FIVB World Championships – European Qualification Women
- May 24- June 4, 2017
No. 3 Italy and No .7 Belgium remain unscathed in Pool D play through three days of competition. Italy swept Latvia, Belgium topped Belarus 3-1 and Spain edged Bosnia and Herzegovina in five sets in Belgium on Friday.
Italy 3, Latvia 0
It was less than an hour from start to finish as the Italians pummeled Latvia 25-12, 25-9, 25-16, never trailing in the match. Nine blocks and nine aces and a stellar 63 percent hitting efficiency lifted the favorites.
Sara Loda managed to pile up 16 points, with 11 kills, four aces and a block, for Italy. Anna Danesi added 12 points, including a team-best four blocks, while Indre Sorokaite chipped in 10 kills.
Inese Jursone paced the Latvian effort with 10 points, including nine kills and an ace.
“We expected that this would be an extremely challenging tournament for us, because the level of some of the teams playing here is simply too high for us,” Latvian coach Janis Leitis said. “We played at a good level but we cannot keep it for five days and for five matches in a row. We were happy with taking one set from our match with Bosnia and Herzegovina and we will be trying to achieve the same feat when playing Spain on Sunday.”
Belgium 3, Belarus 1
The team leading at the midway point won each set of the 25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 25-17 battle between No. 7 Belgium and No. 13 Belarus.
Belarus led 8-7 in Sets 1 and 4, but could not hold on. Set 2 saw Belgium take the early lead, but Belarus rallied to go up by five at 21-16 en route to the 25-23 win. Belgium led throughout Set 3, capitalizing on eight Belarus errors.
“In the first set we could save two set points and in the second we took advantage of some Belgian mistakes in reception, but after that it was also clear why this Belgian team is among the top seven in Europe,” Belarus coach Aliaksandr Klimovich said. “They have a lot of talent and experience in their team.”
The teams managed seven blocks apiece. Belgium served up six aces, while allowing just four. The Belgians also had help from a 47 percent hitting efficiency.
“Today I asked my players to have a little more Zen spirit because they wanted to win so badly,” Belgium coach Gert Vande Broek said.
Lise Van Hecke scored 22 points for the victors, including 21 kills. Britt Herbots (14), Laura Heyrman (13) and Freya Aelbrecht (13) also contributed double-digit points in the win.
Anastasiya Herlik (16) and Hanna Kalinouskaya (13) led Belarus.
Spain 3, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2
It truly was a back and forth battle between Spain and Bosnia and Herzegovina as the teams traded near start to finish victories.
Bosnia struck first with a 25-23 win, as Spain gave away 11 points on errors. Spain answered by taking Set 2 25-20 with help from four blocks. Bosnia and Herzegovina led by as many as six in the 25-20 Set 3 win, while racking up seven stuffs and three aces. Spain countered with a 25-23 win featuring five aces. The Spaniards carried the momentum into the final set, racing ahead 5-3 and going on to a 12-7 lead in the victory, which included eight kills and three aces.
Each team served up 12 aces and Bosnia won the blocking battle 15-12, but a 45 percent hitting percentage helped lift Spain to victory.
Maria Segura tallied a match-high 30 points with 23 kills, four blocks and three aces. Jessica Rivero added 15 points, including 11 kills, while Helia Gonzalez managed 10 putaways.
Edina Begic and Verica Simic led the Bosnia and Hergovina side with 22 and 20 points respectively. Begic posted 17 kills and four blocks, while Simic added 14 kills and five aces.