Japan Overcomes 2-0 Deficit, Gives Netherlands First Loss of WGP

2017 FIVB VOLLEYBALL WORLD GRAND PRIX – POOL C1

  • Group 1, Pool C1
  • July 7th – July 9th
  • FIVB World Grand Prix Round 1
  • Omnisport Apeldoorn, Appeldoorn, Netherlands
  • Schedule/Results

In the first match of the day, it looked as if Netherlands was en route to a 3-0 opening weekend. However, Japan came back from a 2-0 set hole to win the match. It means that both teams finished at 2-1, however it didn’t effect the pool winner as the Dutch side still finished on top of Pool C1 due to points.

The Dominican Republic came closest to usurping Netherlands at the top, but their loss to the Dutch ended up being the difference as they finished with the same record but less points. It was a difficult weekend for Thailand, who had spurts of strong play but were unable to record a win.

Pool C1 Table:

RANK TEAMS MATCHES RESULT DETAILS SETS POINTS
TOTAL WON LOST 3-0 3-1 3-2 2-3 1-3 0-3 POINTS WON LOST RATIO WON LOST RATIO
1
NETHERLANDS
3 2 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 7 8 3 2.666 250 224 1.116
2
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
3 2 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 6 6 5 1.200 261 254 1.027
3
JAPAN
3 2 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 4 7 7 1.000 300 294 1.020
4
THAILAND
3 0 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 3 9 0.333 239 278 0.859

Editor’s Note: While teams are divided into 4-team pools for pragmatic reasons on each of the 3 weekends of the tournament, each teams’ record goes into a single group-wide table to determine who advances to the knockout stages. The pool standings presented here are to help keep up with each pool only, and on each day of the tournament, we will post a summary that includes the full table as well. Prize money, however, is awarded based on pool standing each weekend.

JAPAN DEF. NETHERLANDS 3-2 (17-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-9)

Netherlands had already clinched the Pool C1 victory yesterday, but they still had the opportunity to go 2-0 while Japan was trying to just finish with a winning mark in the opening weekend. Early on, Netherlands was firing on all cylinders.

Behind a strong block, the Dutch side won the first two sets. Robin De Kruijf was the leader of the stern defense that led to Netherlands out-blocking Japan 15-11. She totaled seven of them on her way to 17 points, which was tied for the team lead with Anne Buijs.

Things started to turn in set three. After only coming on in the first two sets as substitutions, Risa Shinnabe and Koyomi Tominaga started sets three through five and combined for 16 points (13 kills on 29 swings). They were key in the turnaround as Japan’s biggest advantage in the match was an attack that had eight more kills on two less errors. Sarina Koga was prevalent in the third and in a close fourth that Japan won 25-22, as she would lead the match with 22 points (20 kills, two blocks).

After Netherlands gave up their 2-0 set lead, they jumped ahead 3-0 in the fifth. A 10-3 run by Japan quickly shifted the lead though. Netherlands scored two straight to tighten the match, but Japan hit another spurt as they would end the match on a 5-1 run (15-6 in total).

The win means more for Japan than the loss does for the Netherlands, who still win the pool and end the first three matches in the top three of the overall Group 1 table. They will play Belgium, Dominican Republic (in a rematch) and Russia in Pool F1 next week.

For Japan, they now finish with a winning record of 2-1 in the opening weekend and although points are holding back compared to other 2-1 teams, they are in strong contention for a spot in the Final Six. Still, there are plenty of matches until that point as Japan will join Pool D1 with Thailand and powers Serbia and Brazil.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DEF. THAILAND 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18)

The Dominican Republic scored a win over Japan yesterday while Thailand fell to 0-2. That meant different motivation for both sides as Thailand was looking for win number one while the Dominican Republic had a chance to finish with a winning record and in second of the pool.

Every set was competitive, as they exchanged at the same rate in the first three – with the winning side taking it 25-22 in each. With a 2-1 lead in sets, Dominican Republic put their foot on the accelerator in the fourth and pulled ahead 19-12. Thailand would never give up and drew closer at 21-17, but the Caribbean nation came out victorious with a four of the final five for a 25-18 set win and a 3-1 overall match.

The Dominican side was dominant at the net, out-blocking Thailand 15-5. Beyond that, the two sides were equal between the combination of kills, opponent errors and aces. Hattaya Bamrungsuk led Thailand with 18 points (17 kills on 27 swings), but it wasn’t enough to counter four Dominican players who had 12 or more points. Annerys Victoria Vargas Valdez and Brayelin Elizbeth Martinez had the most of the bunch as each logged 21 points.

Thailand will head to Pool D1 in Japan where they will face the hosts along with Brazil and Serbia – meaning they will be looking for their first win against three teams who all have winning records. On the bright side, Thailand did earn one point from a five-set loss this weekend, so they would currently be ahead of Belgium for the relegation spot.

The Dominican Republic will be with Russia, Netherlands and Belgium as part of Pool F1. That means they’ll have one rematch and then two matches against 0-3 teams as they look to cement a spot in the final six, which they currently would be a part of.

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