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WGP Week Three: Dramatic showdown for five Finals tickets

China, led by coach Lang Ping, lead the World Grand Prix standings with 17 points and, along with Japan, are the only two teams to take a 100% win record into the last weekend of the Preliminary Round

Lausanne, Switzerland, August 14, 2013 - With five tickets to the Finals still up for grabs, volleyball fans around the world can look forward to a dramatic showdown on the penultimate weekend of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2013 Preliminary Round.

The premier annual event for women’s volleyball is more finely poised than ever: after the first two weekends of action, 10 countries still harbour realistic hopes of qualifying for the Finals in Sapporo, Japan. Other than the hosts Japan, who qualify automatically, no team has yet secured its place in the prestigious Finals. The destination of the five coveted tickets will be determined in 30 matches in five different preliminary venues around Asia.

China, whose only World Grand Prix title to date came 10 years ago, look to have the best prospects of reaching the Finals. Along with Japan, the Chinese and their new star coach Lang Ping (“my team is making progress”) are one of only two teams still undefeated after six preliminary matches. The points leaders on the Preliminary Round standings with 17 points also have home advantage at the tournament in Wuhan – and they also face only one opponent still with a chance of reaching the Finals, in the form of European champions Serbia, who are currently third with 16 points. The team from the Balkans will be without key player Jelena Nikolic, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. “We will try to win the trip to Sapporo,” says the defiant Serbian captain Maja Ognjenovic.

Olympic gold medallists Brazil and defending champions USA, who have won the last three World Grand Prix in a row, have their work cut out if they are to achieve that same goal. Having come into the competition as favourites, the two teams now find themselves fifth and sixth in the Preliminary Round standings with 14 points. As such, they occupy the last two places to qualify for the Finals. Brazil appear to face the easiest challenge in the last weekend of the Preliminary Round, but nothing can be certain, especially after their shock 3-2 defeat at the hands of Bulgaria in week two.

The world No. 2 Brazilians will face hosts Kazakhstan, a young Cuba side and the Netherlands in Almaty. Only the Netherlands have a slight mathematical chance of reaching the Finals but they need to win all three matches and hope other results go their way. “We must be extremely focussed, in order to ensure that we achieve our first goal of reaching the Finals,” coach Ze Roberto’s warned. After three successive second places, record winners Brazil still harbour hopes on winning the World Grand Prix for a ninth time.

USA, for their part, are aiming to become the first team in the history of the competition to win four times in a row. To keep this dream alive, they must first come through a difficult test this weekend in Sendai against the undefeated hosts Japan, giant-killers Bulgaria (13 points) who also line up with a chance of reaching the Finals, and the Czech Republic (six points). “This is where it really matters,” US coach Karch Kiraly - who knows what it takes to succeed, having won Olympic gold on three occasions - said. “We must step it up again now.”

Another three teams still aiming for the Finals go head to head in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei. The team currently sitting fourth on 15 points, Italy, find themselves in the best position but last year’s third-placed team Turkey and the Dominican Republic, on 13 and 11 points respectively, are lurking ominously.

Two more of the chasing pack will also be hoping to book their tickets to the Finals when they take to the court in Bangkok, Thailand. World champions and three-time World Grand Prix winners Russia (12 points) and Germany (11 points) face each other on Friday.

“We want to pull off a miracle and qualify for the Finals,” says German coach Giovanni Guidetti, whose team also has its sights set on winning gold on home soil at September’s European Championships.

Fans in the halls and millions watching on TV are guaranteed excitement as 10 become five in the race to the Finals.



No PhaseDateLocal
TeamsLive Score
City Description Press
Stats Photos
73 M 16/08 15:30 06:30USA-CZEView SendaiView
85 O 16/08 15:00 07:00ITA-ALGView Kaohsiung cityView
79 N 16/08 16:00 08:00SRB-POLView WuhanView
61 K 16/08 15:00 09:00CUB-BRAView AlmatyView
67 L 16/08 16:00 09:00THA-PURView BangkokView
74 M 16/08 18:15 09:15JPN-BULView SendaiView
86 O 16/08 18:00 10:00TUR-DOMView Kaohsiung cityView
68 L 16/08 18:30 11:30GER-RUSView BangkokView
80 N 16/08 19:30 11:30CHN-ARGView WuhanView
62 K 16/08 18:00 12:00KAZ-NEDView AlmatyView
75 M 17/08 12:30 03:30JPN-USAView SendaiView
76 M 17/08 15:30 06:30CZE-BULView SendaiView
69 L 17/08 14:00 07:00RUS-PURView BangkokView
87 O 17/08 15:00 07:00ALG-TURView Kaohsiung cityView
81 N 17/08 16:00 08:00ARG-SRBView WuhanView
63 K 17/08 15:00 09:00BRA-NEDView AlmatyView
70 L 17/08 16:30 09:30THA-GERView BangkokView
88 O 17/08 17:30 09:30ITA-DOMView Kaohsiung cityView
82 N 17/08 19:30 11:30CHN-POLView WuhanView
64 K 17/08 18:00 12:00KAZ-CUBView AlmatyView
77 M 18/08 12:30 03:30JPN-CZEView SendaiView
78 M 18/08 15:30 06:30USA-BULView SendaiView
71 L 18/08 14:00 07:00PUR-GERView BangkokView
89 O 18/08 15:00 07:00ITA-TURView Kaohsiung cityView
83 N 18/08 16:00 08:00POL-ARGView WuhanView
65 K 18/08 15:00 09:00CUB-NEDView AlmatyView
72 L 18/08 16:30 09:30RUS-THAView BangkokView
90 O 18/08 17:30 09:30DOM-ALGView Kaohsiung cityView
84 N 18/08 19:30 11:30CHN-SRBView WuhanView
66 K 18/08 18:00 12:00KAZ-BRAView AlmatyView


