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Italy, US eye semis as second round ends

USA are within one win of a semifinal spot with Italy, who play Cuba, their closest challenges
Tokyo, Japan, November 9, 2010 – USA and Italy will both be desperate for wins to secure the last remaining semifinal place on the final day of the second round of the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship on Wednesday after Brazil, Russia and hosts Japan clinched the first three places on Tuesday.

The top four teams from Pools A and D from the first round have joined together in Pool E, while the top four from Pools B and C are grouped in Pool F. The results from the first round are taken into the second round, so teams will only play sides they did not face in the opening stage.

Wednesday will see USA face world No.1 Brazil and Italy battle Cuba. If USA win the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix winners guarantee themselves a spot in the semifinals, while a loss and an Italian victory will see them edged out into third place in Pool F. Elsewhere in Pool E, Poland and Turkey, and Serbia and Korea clash with positions three to six in the group separated by just one point.

The FIVB Women's World Championship involves 24 teams and runs from October 29 to November 14. After five cities hosted matches in the first round, only two cities provide venues for the second round, semifinals and finals. The top 16 teams from the four first-round (Oct 29-Nov 3) pools have advanced to the second round (Nov 6-Nov 10), and the top six teams from each of these two pools will advance to the semifinals (Nov 13) and finals (Nov 14).

Pool E in Tokyo
Peru (17) v China (3) at 11.15
Peru have already ruled themselves out of the next stage following a straight sets loss to Turkey on Tuesday so will be playing for pride when they go up against China. The Chinese on the other hand still have a narrow chance of qualification if results in the remaining Pool E games go their way, so nothing but a win will do for Yu Juemin’s side.

Serbia (9) v Korea (21) at 13.30
Serbia and Korea currently sit fifth and fourth respectively, so a win for either side could be the difference between a potential 5-8 finish or a 9-12 finish. Both sides are not coming into the match in the best condition with both having lost in straight sets on Tuesday. The two sides have only ever played each other once in a FIVB competition at the 2007 World Cup, with Serbia coming out on top.

Poland (8) v Turkey (22) at 15.45
Turkey still have a chance of beating their World Championship record tenth finish with only Poland standing in their way. However Poland will be looking to secure their place in the next round themselves as they know that a loss against Turkey and a China victory would see them crash out of the tournament. In five encounters Poland have won three matches and Turkey two.

Japan (5) v Russia (7) at 18.45
With both teams already through to the semifinals the two coaches will be looking for victory here to build momentum going into the next stage. Russia are yet to lose in the World Championships and the defending champions will be eager to top the group. The two teams are fairly familiar with each other, playing 29 matches with Russia coming out on top in all but eight of those, including the last encounter at the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Pool F in Nagoya
Czech Republic (38) v Thailand (12) at 11.45
Both the Czech Republic and Thailand need to win to stand any chance of reaching the next round, with the loser of this match guaranteed an early ticket home. The Czech’s will be frustrated they couldn’t beat Cuba on Tuesday as the Caribbean country condemned them to a bottom-of-the-table battle. Similarly Thailand will be fuming that they went down so easily to Italy and now the side sit bottom of Pool F. Both sides have never faced before, making the match all the more challenging.

Brazil (1) v USA (3) at 14.00
In what could be considered an early final, Brazil and USA clash on Wednesday for top spot in Pool F. Brazil, who are currently yet to lose a match, will be desperate to make amends for their 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix loss to the Americans, which gifted them the title. The USA meanwhile lost to 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix winners Italy earlier in the week but recovered with a straight sets win over the Netherlands on Tuesday. Brazil have the edge over the two teams with 19 victories to the USA’s 16.

The Netherlands (10) v Germany (15) at 16.15
A win for Germany will ensure they go to the 5-8 playoffs along with Italy, but the Netherlands will be looking to bounce back following their loss to the USA on Tuesday. The Dutch are still not guaranteed a spot in the next round so will be eager to pick up the win and secure a place. History will also be on their side as they have won seven of the two countries twelve encounters.

Italy (4) v Cuba (12) at 18.30
If the USA lose to Brazil, Italy could clinch a last gasp place in the semifinals with victory over Cuba. The side sit just one point behind the World Grand Prix winners but Cuba will not be easily swept aside, especially as they have aspirations for the next round themselves. A win over Italy would see them qualify for the third stage of the tournament while a loss would put their progress in the hands of other teams. With 17 wins against Italy’s seven history is on Cuba’s side, but it will still be an uphill struggle.

Pool Standings
Pool E (Tokyo): Russia 12, Japan 11, Turkey 9, Korea 9, Serbia 9, Poland 8, China 8, Peru 6

Pool F (Nagoya): Brazil 12, USA 11, Italy 10, Germany 9, Netherlands 8, Cuba 8, Czech Republic 7, Thailand 7


Match Schedule – November 10  

Pool E  - Tokyo

Pool F – Nagoya

11:15 PER v CHN

11:45 CZE v THA

13:30 SRB v KOR

14:00 BRA v USA

15:45 POL v TUR

16:15 NED v GER

18:45 JPN v RUS

18:30 ITA v CUB

Highest Scorer By Day

Day 1 (1st Rd): 28 points by Destinee Hooker (USA) in USA’s 3-1 win over Thailand in Matsumoto
Day 2 (1st Rd): 35 points by Manon Flier (NED) in Italy’s 3-2 win over the Netherlands in Hamamatsu

Day 3 (1st Rd): 27 points by Neslihan Darnel (TUR) in Turkey’s 3-2 win over the Dominican Republic in Osaka
Day 4 (1st Rd): 34 points by Aneta Havlickova (CZE) in Czech Republic’s 3-2 win over Italy in Hamamatsu
Day 5 (1st Rd): 29 points by Neslihan Darnel (TUR) in Korea’s 3-2 win over Turkey in Osaka
Day 6 (2nd Rd): 28 points by Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale (POL) in Poland’s 3-2 win over Korea in Tokyo

Day 7 (2nd Rd): 24 points by Destinee Hooker (USA) in Italy’s 3-1 win over USA in Nagoya and by Yukiko Ebata (JPN) in Japan’s 3-1 win over Turkey in Tokyo
Day 8 (2nd Rd): 22 points by Kenia Carcaces (CUB) in Cuba’s 3-1 win over the Czech Republic in Nagoya

Highest Set Score

34-32 (CRO v CUB in Pool C) played on October 29 (Day 1) in Matsumoto and (PER v CRC in Pool A) played on November 3 in Tokyo. * Women’s World Championship records


Highest Scoring Matches

235 (CZE v ITA in 1st Round) 3-2 (25-27, 27-29,         25-23, 25-22, 17-15) played on November 2 in Hamamatsu
220 (POL v JPN in 1st Round) 2-3 (28-26, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 12-15) played on October 29 in Tokyo
218 (NED v ITA in 1st Round) 2-3 (25-18, 21-25, 23-25, 28-26, 12-15) played on October 30 in Hamamatsu
212 (TUR v DOM in 1st Round) 3-2 (25-20, 25-14, 23-25, 23-25, 17-15) played on October 31 in Osaka
211 (CZE v BRA in 1st Round) 2-3 (25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 9-15) played on October 30 in Hamamatsu

Tournament Top Scorers

183 Neslihan Darnel (TUR)
165 Yeon-Koung Kim (KOR)
162 Saori Kimura (JPN)
148 Destinee Hooker (USA)
146 Kenia Carcaces (CUB)

Birthdays on November 10

Pannoy Piyanut (THA) turns 21


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