Teams Get First Glimpse Of FIVB’s New Rules. Women’s U23 Worlds Day 1

  0 Liam Smith | September 10th, 2017 | 2017 U23 World Championships, African Volleyball, Asian Volleyball, Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball

2017 Women’s U23 World Championships

The first day of competition in Slovenia just ended. All top favorites opened with wins, with varying degrees of difficulty, which promises an exciting week of action ahead. Sadly, Team USA did not qualify for the tournament. Below, you’ll find updated pools, FIVB recaps from all of the day’s action, as well as a review of FIVB’s new scoring proposal that is being tested in the tournament.

Host City

Ljubiljana is Slovenia’s capital and largest city with 272,000 residents calling it home. A site was founded near the modern city by the Romans who called it Emona. It grew and flourished under the Austrian Habsburg Empire until the end of World War One where it became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. It continued as part of Yugoslavia after World War II until it was made capital of Slovenia upon gaining independence in 1991.

Courtesy of FIVB

FIVB’s New Rules Proposals

FIVB’s new scoring proposal will undergo further testing at the 2017 FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship after the first extensive assessment at the respective men’s competition last month in Cairo. Matches in Ljubljana will be played to best-of-seven sets with each set to 15 points (with at least a two-point difference needed). Three ranking points will be awarded to teams winning 4-0, 4-1 or 4-2. Two points go the winner of a 4-3 match with one point for the loser. If successful, this new scoring system could mark a historical turning point for volleyball – much as the introduction of the Rally Scoring System did in the late 1990s.

It is hoped that the new scoring system will reduce overall duration of matches, while making each set more attractive and exciting – much as tie-breaks are under the current regulations. The interval between sets is reduced to two minutes (from three). Teams will switch ends after the second set – and also, if needed, after sets 4, 5 and 6. They will also switch ends after a team reaches the eighth point in the seventh set. In addition, there will be no technical timeouts – just two regular thirty-second timeouts per team per set.

We have reviewed here on Volleymob how most coaches and players in last month’s were greatly displeased with the new rules. Are things going to fare differently this time around?

The basic numbers from last tournament were as follows:

Matches Played: 38

4 sets: 14 (37%)
5 sets: 10 (26%)
6 sets: 7 (18%)
7 sets: 7 (18%)
Quickest set: 9 minutes (5 times)
Longest set: 34 minutes
Quickest match: 43 minutes
Longest match: 2 hours
Average set: 15 minutes
Average match: 1 hour 17 minutes

All calculations are based on actual playing time (not including intervals between sets). The basic principles for the new scheme were tested for the first time in the Dutch League last year. During and after the Ljubljana competition, players, coaches, referees and officials will be evaluating the new system through a questionnaire, while duration and scoring statistics will again be gathered and analysed. In addition to the scoring system, a new serving regulation will be tried out in Ljubljana, with the server not allowed to land inside the court after a jump service.

 Pool A

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Slovenia 1 0 3 4 0 MAX 60 39 1.538
2  China 1 0 3 4 0 MAX 60 40 1.500
3  Dominican Republic 1 0 3 4 2 2.000 91 75 1.213
4  Egypt 0 1 0 2 4 0.500 75 91 0.824
5  Thailand 0 1 0 0 4 0.000 40 60 0.667
6  Argentina 0 1 0 0 4 0.000 39 60 0.650

Pool B

Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1  Brazil 1 0 3 4 0 MAX 60 28 2.143
2  Turkey 1 0 3 4 0 MAX 63 49 1.286
3  Bulgaria 1 0 3 4 2 2.000 84 79 1.063
4  Japan 0 1 0 2 4 0.500 79 84 0.940
5  Cuba 0 1 0 0 0 MAX 49 63 0.778
6  Kenya 0 1 0 0 4 0.000 28 60 0.467


Egypt x Dominican Republic

Plucky Egypt stunned three-time medallists Dominican Republic with a great 4-2 performance (12-15, 15-6, 15-8, 15-12, 15-17, 19-17). Coach Wagner Pacheco brought on middle blocker Angelica Hinojosa for Geraldine Gonzalez after the first set in an attempt to turn the tide – though the Africa side still made the Dominican Republic work very hard for their victory.

Egypt had a 7-10 lead in the sixth to take the match all the way and then blew four set points at 11-14 and 14-15, but the Dominican Republic clawed their way back and brought the match home after their third match point on cross-court attack by Jineiry Martinez from the right.

Aya Elshamy became the second player in the history of the competition to score at least 30 points in a match, despite the new rules. The Egypt opposite bagged exactly 30 to emerge top scorer of the game. Gaila Gonzalez with 24 was the Dominican Republic’s best scorer. The only other player to reach the 30-point mark was Italy’s Valentina Diouf in a 3-2 win over Japan in 2013.