FIVB World Grand Prix Ranking
RkCodeTeamPointsMatchesResults DetailsSetsPoints
1CHNChina1766 411   1836.0004963951.256
2JPNJapan1766 321   1844.5005254191.253
3SRBSerbia1665141 1  1744.2504934011.229
4ITAItaly1565141  1 1644.0004864081.191
5USAUSA14651311 1 1662.6675134101.251
6BRABrazil14651131 1 1682.0005614851.157
7TURTurkey1364231 11 1572.1435244531.157
8BULBulgaria1364222 1 11481.7505144501.142
9RUSRussia1264212111 15101.5005615401.039
10DOMDominican Republic11642211 111391.4444874930.988
11GERGermany1163312 21 14111.2735685091.116
12NEDNetherlands66242   228120.6674194131.015
13CZECzech Republic662411  137130.5384234650.910
14THAThailand662411   46130.4624214211.000
15ARGArgentina4624  2 228160.5004925560.885
16POLPoland46151  1136150.4004454870.914
17KAZKazakhstan16 6   1325180.2784305470.786
18CUBCuba 6 6    242180.1113394870.696
19PURPuerto Rico 6 6    151180.0563594730.759
20ALGAlgeria 6 6     6 18 2064500.458

Top Scoring Performances

41 – Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata of Poland v Russia (August 4) World Grand Prix record
32 – Zhu Ting of China v Netherlands (August 4)
31 – Tatyana Mudritskaya of Kazakhstan v Argentina (August 4)
28 – Yukiko Ebata of Japan v Kazakhstan (August 10)
28 – Bethania De La Cruz of Dominican Republic v Czech Republic (August 4)
27 – Miyu Nagaoka of Japan v Germany (August 9)
26 - Dobriana Rabadzhieva of Bulgaria v Dominican Republic (August 11)
25 - Aneta Havlickova of Czech Republic v Argentina (August 11)
25 - Emiliya Nikolova of Bulgaria v Dominican Republic (August 11)
25 - Kelly Murphy of USA v Serbia (August 11)
25 – Bethania De La Cruz of Dominican Republic v Brazil (August 9)
25 – Gabriela Guimaraes of Brazil v Dominican Republic (August 9)
25 – Nataliya Goncharova of Russia v Brazil (August 3)

Top Blocking Performances

9 – Milena Rasic of Serbia v Puerto Rico (August 4)
8 - Robin De Kruijf of Netherlands v Algeria (August 11)
8 – Annerys Vargas of Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico (August 10)
7 – Cristina Barreto of Brazil v Poland (August 2)
7 – Strashimira Filipova of Bulgaria v Puerto Rico (August 9)

Top Blocking Performances by Team

18 – Poland v Russia (August 4)
17 – Italy v Germany (August 4)
17 – Brazil v Poland (August 2)
17 – Kazakhstan v Germany (August 2)
16 – Russia v Poland (August 4)
16 – Serbia v Puerto Rico (August 4)
16 – Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico (August 3)
16 – Brazil v Russia (August 3)

Top Serving Performances

7 - Saori Kimura of Japan v Poland (August 11)
6 - Neslihan Darnel of Turkey v China (August 11)
5 – Denise Hanke of Germany v Kazakhstan (August 2)
5 – Sana Jarlagassova of Kazakhstan v Germany (August 2)

Top Serving Performances by Team

13 - Turkey v China (August 11)
12 - Turkey v Argentina (August 9)
12 – Argentina v Kazakhstan (August 4)
11 – Germany v Poland (August 10)
11 – Serbia v Algeria (August 10)
11 – China v Cuba (August 3)
10 - Netherlands v Algeria (August 11)
10 - Germany v Kazakhstan (August 11)
10 - Japan v Poland (August 11)
10 – Germany v Argentina (August 3)
10 – Serbia v Czech Republic (August 3)

Highest Scorer by Round

Week 1: Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata of Poland, 41 v Russia (August 4) World Grand Prix record
Week 2: Yukiko Ebata of Japan, 28 v Kazakhstan (August 10)

Highest Set Score

Week 1: Poland v Russia, 30-28 (August 4)
             Japan v Turkey, 30-28 (August 4) 

Week 2: Argentina v Turkey, 36-34 (August 9)

Highest Scoring Matches

Week 1: Russia v Poland, 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 29-27, 28-30, 15-13) – 235 points
Week 2: Bulgaria v Dominican Republic, 2-3 (22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 30-28, 14-16) - 226 points

2013 World Grand Prix Tournament page 
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2013 World Grand Prix Schedule 
FIVB World Rankings 
FIVB World Grand Prix Media Guide

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