2018 FIVB WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL NATIONS LEAGUE – WEEK 2
- May 22-24, 2018
Two days after teams scrambled into new pools and new locations for Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League, with rosters including a few key changes, the results have been anything but expected.
The American women climbed to the top of a very crowded mountain after the 2nd day of the 2nd week (5th day overall) at the 2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League. They got there by knocking off the lone remaining unbeaten team, the Netherlands, with a 3-0 sweep on Wednesday in Japan.
The American women have been successful against the Dutch over the last dedcade. Including the win in the bronze medal match at the 2016 Olympic Games, the Americans have won their last 9 matches against the Netherlands, a run that encompasses 5 sweeps. The last time that the Dutch were able to beat the Americans in official competition came in 2009, wher the Netherlands beat the USA 3-2 in the preliminary rounds of the Grand Prix. The Americans went only 3-6 in that year’s Grand Prix, finishing in 9th place overall, while the Dutch earned a silver medal.
Germany has played the whipping boy in Pool 6, falling to both No. 7 Italy and No. 10 South Korea, although the Germans did take Set 1 against the Koreans. The rest of the pool has been a mixed bag with No. 5 Russia expectedly sweeping a young Italian team, but falling to South Korea via sweep on Wednesday.
Serbia has been the most stable team in Pool 7, besting both Thailand and Poland in four sets. China has been up and down, falling to Poland, but rebounding with a win over Thailand with a roster missing three players from Week 1 as they were called for duty at the 2018 World Military Championship. The matchup to watch comes on Thursday as the Serbs face the hosts from China.
After stumbling in its VNL opener against Germany, Brazil has been true to form, winning four straight, including a win over previously undefeated Turkey on Tuesday and a walkover of Argentina on Wednesday.
Here’s a quick look at Wednesday’s results.
- Pool 5 recap (Belgium, Japan, Netherlands, United States)
- Pool 6 recap (Germany, Italy, Russia, South Korea)
- Pool 7 recap (China, Poland, Serbia, Thailand)
- Pool 8 recap (Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Turkey)
What has all of that meant for the overall standings? A lot of movement. The United States has climbed into the top spot with 13 points, the most among the six 4-1 squads.
China’s mixed results have dropped the team out of the Top 5, but the side is still within striking distance, trailing fourth place Turkey by just one point. South Korea, on the other hand, has moved into the top group with a pair of victories.
The Dominican Republic and Italy both notched their first victories of the competition, while Argentina remains winless.
Belgium and Poland are doing the best among the four challenge teams, each standing at 2-3.
Full Standings through Five Matches