Italy bested the Dominican Republic in all phases of the game in an important sweep to keep Italy in the VNL Final Six race with its fifth straight win. The Netherlands rallied from two sets down to keep pace in the Final Six race, with help from 19 blocks and 33 Serbian miscues.
Serbia bounced back from its five-set loss to Italy with a quick sweep of the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Italians continued their heart-stopping efforts with a second-straight, five-set win, this time over the Netherlands.
Italy overpowered Serbia offensively with help from a 28 points effort by young star Paola Egonu in a five-set win on Tuesday, the Italians third straight VNL victory, while the Netherlands took advantage of 20 Dominican Republic miscues in a home sweep.
Serbia is the hottest team coming into this group, with wins in last six matches, including a five-setter over Turkey in its last outing. While much of the focus is on Pool 14 this week with World No. 1 China, No. 2 USA, No. 4 Brazil and No. 5 facing off, the results of this pool could be just as important as teams look to block each other out of the race for the Final Six and Serbia, Italy and the Netherlands still very much in the mix.
Poland earned its first win of Week 3 action, besting South Korea across the stat sheet in an easy sweep and snapping a four-match skid as Malwina Smarzek notched 19 points. Tandara Caixeta supplied more than enough firepower to lift Brazil past the Netherlands in four sets, although the Dutch outscored the visitors by five points.
Four Brazilian players turned in double-digit scoring efforts as Brazil owned the net in a sweep of Poland on Wednesday. South Korea was overmatched in every facet of the game as the Netherlands nearly doubled the Koreans’ point tally (75-40) in a sweep.
The Americans used a strong block and a 21-point effort from Michelle Bartsch-Hackley to score a sweep of Japan to open week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League, meanwhile the Dutch relied on their offensive prowess to best Belgium in five sets.
The United States and Netherlands spearhead Pool 5 with Japan and upstart Belgium joining the week two action.
The Netherlands showed why it is one of the world’s hottest team, closing out Week 1 undefeated after routing Russia. Meanwhile, Thai continue its historic success against Argentina, having never lost a single set against the team in international play.
Pool favorites did their job in the opening day of FIVB’s inaugural VNL