With two matches left for most of the teams in Group 1, the USA and Serbia clinched their tickets in the World Grand Prix Finals on Friday. What needs to happen for the remaining teams to clinch their spots in the Finals?
USA – 6 wins-2 losses, 19 points (clinched a berth in the Finals, no match Saturday)
Could make things interesting on Sunday if they defeated Brazil at home for the Dominican Republic and Japan.
Serbia – 6-1, 18 points (clinched a berth in the Finals)
Can still finish 1st in the preliminary round with wins over Japan and China.
Netherlands – 5-3, 15 points (no match Saturday)
Must defeat Belgium on Sunday to reach 6 wins and if they win in 3 or 4 sets, Dominican Republic nor Japan can match on points.
Brazil – 5-3, 15 points (no match Saturday)
Must defeat USA on Sunday to reach 6 wins and if they win in 3 or 4 sets, Dominican Republic nor Japan can match on points.
Italy – 5-2, 13 points
Two wins will get Italy to 7 wins and clinch their tickets. Italy plays the Dominican Republic on Saturday and a loss in less than 5 sets, would have the Dominican Republic go in front of Italy on points. Italy would then need to win on Sunday against Thailand with a Dominican Republic loss. If it goes 5 sets on Saturday, Italy would be tied on wins, but ahead of the Dominican Republic on points 14-13. A win in 3 or 4 sets on Sunday would clinch their berth. If Italy lose twice, Japan could jump over them with two wins.
China – 5-2, 13 points (clinched a berth as Finals host)
Dominican Republic – 4-3, 11 points
Must defeat Italy on Saturday to stay alive. A win in 3 or 4 sets puts them ahead of Italy on points and tied on 5 wins. A 5 set win, would keep Italy in front of Dominican Republic 14-13 on points. Italy would have to lose on Sunday and Dominican Republic win to clinch their ticket. DR is still behind Netherlands and Brazil on points, so the Italy route is the easiest.
Japan – 4-3, 9 points
Japan’s three 5 set wins are killing them right now. Must beat Serbia and Russia to get to 6 wins. Need some combination of Netherlands, Brazil, Italy and Dominican Republic to each have a loss. If they only get to 5 wins, they are dead on points already, 4 points behind Italy. A loss eliminates them.