2017 FIVB World Grand Prix
This year’s FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix marks the 25th anniversary of the event and with that a record-breaking 48 matches set to be played in the first week. There has been an increase of four teams from the previous edition, going from 28 to 32 with the addition of Cameroon, France, Hungary and Trinidad and Tobago.
The competition will feature three separate groups of play, much like the men’s World League competition does and in the same format. Group 1 and 2 will play three full weekends while Group 3 only competes in two weekends before their finals take place.
The defending championships, Brazil are seeking their 12th World Grand Prix title. Brazil ended their Olympic run early in the quarterfinals and will meet Olympic runners-up Serbia in the first week of the competition. Earlier this summer season, Brazil was able to take the title at the Montreux Masters over Germany.
Defending Olympic champions, China will clash in Pool B1 with reigning World Champions USA. China will have Zhu Ting on their side for the Grand Prix, giving them a boost in play. Ting was the 2016 Olympic MVP for the Chinese squad. China is also set to host the Group 1 Finals that will be held from August 2-6 in Nanjing. As the hosts, they have an automatic bid to the finals, from there they will face the top five teams to finish in the three weeks of play.
The United States will have a very youthful roster at the Grand Prix, with many players just finishing up their first professional seasons.
China and Japan are the only two teams to compete in all 25 edition of the Grand Prix competition. However, China has only won the event one time (2003), while USA has six titles, second to that of Brazil who has 11.
In Group 2, Germany will stand out as the favorites as they reached the Montreux Masters finals match. Louisa Lippmann will take control and lead the German squad. Lippmann was named the top scorer of the Montreux Masters with 99 points in the competition.
All four of the debuting teams will compete in Group 3 for their first year, with only two pools holding competition each week.
Group 1 – Week 1 Pools
|Pool A1||Pool B1||Pool C1|
Group 2 – Week 1 Pools
|Pool A2||Pool B2||Pool C2|
Group 3 – Week 1 Pools
|Pool A3||Pool B3|
|Trinidad & Tobago||Venezuela|