World Grand Prix squad line-ups released
Fan can expect more action and excitement as 28 teams get set to take part in the World Grand Prix this year - the largest number of teams the tournament has seen to date|
Switzerland, June 20, 2014 – The 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix line-ups
of 28 teams for the Intercontinental Round have been released prior to the kick
off on July 25.
teams were added to the roster of the best women’s teams in the world this year
from the 20 teams in 2013, bracing for the biggest ever assembly of teams in
the premier annual women’s tournament.
teams were split into three groups to complement for more breathtaking action
in the World Grand Prix. Group 1 consists of 12 teams, while Groups 2 and 3 have
8 teams each.
In Group 1,
nine-time winners Brazil lead the topnotch group of teams that includes USA,
Japan, China, Russia, Italy, Serbia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Korea, Turkey
and Thailand. Former World Grand Prix winners Cuba and Netherlands head Group
2, together with Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Canada and debutants
Belgium. World Grand Prix first-timers Kenya, Algeria, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Mexico, Bulgaria and Australia will start their campaigns in Group 3.
champions Brazil are almost intact as most of their players from last edition
have returned to fortify their campaign this season although they will miss the
services of their finest libero Fabiana Oliveira, who recently announced her
retirement from the national team.
team headed by returnee coach Lang Ping will put her faith in her young
players. On her second year after her return, Lang gave China a silver medal at
the World Grand Prix with Zhu as her main offensive weapon. Powerful hitter
Wang Yimei will not see action this year.
opposite hitter Jovana Brakocevic will once again lead the Serbian cast,
supported by 2013 World Grand Prix best blocker Milena Rasic and best outside
hitter Brankica Mihajlovic.
Japan will rely
on Olympic bronze medallist Saori Kimura perking up their campaign but
will also bank on their bevy of young players Miyu Nagaoka, Risa Ishii, Yukiko
Ebata and prolific setter Haruka Miyashita. On the defensive end, the Japanese
team will take its cue from its venerable libero Yuko Sano.
Volleyball Women’s World Championship hosts Italy are scheming to reinforce
their squad after dipping in the last three editions of the World Grand Prix,
by bringing in several returnees, including world champion coach Marco Bonitta.
In line with the plan, coach Bonitta summoned veterans Francesca Piccinini,
Taismary Aguero, Nadia Centoni, Francesca Ferretti, Valentina Fiorin, Antonella
Del Core and Serena Ortolani, to team up with the young and current players of
dominant run in the World Grand Prix from 2010 to 2012, and an unlikely sixth
place finish in 2013, USA are out to prove that their team is still the top
favourites to make it to the final round in Tokyo. Their key playmaker Alisha
Glass will lead team-mates Kristin Lynn Hildebrand, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Nicole
Fawcett and Christa Harmotto. The team will certainly toughen up, with the
return of Jordan Quinn Larson-Burbach and Foluke Akinradewo – both players
figured in their three-year reign in the World Grand Prix.
the volleyball community witnessed the emergence of young players Gabriela
Guimaraes (Gabi) from Brazil, Zhu Ting from China, and Valentina Diouf from Italy.
These youngsters showed an impressive performance in the final round in
Sapporo, Japan. This year, Gabi, Zhu and Diouf will be back to banner their
squads in Group 1.
other squads, notable names are Dominican Republic’s scoring queen Bethania De
La Cruz, Margareta Kozuch and block specialist Christiane Fürst from
Germany, Kim Yeon-Koung from Korea, Nataliya Goncharova and Tatiana Kosheleva
from Russia, Onuma Sittirak and Nootsara Tomkom from Thailand, Neslihan Demir
and Neriman Ozsoy from Turkey.
more information on the FIVB World Grand Prix team line-ups here.