2018 FIVB World Championship - Japan

  • The same semifinal of China vs Italy as the second match as the one four years ago ...

    My favourite roster of Chinese
    male NT:
    S - Li Run-ming, Zhan Guo-jun
    OP - Dai Qing-yao, Jiang Chuan
    OH - Ji Dao-shuai, Xia Run-tao, Liu Li-bin, Zhang Chen
    MB - Zhang Zhe-jia, Chen Long-hai, Geng Xin
    L - Ren Qi

    female NT:
    S - Ding Xia, Yao Di
    OP - Gong Xiang-yu, Zhang Chang-ning
    OH - Hui Ruo-qi, Zhu Ting, Liu Xiao-tong, Li Jing
    MB - Yuan Xin-yue, Yan Ni, Xu Yun-li
    L - Lin Li

    My avatar is Jiang Chuan. I hope more persons love him.

  • Another 'meaningless' match with all the titulars in: it's curious how women took a completely different path that men.

    Yeah, it really was a striking contrast. I don't think today's matched were played with full intensity, which is impossible to expect anyway under these circumstances, but they were not outright tankjobs or glorified friendlies either. You certainly didn't get the feeling anyone was throwing it away.

    For Serbia it was important to be able to prevail even with Mihajlović having a rather bad day at the office. Italy showed they could still be competitive without Sylla, so both teams have a lot of positives to take from this match.

    The semis are wide open. Anything can happen.

  • Italy was invincible, then lose to Serbia in a game that means nothing and all of a sudden they definitely will lose against China? This 2 games today mean nothing. And we are talking about volleyball, a NT can lose against any opponent ou win against any opponent just because they had a good/bad day.

    So, lets wait and enjoy :D

  • The semis are wide open. Anything can happen.

    While I basically agree on that in women's volleyball overall, I just don't see the Dutch beating the best version of Serbia. The other match is much harder to predict and pretty much 50:50 for me even though Italy won the preliminary match.

    Making a rather bold guess I have this feeling that we'll have the same final match as in Rio 2016 and it might very well have the same result as back then too. And the Dutch are probably going to repeat their rank of Rio too, I'm sorry but I don't see them beating any of the other three teams. Not impossible, but for me not likely...

  • So, we'll have a semifinal that is the replay of the ECh final, and the other one that is the replay of the 2014 semifinal (I hope with a different outcome, obviously!).

    Plus, 3 of the 4 finalist in Rio are present, with Italy replacing USA.

    Curious to notice that in the last 3 final4 of major international events, the % of European teams is increasing: 25% in the WCh2014 (Italy, with China-USA-Brazil – now that I think of it, it was a very continents-balanced final4!); 50% in Rio (Ned and Serbia, with China and USA); 75% here, with China being the only constant. Kudos to them!

    For Friday, I would bet on Serbia beating Ned (of course nothing is impossible at this level!); the other match seems more balanced to me, but China is more used to win the important matches so they probably have an advantages (the previous match doesn't count for me: in case, I would say that repeat a victory against a top team is often harder than winning the first time).

    I hope the final4 will be of the highest level, even if at the end of a very long and exhausting competition (13 matches – practically half a championship season – in such a short period time!). At least there were a decent amount of day of stop...

    Last (egoistic) consideration: I'm very sorry the semifinal will be a that time and on Friday: a match at 12.20 on Saturday (but also at 9.10, after all) would have had much more visibility in Italy, and regardless the next results, the girls really earned that visibility and love.

    EDIT: Matthias, we were writing similar consideration at the same time ^^

  • well now its money time at the WCH..do- or- die matches are getting closer :box:

    i also have a similar opinion as the posts above on Serbia vs the Netherlands.. it could be less tougher than the other semifinal...Serbia will be the fav. of that match. however the Dutch team has the power to beat Serbia : Lonneke,Buijs,Plak,Maret are all good players, Dijkema is a setter good enough to run this team, but the Dutch MBs are most probably the weakest ones amongst the four semifinalist. that is a problem...Buijs/Plak and Maret should play much better than the games they have played during the whole WCH to make their team have a chance over the Serbian team.

    Serbia will count on its strong hitters Tijana and Brankica again. Brankica looked unsteady against Italy..as we all know that they have good MBs and a good setter..They just need to play its regular game.it is the Dutch team Who will need to carry out an extra job

    Italy vs China match seems to be tougher than first meeting..Italy beat China but they may have to play better to beat China second time in a row..im guessing Zhu Ting will try to put forth her best on the court..Sylla's performance could decide the result..she shouldnt be crushed under the burden of passing which is very likely to be L.Ping's tactical game plan, on the other side, Zhang's game could shape China's fate .Italy is one step ahead than China as the OPP.all the MBs are close to one another althoug MB Yan Ni has been my fav. MB from China so far..MB Yuan should lift her game to a better level..Malinova should set lots of balls to her MBs to do Egonu and Sylla a favor...i can't predict the result...any result is possible!

  • I refuse to believe NL was serious about today's match with Anne Buijs starting each set.

    So nice to have Serbia and NL played super early for Europeans to watch and irrelevant match on primetime. I hope USA clobbers Japan for that.

  • I just want to express how great has De Genaro been bump setting this WCH. She has always been a great setter, I even remember giving the MBs some balls.. but this tournament she sets the ball with such ease and so quick, the hitter always gets the timing right.. USA should watch and learn some stuff from her, setting fast in transition

  • Yeah and she seems to be able to do it from anywhere on the court with great accuracy. Very impressive indeed.

  • Yeah She was setting Robin in Conegliano some sets and that looked like pure magic. She tryed with Dannesi but It didn't work. Ana is not that type of player like Folie and Robin even Christina C.

  • This English commentator likes Yan Ni (so do I). I've heard him say a few times throughout this tournament: "Pound for pound, maybe the best middle blocker in the world".

    I love Yan Ni... I find her hitting approach so unique. She`s so quick and still she can read the block very well and she can tip or dump it over when the block is in front of her.

  • Most uninteresting match is between Japan-USA during prime time.

  • That fifth place match is really useless, but I guess anything for the hosts right? I know I wont be staying up to watch it.

    They better not try to include that also in Tokyo 2020.