Here are the post match reactions:

Dominican Republic coach, Wagner Pacheco: “I am satisfied we managed to win this first match. Egypt played really well and this shows there are no bad teams at this championship. Now we have to rest and prepare well for the match against Slovenia, who will also have the support of their fans.”

Dominican captain, Yokaty Perez: “I am not satisfied with our performance. We could have shown more today. But thank God we managed to win this match. Now we have to improve and play better. The opponents will be getting harder and harder.”

Egypt coach, Maged Mohamed: “I think we did a few too many of mistakes and there is also the lack of experience. We had to leave some players home because of injuries. I think we made a real effort today and I hope we will do the same in our next matches.”

Egypt captain, Farida Elaksalany: “The last points in the match was as we wouldn’t want to finish the game. In the second and third sets we couldn’t repeat our performance of the first. In the end we played much better, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

Brazil x Kenya

Reigning champions Brazil thundered past Kenya in straight sets (15-2, 15-5, 15-12, 15-10). The young Kenyans found no solutions to stop the outstanding South American offense. Captain Drussyla Costa contributed eleven points to Brazil’s win while Yvone Sinaida was top scorer for Kenya with five kills.

The favourites from Brazil quickly took command of the match in the opening set. The South American side put a lot of pressure on the Kenyan passers who did not manage to set up an effective offensive game. It was a quick affair in the new 15-point set format as Brazil showed no mercy, rushing to an undisputed 15-2 (!) first set win.

The young Africans nourished hope in the beginning of the second set (4-4). However, they were not consistent enough. The reigning champions rapidly raised the speed and power to end the second period 15-5 in their favor. Kenya had their best moments in the third set (10-10). Still, the story of the match did not change much in the third and fourth set as Brazil never looked back (15-12, 15-10).

Here are the post match reactions:

Brazil coach Wagner Coppini: “For the first game it’s a good result for us. For someone that is only watching the match it looked good on the court. But for the players on court the new pointing system is very, very fast. And we have to keep our concentration all the time. Against our next opponent Turkey it’s going to be a difficult match. It’s the European champion and we will have to work very hard.”

Brazil captain Drussyla Costa: “For the first match it was okay. We had to be very focused and everyone played well. To win the match today it was important to keep the pace going. The third set was tough, but we are happy to win the first match here.”

Kenya coach Catherine Mabwi: “Brazil was a tough opponent today. My team tried very well. The score was okay. It’s only a few mistakes here and there. Otherwise, for the first international match the girls did very well.”

Kenya captain Shyrine Jepkemboi: “I am not sad that we lost our first match here. We did our best in the match that was our first international game. We should improve our start. This is crucial for winning more points. In think that in the next games we will improve.”

Slovenia x Argentina

Hosts Slovenia produced a solid performance as they shut out Argentina 4-0 (15-11, 15-10, 15-10, 15-8) in 56 minutes before an enthusiastic, 1,500-strong home crowd. Opposite Iza Miklar led Slovenia’s onslaught with 14 points as the home team outblocked (9 stuffs to 2) and outserved (10 aces to 4) Argentina, in addition to a 48% attacking efficiency (28/58). Slovenia’s Italian coach Alessandro Chiappini stuck with his starting lineup throughout the game and made a single substitution in each set.

Here are the post match reactions:

Slovenia captain, Eva Mori: “At the beginning [of the first set] we were a bit nervous, which also showed in the score. But then we saw that we can relax and enjoy ourselves and please the audience, which is great. First victory, but tomorrow is a new day and I hope it will be a successful one.”

Slovenia outside hitter, Lana Scuka: “Like they say, bad beginning, good ending. We showed what we can do and beat Argentina. I hope we’ll continue this way and step up our shape.”

Argentina captain, Antonela Fortuna: “I think there was a difference in reception and the level of the attack. We know that if we would set better then maybe the match would be ours.”

Argentina coach, Martin Lopez: “I think Slovenia served really well. By attacking the first balls we were equal, but the difference was in counterattacking. It is clear that Slovenia played a lot of tough matches in the past months and that they gained a lot of experience in the World Championship qualifiers. We didn’t train a lot together and this was our first important match. I think this was the big difference. Today we had our first official game in this group and I think this showed in attacking and also in serving.”

Cuba x Turkey

2015 runner-up Turkey proved too strong for Cuba. The Europeans defeated their challengers from Cuba in a hard-fought duel 15-12, 16-14, 17-15, 15-8. Hande Baladin paced the Turks with eleven points via ten kills on 18 swings and one block. Asli Kalac added eight points for the Turkish side. Cuba was led by Heidy Casanova and her nine points followed by Claudia Sanchez’s eight kills. The young Turks out-spiked Cuba 34-22.

The Europeans controlled the start of the opening set as they bolted to a 7-4 and 11-7 advantage with setter and captain Cagla Akin offering her spikers many first-rate scoring opportunities. Cuba fought back bravely to shorten the gap to one point at 12-13 but could not pull through (12-15).

