2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League – Week 2 / Pool 7
- May 22-24, 2018
- Suwon, South Korea
- Time Zone: UTC + 9; ET + 13 hours
- World Rankings: No. 5 Russia, No. 7 Italy, No. 10 South Korea, No. 13 Germany
|Date||Time||Score||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5||Total||Report|
|22 May||18:00||South Korea||3–1||Germany||23–25||26–24||25–16||25-16||99–74|
Russia def. Italy 3-0
- Russia defeated Italy 26-24, 25-12, 25-23
- Russia moved to 3-1 (9 points); Italy moved to 0-4 (1 point)
A balanced offensive attack, including three players with nine or more kills, helped lift Russia past Italy to open Pool 7 play. The Russians won every statistical category: kills (42-33), blocks (10-9) and aces (6-4), while also earning five more points on Italian miscues (18-13).
Irina Voronkova (14), Irina Fetisova (12), Natalia Malykh (11) and Kseniia Parubets (11) led the scoring for Russia. Voronkova and Malykh downed a team-best 11 kills followed by Parubets (9). Meanwhile, Fetisova held things down at the net, putting up a match-high seven stuffs. Voronkova also chipped in three of the team’s six aces.
Italy looked to Serena Ortolani to guide the young squad and Ortolani came through with 14 points (10 kills, 3 blocks, 1 ace). Seven other players notched two or more kills, with Miryam Fatime Sylla posting five and Elena Pietrini and roster addition Lucia Bosetti turning in four apiece. Ortolani and Marina Lubian led the Italian block with three each.
The Russians avenged last year’s World Grand Prix loss (3-2), but did so against a Italian side without many of its stars, due to head coach Davide Mazzanti’s decision to hold them back until Week 3 to allow his newcomers experience and his standouts some rest of long European seasons.
After the Italians fell behind 4-1 early, Lubian kept the team in the game. Later, after playing to a 24-all tie, a Malykh kill gave Russia the edge it needed en route to a 26-24 win.
In Set 2, it was Bosetti who answered Russia early on, but Malykh and Voronkova came on last, guiding Russia to a 10-1 run and on to the dominating 25-12 victory.
Italy bounced back, racing to a 7-3 lead in Set 3 behind the serve of Sylla. The Italians boasted an 18-15 advantage, only to see a Voronkova kill and Fetisova block pull the score even before sealing the sweep after another marathon rally.
Russia head coach Vadim Pankov said: “Several star players were missing from Italy’s team today. However, they are still strong. Although younger Italian players like Elena Pietrini, Marina Lubian, Rossella Olivotto and Anastasia Guerra are strong enough to show a good performance, I am satisfied with the result of today’s game.”
Italy head coach Davide Mazzanti said: “The Russia team did a good job. I am disappointed at today’s performance. We lost our confidence after the first set and made a lot of mistakes. We lost because we could not show our attacking skills.”
Korea def. Germany 3-1
- South Korea defeated Germany 23-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-16
- Korea moved to 3-1 (8 points); Germany moved to 1-3 (3 points)
A strong service game and a 29-point effort by Kim Yeon Koung were key in lifting the homestanding Koreans to the four-set win. Korea outserved Germany 13-5, while also edging its foes in kills (51-41) and blocks (12-10).
Yeon Koung put on an all-around show, racking up a match-high 21 kills to go with five of the team’s ace and three blocks. Park Jeongah (13), Lee Jaeyeong (12) and Yang Hyo Jin (10) followed. Lee turned in 12 kills, while Jeongah added 10 putaways and three aces. Kim Su Ji notched four blocks, followed by Yeon Koung and Hyo Jin (3).
It was a two-woman effort for Germany, which was paced by Louisa Lippman (17) and Maren Fromm (16). Lippman downed 16 kills and added an ace, while Fromm posted 14 kills and two blocks. Marie Scholzel was next in scoring with nine points, including a team-leading five blocks and two aces. Jennifer Geerties also served up two aces.