) and Lucille Gicquel (11) followed with double-digit point tallies. Bauer managed eight kills and a team-best six blocks.
Estonia 3, Finland 1
Estonia outblocked Finland 11-7, and the Finnish outserved their foes 14-9, but in the end, it was Estonia that came out with the 25-17, 17-25, 25-23, 25-20 win.
Estonia led Set 1 from start to finish, hitting 59 percent and serving up five aces. Finland did the same in Set 2, managing seven perfect serves. Estonia led early in Set 3, and Finland rallied to take a five point lead, only to see it slip away in a 25-23 loss. Estonia left little doubt in a 25-20 Set 4 win, which included six blocks and saw Finland muster just a 26 percent hitting efficiency.
Nette Peit led all scorers with 17 points for Estonia, managing 14 kills, a block and two aces. Kristiine Millen (15), Kertu Laak (14) and Eliisa Peit (11) also added double-digit point totals. Eliisa Peit and Laak each accounted for three blocks.
Piia Korhonen added 16 points for Finland, all on kills, while Ronja Heikkniemi (12) and Daniela Ohman followed. Ohman racked up five blocks and three aces. Laura Pihlajamaki tallied nine points, including five aces.