2017 WORLD GRAND CHAMPIONS CUP – WOMEN’S
While undefeated, 4-0 China has already locked up the title at the 2017 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, in an exclusive tournament that only invites the world’s best teams, there are always plenty of bragging rights to be played for.
Thus will be the case on Sunday’s final day of competition when Russia and Korea, currently the two bottom teams in the competition, face off in Nagoya.
For Russia, there is still a chance to catch Japan for 4th in the single round-robin format tournament, where each of the 6 teams plays each of the other 5 teams once. If Russia were to sweep South Korea 3-0 (Korea hasn’t won a set yet in the tournament) or win 3-1, and China were to beat Japan 3-0 or 3-1, then Russia would jump Japan for 4th place.
South Korea is guaranteed of a last-place finish, but there is some history to be avoided. If South Korea loses, they would become the first team to ever go winless in two editions of the Grand Champions Cup (they also went 0-5 in 1997). If they are swept, then they would become the first team to ever go without a set win in this tournament (their 1997 team holds the current mark for futility with a 1-15 set record).
The disparity this week shows how little parity there is in global women’s volleyball right now. While Korea was the team that was least-expected-of coming into the field, they’re actually the 10th-ranked team in the world, and made the quarterfinals at last year’s Olympics. For the 10th place team in the world to be unable to win a set against #1, #2, #4, #5, and #6 would be shocking.
Below, watch both teams play for pride live beginning at 11:40AM Nagoya time (11:40PM US East Coast Time, 2:40 GMT).
Editor’s note: Video not made available in the United States. If you are not in the United States, but an error in YouTube’s geolocation service is still blocking your access, you can use a program like TunnelBear to redirect to the proper country.