Hande Baladin, who was Turkey’s best scorer back in 2015 and third-best overall spiker at 2015 FIVB Women’s U23 World Champs, set the pace in the second set. The Cubans showed great resistance at the net but struggled mainly with passing. Two huge block kills paved the way for a hard-fought 2-0 lead for Turkey. Even though Cuba showed strong resistance in the third (17-15) and fourth set (15-8), the favourites from Europe kept the upper hand. Baladin closed it out for the Turks with a mighty attack. It was her 11th point tonight.

Here are the post match reactions:

Turkey coach Ataman Guneyligil: “We knew before the match that it’s going to be a tough duel. I do not like the performance of our team today. If we continue to play like that, it will be hard for us to win. Hope that tomorrow it will be better.

Turkey captain Cagla Akin: “I agree with our coach. We have to fight more and do less mistakes. However, today was the first day and first days are always more difficult.”

Cuba coach Wilfredo Robinson: “Today it was the first day. In reality, we did not show the game we hoped for. We committed too many errors in attacking and blocking. With the new pointing system the match goes pretty fast.”

Cuba captain Diaris Perez: “It was our first match and we made a lot of mistakes due to poor concentration. We hope that for the next matches our performance will be better.”

China x Thailand

China dispatched Thailand 4-0 (15-11, 15-6, 15-11, 15-12) in the Asian derby. Led by outside hitter Wang Yunlu who scored 15 points and Yan Kailu who added another 10, China dominated play from the very beginning of the game and left absolutely no doubt who was the boss, outplaying Thailand in all scoring skills.

Here are the post match reactions:

China captain, Chen Long: “I am satisfied with the win, but we made some mistakes with our rotations. We have to be more careful. We must also improve our game in sideout and also our blocking and defense. We must do even better in the next matches.”

China coach, Wu Sheng: “Thailand play well in reception and in defense, but their disadvantage is their height. I am satisfied with the first match. It gives us confidence for the rest of the tournament.”

Thailand captain, Boonlert Tichaya: “We are still not familiar with the new system and this was our first match. The sets are really short and the new rule for the service also caused us problems. We were thinking a lot about not to make a fault and maybe because of that we did a lot of them. We don’t feel we played bad, but of course we want to improve. We hope the next match will be better.”

Thailand coach, Chamnan Dokmai: “China have a really strong and tall team, but that can’t be an excuse – we knew it before the match. We tried to do our best and I am not disappointed with how we played today. Even though we lost, I still feel we played quite good. We know what are our weaknesses and besides that this was the first time to play with the new system. Hopefully the next match will be better and I hope we will play in a similar way as we did today.”

Bulgaria x Japan

Bulgaria prevailed 4-2 (15-13, 13-15, 11-15, 15-13, 15-12, 15-11) in a thrilling clash versus Japan. Silvana Chausheva (4th best scorer at 2015 FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship) and captain Gergana Dimitrova led the East Europeans with 18 and 17 points respectively while Japan’s captain Misaki Yamauchi contributed 15 kills for her squad.

There was not much to separate the two teams in the early stages of the match. Chausheva and Dimitrova led the Bulgarian offense while Japan’s Yamauchi fired widely for the Asian side. At 14-13, Miroslava Paskova made the difference with a blistering winner from the left to put up Bulgaria 1 set to nothing.

It remained a tough battle with both teams emphasizing their strengths. The Asians joined speed and combinations while the European side focused on height and power. The Japanese turned the tables in the second (15-13) and third set (15-11) before Bulgaria fought back bravely in the fourth period (15-13). It was the turning point in Sunday evening’s roller-coaster match. The young Bulgarians kept the upper hand in the fifth (15-12) and sixth set (15-11), cruising to a hard-earned 4-2 victory.

Here are the post match reactions:

Bulgaria coach Antonina Zetova: “It was a very tough match because the Bulgarian team rarely plays with the teams from Asia and we suffered very much during the game. Before the game, I was very worried because I know their style. I did not know how my team will react and how will they approach the game. I love my team and I think that we are going to improve our play with more and more matches we play here.”

Bulgaria captain Gergana Dimitrova: “In fact we prepared very well, we saw the Japan matches on video nine times. I think it was a very good match. We have not played before against a team that plays so fast. We fought very hard towards the end of the sets. I have no clue how we managed to have such good serving, attacking and blocking. But, thanks to God we moved through and won at the end.”

Japan coach Kiyoshi Abo: “Congratulations to Bulgaria as they played very well today. We need to improve our game in attack, which was very poor today. We are going to have to train a lot to improve our attacking.”

Japan captain Misaki Yamauchi: “This was a fast match for us and we wanted to win but unfortunately we lost. Bulgaria played very well. We didn’t play very well, especially in attack.”


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