2017 FIVB VOLLEYBALL WORLD GRAND PRIX – POOL A1
- Group 1, Pool A1
- July 7th – July 9th
- FIVB World Grand Prix Round 1
- Baskent Volleyball Hall, Ankara, Turkey
After they swept Brazil behind strong blocking and serving, Serbia completed a perfect week of nine sets played, nine set victories with a sweep of Belgium. The win puts them on top of the overall Group 1 standings as Belgium sits at 0-3 and are looking for their first win.
In the second and final match of Pool A1, Brazil avoided a late Turkish surge to escape in five sets. The 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix champion Brazil comes out of the week at 2-1, but after being swept in their loss and winning this one in five, they have a total of five points. Turkey falls to 1-2, but with four points they sit among the best one-win teams.
Pool A1 Table:
Editor’s Note: While teams are divided into 4-team pools for pragmatic reasons on each of the 3 weekends of the tournament, each teams’ record goes into a single group-wide table to determine who advances to the knockout stages. The pool standings presented here are to help keep up with each pool only, and on each day of the tournament, we will post a summary that includes the full table as well. Prize money, however, is awarded based on pool standing each weekend.
SERBIA DEF. BELGIUM 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-18)
Behind a dominant attack and strong serve, Serbia swept Belgium with a rare occurrence of every set ending in the same score at 25-18 in each set.
In total, Serbia had 49 kills to Belgium’s 32. Considering the error numbers were right next to each other (11-9 in favor of Belgium), that was a huge difference. Just as they dominated the serve against Brazil yesterday, the Serbian side threw down seven aces to Belgium’s three. In total they got 17 points between block and serve.
Not only was the Serbian attack lethal, but it was balanced. Four different players netted 11 or more points, with six athletes at five or more. Brankica Mihajlovic led the way with 16 points – 15 of which came on kills. Second on the team with 13 points was Jovana Stevanovic, who also tied for the team lead with three blocks.
The offense of Belgium struggled to be terminal at times against the strong Serbian defense. Freya Aelbrecht played well with a team-best 10 points (six kills on 11 attempts), but the next four highest scorers for Belgium only totaled 21 kills on 72 swings. When you add in the 10 faults, that’s a .155 hitting percentage. It was just that kind of week for Belgium who went 0-3 and won just a single set. They’ll look to bounce back next week in Pool F1 against Netherlands, Russia and the Dominican Republic.
With sweeps of Turkey, Brazil and now Belgium, Serbia sits at 3-0 with the maximum of nine points. It’s a perfect week as they win Pool A1 and sit atop the overall Group 1 standings. Next week they will join Pool D1 as they will have a rematch with Brazil followed by matches with Japan and Thailand.
BRAZIL DEF. TURKEY 3-2 (24-26, 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 15-13)
In a match of two teams starting the day at 1-1, it was Brazil who made the last run in the fifth set for the victory behind a strong blocking and serving match.
Turkey, who was led by Fatma Yildirim (16 points – 15 kills, one block) and Hande Baladin (15 points on 15 kills) took a close first, 26-24. However, Brazil dominated the second and third as they would score 31 points in the match on blocks/aces while Turkey totaled 18. Trailing 2-1 in sets, Turkey responded with another set win as Asli Kalac (nine points) returned after not appearing in the third.
Turkey fell behind 7-5 in the fifth, but scored three unanswered to lead at the switch. Turkey would add to the lead for a 12-9 advantage, but a 3-0 Brazilian run evened the match at a dozen. Then, Brazil soared for three of the final four as they completed a 6-1 run to end the match and escape with a win. They had four athletes with double-figure points as Drussyla Costa (11 kills on 22 swings) and Ana Beatriz Correa (eight kills on 15 swings) each had 13 points and provided efficient scoring. Rosamaria Montibeller and Tandara Caixeta each took the brunt of the offense and had 20 points a piece.
Brazil moves on to Pool D1 where they will see Serbia again in a rematch of their loss yesterday. After that they will face Thailand and 2-1 Japan.
Turkey will be a part of Pool E1 next week. USA, China and Italy will be the three other nations to join them.