2017 FIVB World League
- June 2nd-July 8th, 2017
- Tournament site
- Pool A1
- Pesaro, Italy
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 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.
In the heaviest-hitting pool on the first weekend of play in Group 1, Olympic silver medalists Italy and defending World Champions Poland emerged with wins. That includes a huge early upset when Poland defeated last year’s Olympic champions Brazil 3-2.
The two day 1 winners, Italy and Poland, will meet on day 2
Pool A1 Standings:
Poland def. Brazil 3-2 (25-20, 20-25, 19-25, 25-22, 15-8)
The tenure of new Brazilian head coach Renan dal Zotto did not get off to a good start in Italy. They fell 3-2 to Poland, losing in a 5th tie-breaking set.
Poland relied heavily on veteran opposite Dawid Konarski, who had 20 points (17 kills, 3 blocks) and 7 digs in the win.
Poland had a balanced attack, with 10 players getting in the score sheets, including 3 in double figures. Brazil, meanwhile, played a much tighter rotation, with only 7 players scoring in the match. That was led by Evandro Guerra, who had 22.
Brazil went early and often to a pair of debutantes in the match. Ricardo Lucarelli Souza and Mauricio Borges Almeida Silva scored 18 and 13, respectively, for Brazil in their first senior international caps. But they also had some struggles – combining for 13 hitting errors in the game, part of a 30-error match for Brazil (as compared to just 19 for Poland) that wound up costing them the game.
The teams were otherwise statistically evenly-matched. Poland had 13 blocks and Brazil 14; Brazil had 61 kills and Poland 55. Both teams had 6 aces.
Italy def. Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-22)
Another team with a new coach fell on day 1 in Pool A1, as Italy swept Iran away, though all three sets were competitive to the final point.
Even playing without 3 of its superstars, Ivan Zaytsev, Emanuele Birarelli, and Osmany Juantorena, Italy had no letdowns in their tournament opener. Filippo Lanza and Luigi Randazzo led the way with 13 and 15 kills, respectively. For Randazzo, that came with just 3 errors on 31 attempts.
Italy did, perhaps, feel the absence of their middle blocker Birarelli than they did of their hitters. They had only 5 blocks in the 3-set match, with 3 of those coming from Davide Candellaro. Setter Simone Giannelli and middle blocker Simone Buti picked up one each.
Filippo Lanza, with 105 senior caps for Italy, and Luigi Randazzo, with just 30, led the way with 16 points each. Lanza is one of 6 players from Trentino Volley on the Italian World League roster, which includes receiving assists from his young world-class setter Giannelli, who had 21 in the match. Lanza’s output also included 3 aces – part of 6 for the team.
Iran’s only player in double figures was Farhad Ghaemi with 10, including 1 of Iran’s 2 aces.