Russia Outlasts Japan, Dominican Republic Snaps Seven-Match Skid

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 14th, 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
14 Jun 17:30 Russia  3–2  Japan 19–25 25–14 25–16 23–25 15–10 107–90
14 Jun 20:30 Poland  1–3  Dominican Republic 18–25 25–16 21–25 20–25 84–91


Russia def. Japan 3-2

  • Russia defeated Japan 19-25, 25-14, 25-16, 23-25, 15-10
  • Russia moved to 8-7 (23 points); Japan moved to 7-8 (20 points)

Twenty blocks and four double-digit scoring efforts lifted Russia past Japan to close out both teams’ Volleyball Nations League slate.

Russia outdid Japan in kills (63-59), blocks (20-7) and earned two more points on errors (21-19). The Japanese won the serve, 5-1 in aces, in their third straight five-set affair.

Angelina Lazarenko spearheaded the team’s efforts with 18 points on 12 kills and a team-best six blocks. Natalia Malykh (16), Irina Voronkova (15) and Anna Kotikova (15) followed, while two other players chipped in eight points apiece. Malykh and Voronkova notched a team-best 14 kills apiece, while Kotikova added 12 putaways and three blocks. Ekaterina Lyubushkina tacked on eight points on four blocks, three kills and the team’s lone ace.

Risa Shinnabe (15), Ai Kurogo (15) and Sarina Koga (10) paced Japan, while two others added nine points each. Shinnabe and Kurogo turned in 13 kills apiece, while Shinnabe served up two aces and Kurogo put up a team-best two blocks. Koga played in just three sets, piling up 10 points on nine kills and an ace. Yuki Ishii added seven kills and two blocks over the last two sets, while Mai Okumura tallied eight kills and a block.

Russia built an unsurmountable 8-3 lead in Set 5 and Voronkova issued the final blow by tooling the block at 15-10. With the loss, Japan became the first nation to loss 300 matches at the major world level.

Russia went up 5-1 to start the match, but Japan charged back to take a 16-14 lead at the second technical timeout. The Japanese upped its edge to four at 20-16 and carried on for the 25-19 on a Kurogo putaway.

Russia’s block came to life in Set 2 and Voronkova found her groove offensively, lifting the team to a 13-6 advantage en route to a rushing 25-14 win.

The Russians followed Lyubushkina to an early edge in Set 3 and rode the advantage and unforced errors for Japan to a nine-point win at 25-16.

Japan boasted a slight advantage through much of Set 4 and earned a set-point try at 24-21. Kanami Tashiro came through to clinch a 25-23 victory and send the match to a decisive fifth set.


Dominican Republic def. Poland 3-1

  • Dominican Republic defeated Poland 25-18, 16-25, 25-21, 25-20
  • Dominican Republic moved to 3-12 (12 points); Poland moved to 8-7 (22 points)

In a fairly even match, 27 Polish errors helped the Dominican Republic to a four-set win, snapping a seven-match losing skid.

The Dominicans earned six extra points on the miscues (27-21) and managed one more kill in the match (52-51). Both teams posted eight blocks and four aces.

Yonkaira Pena Isabel scored a match-high 19 points (16 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace) and had support from three other double-digit scorers in the win. Brayelin Martinez chipped in 17 points, including 15 kills, while Gaila Gonzalez Lopez added 15 points with 13 putaways. Lisvel Mejia rounded out the scoring with 11 points on seven kills and a team-leading three blocks.

Malwina Smarzek turned in 19 points (18 kills, 1 ace) and Natalia Medrzyk (15) and Agnieszka Kakolewska (12) followed, but it was not enough. Medrzyk downed 15 kills, while Kakolewska registered eight kills and a team-best three blocks and an ace. Martyna Grajber also put up three stuffs in the match.

Pena Isabel and Martinez paced the DR in a 25-18 Set 1 victory.

The home crowd of 2,300 buoyed the Poles to a 19-11 advantage in Set 2. Grajber starred and Poland edged the Dominicans in every way (15-8 in kills, 2-1 in blocks, 2 in aces) to even the score with a 25-16 win.

The teams played to ties at 6-all and 14-all in Set 3, but the Dominicans built a 22-19 lead, forcing a Polish timeout. The break was not enough as even Grajber’s best efforts couldn’t stop a 25-21 loss.

The DR scored eight of the first nine points in Set 4, but the match was far from over. Medrzyk starred as Poland cut the margin to three at 12-9. The Dominicans held strong from there, closing out a 25-20 win on a Mejia block of Smarzek.


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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 after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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