FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix—Preliminary Competition
The Women’s World Volleyball Grand Prix 2015, the Volleyball Federation’s premier annual competition is currently ongoing. The preliminary completion for Group 1 comprising the top 12 teams concluded on Saturday July 18, but the top six teams now move onto the Final Round in Omaha on July 22-26.
For the preliminary rounds, the teams were split into Pools A-I with 4-teams per Pool and matches spilt into three rounds. Round 1 matches for Pools A, B and C took place on July 3-5, the Round 2 matches (Pools D, E and F) were completed on July 10 to -12 and Round 3 matches for Pools G, H and I take place on July 16-18.
The third round matches were played in Catania, Sicily (Pool G), Hong Kong (Pool H), Stuttgart, Germany (Pool I).
The top 6 teams after the first two rounds were Brazil (18-points), China (18-point), USA (17-points) Italy (11-points), Russia (11-points) and Japan (10-points).
The groupings for Round-3
The Groupings for round 3 were:
• China, Japan, Thailand and USA – (Group H) to be played in Hong Kong
• Turkey, Serbia, Germany and Dominican Republic – (Group I): played in Stuttgart
• Russia, Brazil, Italy and Belgium – (Group G): played in Catania
Matches on Thursday, July 16, 2015
In the first matches of Round 3 of the Preliminary competition in Pool H at the Hong Kong Coliseum, USA beat Japan by 3 sets to nil and China defeated Thailand by the same margin.
In Pool G in Catania; Brazil beat Russia 3-0 and Italy beat Belgium 3-0 in Pool I in Stuttgart, Germany beat Dominican Republic 3-0 and Serbia beat Turkey 3-0. With these results the standings now advance to:-
Matches on Friday, July 17
In Hong Kong, Thailand lost to USA 0-3 and China beat Japan 3-0. This was the highlight match at the Hong Kong Coliseum venue. Where a packed auditorium saw China beat USA in 5-Sets but in reality China showed in that match they are a real force in the game. The height of their players gives them a huge advantage in blocking spike shots which they demonstrated to great effect.
In Stuttgart, Germany lost to Turkey 2-3 and Dominican Republic were beaten by Serbia 3-0; and in Catania, Brazil overcame Belgium 3-0 and Italy lost to Russia 1-3. The important matches on the final night, Saturday July 18, to book a place in the top 6 look like being, Germany against Serbia in Stuttgart, and Japan against Thailand in Hong Kong.
Matches on Saturday, July 18
In Hong Kong: Japan beat Thailand 3-0, and China beat USA 3-2. In Stuttgart: Dominican Republic lost to Turkey 0-3 and Serbia were beaten by Germany 1-3, and in Catania: Belgium beat Russia 3-0 and Italy lost to Brazil 0-3.
The results of the matches between Serbia and Germany and Japan against Thailand were crucial to Japan claiming the 6th place in the Rankings and a place in the Final Series to take place between Wednesday July 22 and July 26, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. In the end Japan took the 6th finalist place on with a better “Set Win Ratio” than Germany. It was also cruel for Serbia as they were so very close to the reaching the final.
Final Rankings after completion of the preliminary competition were:
1. Brazil – 27points
2. China – 26 points
3. USA – 24 points
4. Italy – 14 points
5. Russia – 14 points
6. Japan – 13 points
7. Germany – 13 points
8. Serbia – 12 points
9. Thailand – 8 points
10. Belgium – 6 points
11. Turkey – 5 points
12. Dominican Republic – 0 points
The six top ranked teams now compete in the final series.