Serbia, Netherlands Suffer First Losses of World Championships

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 10th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, Previews & Recaps, South American Volleyball

2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championships – Pool E

  • October 7th-11th, 2018
  • Nippon Giashi Hall,  Nagoya, Japan – Capacity 10,000
  • Preview

Serbia suffered its first loss of the World Championships, falling to Japan in four sets on Wednesday. Brazil handed the Netherlands its first loss as well to stay in the race for the Final Six, while Germany and the Dominican Republic added a win to their tallies.

Serbia had already clinched its spot in the third round, but left the door open for Japan and Netherlands to grab first place in the pool with the loss.

The other two places in the third round are still up for grabs with just three points separating Japan, the Netherlands and Brazil.

Dominican Republic def. Mexico 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-15)

“This was a solid win for the Dominican Republic,” Mexico coach Ricardo Naranjo said. “We could not play our volleyball at all today. It was a lack of preparation for the match. I think fatigue has built up among the players. We will prepare them physically and mentally for tomorrow’s match with Puerto Rico.”

The Dominican Republic bested Mexico in every way in the match: kills (44-31), blocks (8-1) and aces (7-3).

Bethania De La Cruz (12), Brayelin Martinez (12) and Lisvel Mejia (10) each turned in double-digit scoring tallies for the Dominican Republic. De La Cruz and Martinez put down 10 kills apiece, while adding two aces and two blocks respectively. Mejia paced the team with four blocks and three aces, while chipping in three putaways.

Andrea Rangel was the top scorer in the match with 14 points for Mexico, all on kills. Samantha Bricio (9) and Melanie Quintero (8) followed, chipping in eight and seven kills respectively to go with an ace apiece.

The Dominicans claimed an early 6-1 lead, only to see Mexico back within one at 9-8. The DR vaulted ahead by six at 15-9 and carried on to the 25-17 Set 1 win.

Mexico was never able to overcome an 8-2 deficit in Set 2. After cutting the margin to three at 8-5, the Mexicans succumbed 25-18 with the final point coming on a Martinez stuff.

Set 3 was closer with the DR lead standing at just three at 15-12, but the team wrapped up the match on a 10-3 run capped by a Gina Mambru ace.

“I was a pleasant win for us today,” De La Cruz said. “We play them a few times each year, so we know them well. We were able to dominate the match.”

Brazil def. Netherlands 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-19, 15-7)

“We knew it would be a tough game,” Brazilian captain Natalie Pereira said. “It is their first loss of the tournament. We were not good in the first set. Our defense and block improved after that. We came in with the right mind today. Tomorrow will be a tough game against Japan. This was our best match of the tournament. We did what the coach said. It was an important victory.”

Both teams went deep into their benches, utilizing 12 players in the five-set affair. In the end, a 16-5 blocking advantage was key in lifting the Brazilians to victory. Brazil also boasted a slight edge in kills (56-54) and aces (10-8).

Tandara Caixeta led all hitters with 28 points, turning in six or more scores in each of the first four sets. After starting the first two sets, Drussyla Costa gave way to Fernanda Rodrigues in Set 3, while Ade exited for Carol in Set 5. Fe Garay ended the match with 13 points, including a team-best four in the decisive fifth set. Gabi Guimaraes (13) and Ana Beatriz Correa (10) also turned in double-digit points. Caixeta notched 22 kills, three blocks and three aces, while Guimaraes and Rodrigues tallied 12 and 10 kills respectively.

Lonneke Sloetjes registered 25 points with 24 kills and an ace to lead the Dutch. Celeste Plak took over for Anne Buijs for the final two sets, posting 10 points (7 kills, 2 aces, 1 block). Yvon Belien (9), Juliet Lohuis (9) and Maret Balkestein-Grothues (8) followed. Lohuis served up four aces and put up a team-best two blocks. Britt Bongaerts stepped in at setter for the final two stanzas.

The Dutch went up 4-0 in the opening set and staved off the Brazilians down the stretch for a 25-21 win.

Brazil answered with a 8-4 start in Set 2 and clinched a 25-18 win on a Tandara ace.

After falling behind 8-1 and 12-5 in Set 3, the Dutch rallied to tie it up at 17. Down again at 23-20, the Netherlands leveled the score at 24. A hitting error and a kill by Plak stole away the 27-25 win for the Dutch.

After playing to a 15-all tie in Set 4, Brazil took control and sent the match to tiebreak with a final 10-4 run.

Down 4-2 in Set 5, Brazil scored four in a row to take the lead and held on for the 15-7 win.

“Brazil is one of the best teams in the world,” Netherlands coach Jamie Morrison said. “I was happy with the first set and with the heart we showed in the third set, but disappointed in the result. We push Brazil every time we play and I hope someday we can beat them. We look forward to playing Serbia tomorrow. This is a tough pool.”

Germany def. Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-23, 25-27, 29-27, 25-22)

“We are really happy to get the three points,” German captain Maren Fromm said. “It is hard to play against a defensive team. We came back in the third set and that made the difference.”

A 14-5 advantage on the block lifted Germany to victory. The Germans also edged Puerto Rico 68-67 in kills and 3-1 in aces to overcome 25 miscues (to 19).

Fromm and Louisa Lippmann turned in 25 points apiece for Germany, including 21 kills each. Lippmann put up a team-best four blocks alongside Lisa Grunding, while Fromm added two blocks and two aces. Jennifer Geerties tacked on 13 points (11 kills, 1 block, 1 ace).

