Serbia, Brazil, Dominican Republic Close Out Pool D with Sweeps

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 04th, 2018 | African Volleyball, Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, Previews & Recaps, South American Volleyball

2018 FIVB Women’s World Championships – Preliminary Pool D

  • Sept. 29 – Oct. 4, 2018
  • Hamamatsu Arena; Hamamatsu, Japan
  • Teams: #3 Serbia, #4 Brazil, #9 Dominican Republic, #13 Puerto Rico, #21 Kazakhstan, Kenya
  • Schedule

Pool D continued its trend of sweeps on the final day of preliminary round action at the FIVB Women’s World Championships with Serbia, the Dominican Republic and Brazil coming up victorious.

All 15 matches in the group came via 3-0 decisions. In the end, Serbia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico finished in the top four positions to claim spots in the second round.

Serbia and Brazil had already punched their tickets. The Dominican Republic claimed its spot with the win, finishing third at 3-2. Despite the loss to Serbia, Puerto Rico was in at No. 4 thanks to the DR’s win over Kenya.

The four advancing Pool D teams will merge with the top four out of Pool A to form Pool E in the second round. Action is set to begin Sunday in Nagoya, Japan.

Serbia def. Puerto Rico 25-23, 25-17, 27-25

“I tried to give a chance to the players today,” Serbian coach Zoran Terzic said. “I can say I’m satisfied with the 3-0 victory. Those who played today showed they deserved the chance to be here. I know that I can count on them for the rest of the tournament.”

Even with Brankica Mihajlovic and Tijana Boskovic watching from the bench, Serbia breezed past Puerto Rico in straight sets to remain perfect in pool play at 5-0.

Puerto Rico boasted a 43-38 lead in kills, but gave away 27 points on errors (to 14 for Serbia) and trailed 10-6 in blocks in the loss. Both teams served up two aces.

Ana Bjelica took the starring role for the Serbians with 19 points (18 kills, 1 block). Tijana Malesevic and Bojana Milenkovic added seven points apiece, turning in three and two blocks respectively. Milenkovic exited in set 2 with a potential knee injury with Bianka Busa taking over and managing four points, all on kills.

Daly Santana led the Puerto Rican attack with 18 points, all on kills, while Stephanie Enright followed with 13 putaways. Karina Ocasio chipped in 11 points on seven kills and a team-leading two blocks and two aces.

Serbia jumped ahead 8-4 in Set 1, but Puerto Rico rallied to take a 12-11 lead of its own. Serbia regained the advantage at 19-18 and carried on to the 25-23 win, sealing it with a block.

Serbia led 8-4 in Set 2, but a bit of a scare came at 9-8 as Milenkovic reportedly “came down awkwardly on her left knee” and exited the match. The Serbians held on, despite the injury, and pushed ahead 15-10 and 18-12 before clinching the set at 25-17.

A 6-0 run gave the Serbians a nice cushion to start Set 3 and they would need it. Trailing 13-8, Puerto Rico charged back to tie it up at 18 with help from Serbian miscues. The NORCECA side took a 20-19 lead, but Serbia had the first set-point try at 24-23. Puerto Rico knotted the score at 24. Serbia won the match on its fourth match-point try as Bjelica put up a final stuff.

“This was our best performance in five days here,” Puerto Rican coach Jose Mieles said. “Unfortunately we could not win. We have to see the result of the Dominican Republic-Kenya match next to find out if we advance to the second round.”

Dominican Republic def. Kenya 3-0 (25-5, 25-7, 25-15)

“We are very happy with the result; not just for the three points, but also for the form we showed today,” Dominican coach Marcos Kwiek said. “We had focus and were aggressive. We have to concentrate on the next round now. I hope Kenya will be a better team with practice and experience.”

The Dominican Republic was just too much to handle for Kenya on Thursday, nearly putting up three times as many kills and crushing the African side with 16 aces.

The DR outdid Kenya 38-14 in kills, 6-1 in blocks and 16-2 in aces.

Yonkaira Pena Isabel notched 17 points for the DR, serving up nine aces to go with seven kills and a block. Lisvel Mejia and Brayelin Martinez added 12 points apiece. Martinez put down a team-best nine kills and added two aces and a block, while Mejia tacked on eight kills, three blocks and an ace.

Kenya played 13 of its 14 players in the match, but could not find an answer. Substitutes Leonida Kasaya and Sharon Chepchumba led the way with five points apiece. Chepchumba downed five kills, starting the final two sets, while Kasaya posted four kills and an ace, starting just the final stanza.

The Dominicans sprinted out of the gates to an 8-3 lead in Set 1 and continued a dominating effort to a 25-5 win.

