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
Powerhouses Serbia and Brazil kicked off the day for Pool A1 with Serbia pulling a mild surprise and taking down the defending World Grand Prix champions. Maybe the most surprising part was that Serbia dispatched of Brazil in three sets, holding the Brazilian side to under 20-points twice.
In the second match, Turkey overcame a first-set loss for a four-set win. That gets Turkey their first win of the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix, while Belgium will have to try again tomorrow.
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. BRAZIL 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-19)
The combination of stellar serving and strong reception against poor serving and reception was a bad combination for Brazil. Not only did Serbia snap the defending Grand Prix champions’ eight-match winning streak, but they did so in a three-set sweep.
The serve led the way, but the defense was strong as well for Serbia. Tandara Caixeta led Brazil with 23 points, but it took her 29 attempts to attain that mark. She was the lone Brazilian with double-digit points, as Natalia Pereira and Ana Beatriz Correa each came up just one tally short.
Six different Serbians scored five or more points as Brankica Mihajlovic led the match with 24. Sanja Malagurski had a dozen as she tied the team-lead with three blocks. The all-around game for Serbia gave them a win as they took every set by five or more points.
Between kills and attack errors, both teams were even. Serbia made their presence felt with a dominant block and phenomenal serving. They scored 22 points (11 on blocks and 11 on aces) to Brazil’s five in the two categories.
The 2016 Olympic silver medalists are now on a six-match winning streak dating back to 2016. This is also the first time for Serbia that they have won their first two matches of the Grand Prix. They’ll have a great opportunity to go 3-0 as they match-up with Belgium tomorrow.
Brazil will look to reset and begin a new winning streak as they can still finish with a winning record in the pool. To do so, the Brazilians will have to defeat Turkey tomorrow.
TURKEY DEF. BELGIUM 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-16)
Turkey scored its first win of the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix. They did it behind a powerful block that scored 14 block kills to Belgium’s four.
It didn’t look good early for Turkey, who lost a tight first set to Belgium, 25-23. Celine Van Gestel and Kaja Grobelna were prevalent in the first set, as each would finish the match with 14 and 13 points respectively.
Turkey recorded nine more kills in the match, as they were led by Polen Uslupehlivan who had 19 points with 15 kills. He helped get things turned around as Turkey would take the second and third sets by 25-20 counts. Fatma Yildirim and Kubra Caliskan were the other two Turkish players with double-digit points, as they contributed big-time as well. Caliskan also led Turkey with five blocks as he quintupled the kill blocks of Belgium.
Its a big win for Turkey to avoid a winless first weekend. That becomes especially true knowing that the must play 2016 World Grand Prix champion Brazil in tomorrow’s pool finale.
Belgium will have an uphill battle to get its first win when they take on pool leader Serbia. On the plus side, Belgium found their first set win of the tournament by winning the opening set today.