Stephanie Enright (22), Daly Santana (21) and Karina Ocasio (19) paced Puerto Rico. Enright downed 22 kills, while Santana added 19 and Ocasio registered 17. Ocasio put up a team-best two blocks.

Puerto Rico led by three at 16-13 in Set 1, only to see Germany rally to tie it up at 19 and 23 before grabbing a 25-23 win on an ace by Geerties and a Lippmann putaway.

Germany led Set 2 nearly throughout, boasting a late 21-18 advantage, but Puerto Rico used a 5-1 run to go up 23-22 on a Santana kill. Germany had the first set-point try at 24-23, but the Puerto Ricans sealed the 27-25 win on an Enright putaway.

Puerto Rico seized control of Set 3 midway through with an 8-3 run which pushed the team in front 16-11. Despite struggles on defense, Germany managed to rally for a 23-22 lead. An ace by Santana gave Puerto Rico a 24-23 lead, but the Germans came through with a 29-27 victory on a Lippman putdown.

Germany seized an 8-5 lead in Set 4 and held on for the 25-22 victory. Puerto Rico was within one late at 21-20, before Vanjak and Lippmann ended the night.

“It is a bittersweet feeling,” Puerto Rican captain Natalia Valentin said. “We have been looking for rhythm in this tournament and we finally found it today. The bad calls from the referees were unfortunate. It was frustrating. Germany did a good job and found their game.

Japan def. Serbia 3-1 (15-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23)

  • Japan moves to 7-1 (21 points); Serbia falls to 7-1 (21 points)
  • Match Stats
  • P2 Stat Sheet
  • Highlights
  • Attendance

Serbia opted to rest Tijana Boskovic after the 25-15 Set 1 win, before dropping its first sets of the World Championships.

Serbia outscored Japan 94-90 overall and boasted the advantage in kills (57-55), blocks (15-9) and aces (4-2) in the loss.

Miyu Nagaoka (19), Sarina Koga (19) and Yuki Ishii (14) paced the Japanese attack with double-digit scoring efforts. Nagaoka downed a match-high 19 kills, while Koga added 15 putaways and four blocks. Ishii chipped in 12 kills, a block and an ace after coming in as a substitute in Set 1.

Milena Rasic led the way for Serbia with 20 points (16 kills, 4 blocks)over the first three sets, before giving way to Stefana Veljkovic. Tijana Boskovic played in just the opening set of the match, before exiting for Ana Bjelica, who notched 14 points (8 kills, 6 blocks). Bianka Busa and Brankica Mihajlovic added 13 points apiece.

Serbia cruised to a 16-8 lead in Set 1 and on to the 25-15 victory.

With Boskovic on the bench, Serbia struggled to put the ball away, due in part to Japan’s strong backcourt defense. The Serbs also committed seven errors in Set 2.

Japan went up 16-12 and held on despite Serbia working its way back to a tie at 19 and 23. Nagoaka tooled the block to claim the 25-23 win and give Serbia its first set loss of the tournament.

The teams were tied at 19 all in Set 3, before Koga came through with two key kills to clinch the 25-23 victory.

Serbia boasted a 15-11 lead in Set 4, but Japan rallied to tie it at 18. An Ishii kill gave Japan a match-point try at 24-23. She then tooled the block to give the Japanese the upset win.

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Serbia 7 1 21 22 3 7.333 621 457 1.359
2  Japan 7 1 21 23 6 3.833 697 563 1.238
3  Netherlands 7 1 21 23 6 3.833 681 586 1.162
4  Brazil 6 2 18 20 9 2.222 683 542 1.260
5  Germany 5 3 14 16 12 1.333 666 639 1.042
6  Dominican Republic 4 4 13 14 12 1.167 571 528 1.081
7  Puerto Rico 2 6 6 7 18 0.389 522 598 0.873
8  Mexico 1 7 3 5 21 0.238 489 631 0.775
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
7 Oct 10:40 Mexico  0–3  Serbia 19–25 17–25 15–25 51–75 P2 Report
7 Oct 13:25 Germany  3–2  Brazil 14–25 19–25 32–30 25–19 17–15 107–114 P2 Report
7 Oct 16:10 Netherlands  3–0  Puerto Rico 25–16 25–15 25–20 75–51 P2 Report
7 Oct 19:20 Japan  3–2  Dominican Republic 25–17 28–26 22–25 25–27 15–11 115–106 P2 Report
8 Oct 10:40 Germany  0–3  Serbia 14–25 20–25 20–25 54–75 P2 Report
8 Oct 13:25 Mexico  1–3  Brazil 25–23 23–25 13–25 19–25 80–98 P2 Report
8 Oct 16:10 Netherlands  3–0  Dominican Republic 25–19 25–16 25–14 75–49 P2 Report
8 Oct 19:20 Japan  3–0  Puerto Rico 25–22 25–14 25–18 75–54 P2 Report
10 Oct 10:40 Mexico  0–3  Dominican Republic 13–25 18–25 15–25 46–75 P2 Report
10 Oct 13:25 Netherlands  2–3  Brazil 25–21 18–25 27–25 19–25 7–15 96–111 P2 Report
10 Oct 16:10 Germany  3–1  Puerto Rico 25–23 25–27 29–27 25–22 104–99 P2 Report
10 Oct 19:20 Japan  3–1  Serbia 15–25 25–23 25–23 25–23 90–94 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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