The DR carried the momentum into Set 2, jumping ahead 16-2 after a 7-0 midset run. An ace by Martinez closed out a 25-7 victory.

The teams split the first 14 points of Set 3, before the Dominican Republic broke away with a 4-0 run and led by five 16-11 at the second technical timeout. An ace by Pena Isabel, the DR’s 16th of the match, sewed up the 25-15 win.

“They played a super game,” Kenyan captain Mercy Moim said. “We played our best but they destroyed our reception. They are very tall and play well.”

Brazil def. Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-13)

“We are happy to end with a win in this fashion,” Brazilian coach Jose Guimaraes said. “We were able to utilize all of our players in this round. I was worried about this game because we have different styles. You never know. We now will prepare for our next match. We may play Germany or Japan.”

Kazakhstan had already been eliminated from contention, but still put up a fight against Brazil, which opted to play some of its starters despite already sewing up a spot in the second round on Wednesday.

Brazil outdid the Kazakhs 43-25 in kills, 11-6 on the block and 6-3 from the service line.

Tandara Caixeta played the entire match, posting 14 points with 12 kills and two blocks. Fernanda Rodrigues added 12 points, turning in eight kills, a team-best three aces and a block. Gabriela Braga Guimaraes chimed in with nine points (8 kills and 1 ace) in the first two stanzas.

The Kazakhs utilized 11 players in the match with eight scoring. Yekaterina Zhdanova, Katerina Tatko and Yana Petrenko tallied seven points apiece, each posting five kills. Tatko added two aces, while Zhdanova put up two blocks. Zhanna Syroeshkina chipped in six points on five kills and a block.

Brazil went up 8-5 in Set 1 before pushing ahead by 10 at 18-8. In the end, a Kazakh hitting error gave the South Americans the 25-11 win.

The Kazakhs boasted a brief 12-10 lead in Set 2 after an ace by Tatko. The Brazilians scored five in a row after a timeout to take the lead. A block by Rosamaria Montibeller made it 20-16 Brazil en route to a 25-20 victory.

The Brazilians cruised to a 7-1 lead in Set 3 and never allowed Kazakhstan closer than four the rest of the way (8-4). A tip shot by Natalia Pereira capped the 25-13 win and the sweep.

“We are glad to have a nice game against a top team in the world like Brazil,” Kazakh coach Shapran Vyacheslav said. “I want to thank the Japanese fans for their warm support. I want to come back again with a team that is more competitive.”

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Serbia 5 0 15 15 0 MAX 377 262 1.439
2  Brazil 4 1 12 12 3 4.000 360 259 1.390
3  Dominican Republic 3 2 9 9 6 1.500 341 292 1.168
4  Puerto Rico 2 3 6 6 9 0.667 318 344 0.924
5  Kenya 1 4 3 3 12 0.250 231 366 0.631
6  Kazakhstan 0 5 0 0 15 0.000 271 375 0.723
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
29 Sep 13:40 Puerto Rico  0–3  Brazil 25–27 12–25 7–25 44–77 P2 Report
29 Sep 16:10 Dominican Republic  0–3  Serbia 17–25 20–25 22–25 59–75 P2 Report
29 Sep 19:20 Kazakhstan  0–3  Kenya 23–25 22–25 21–25 66–75 P2 Report
30 Sep 13:40 Brazil  3–0  Dominican Republic 25–15 25–20 25–22 75–57 P2 Report
30 Sep 16:10 Kazakhstan  0–3  Puerto Rico 21–25 15–25 22–25 58–75 P2 Report
30 Sep 19:20 Kenya  0–3  Serbia 16–25 9–25 8–25 33–75 P2 Report
1 Oct 13:40 Dominican Republic  3–0  Kazakhstan 25–22 25–15 25–19 75–56 P2 Report
1 Oct 16:10 Puerto Rico  3–0  Kenya 25–20 25–22 25–15 75–57 P2 Report
1 Oct 19:20 Serbia  3–0  Brazil 25–21 25–18 25–19 75–58 P2 Report
3 Oct 13:40 Puerto Rico  0–3  Dominican Republic 22–25 17–25 20–25 59–75 P2 Report
3 Oct 16:10 Kazakhstan  0–3  Serbia 18–25 16–25 13–25 47–75 P2 Report
3 Oct 19:20 Kenya  0–3  Brazil 13–25 10–25 16–25 39–75 P2 Report
4 Oct 13:40 Serbia  3–0  Puerto Rico 25–23 25–17 27–25 77–65 P2 Report
4 Oct 16:10 Dominican Republic  3–0  Kenya 25–5 25–7 25–15 75–27 P2 Report
4 Oct 19:20 Brazil  3–0  Kazakhstan 25–11 25–20 25–13 75–44 P2 Report

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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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