2017 FIVB WORLD LEAGUE – GROUP 2
- June 2nd-June 25th, 2017
- Event Page
- Final Four
- Gold Coast, Australia
With just a quartet remaining, the schedule for the final four of Group 2 at the 2017 FIVB World League has been announced; Slovenia vs. Netherlands and Australia vs. Japan will commence the semifinal round on Saturday.
The first match will be Slovenia-Netherlands with a spot in the finals on the line. Instead of the usual one-seed vs. four-seed semifinal approach, this pairing features the top two teams from Group 2 pool play. Slovenia completed their nine matches at 8-1 with 24 points while Netherlands wasn’t far behind at 7-2 with 21 points. Both are the only teams in the group with seven or more victories.
For Slovenia, they don’t have Group 2 playoff experience from last year, but they did win Group 3. That earned them their promotion, which they now have the opportunity to build even further on. Netherlands meanwhile is the only returning squad from last year’s Group 2 semifinals to make it to this point again. They finished in third after falling in the semifinal round and redeeming themselves in the final match against Turkey.
The second semifinal will see the host team (Australia) take on Japan. Although Australia didn’t need to finish in the final four to advance here, they did anyway after a 6-3 pool play mark. Japan had one less win at 5-4, but actually had the same amount of points (16) as Australia. That point total was the reason Japan squeaked in to the final week, as both China and Korea also went 5-4, but had less points. Beyond that, this will be the third time these two nations face each other. Japan came out on top the first match, 3-1, but it was Australia winning the latest version in five sets.
Neither Australia or Japan made a playoff round at any of the three group stages in the 2016 FIVB World League. Japan couldn’t make the cut in Group 2, while Australia finished last in Group 1 to relegate themselves down a level. Australia now gets the chance among their home crowd for a chance to move back up to Group 1.
Final Four Schedule. All times Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC+10).
|June 25||13:40||L G1||L G2|
|June 25||16:10||W G1||W G2|
Of the potential championship or third place matchups, the only rematch would be Japan-Slovenia. It was actually the Japanese side that gave Slovenia its only loss of the tournament so far with a five-set win. Besides that, any matchup would be fresh on June 25. At the end of the day, one of the four nations will give the venue its billing, and really feel as if they are on the Gold Coast.