Women's World Grand Prix 2017

  • I'm torn on two sides.. On the one hand I think this has been a relatively good Grand Prix for the USA since there are a lot of new faces, they try to get used to this new system, their setter is now a starter, etc.. On the other hand this really is not a B/C team.. They indeed miss their starting MBs and OHs, and their libero retired, but Dixon and Gibby are not that much worse than Akinradewo/Adams.. In favt both Dixon and Gibby have had a lot of playing time in the past, especially Dixon who before her injury was surely making the roster for the Olympics.. Bartsch has also played with the previous team, and also spent so quality years with her clubs.. Carli is pretty experienced too.. So if Brazil can so it, I don't see why USA can't

    Well I'm not trying to say that USA should lose all matches becasue they are missing, I just think this lineup is fresh and haven't played much with one another. OK, Gibbemayer and Tetori are good players and experienced but they are 'just' MBs. I think 2 OHs, libero and reliable OPP are much more important overall and it's harder if you replace them for the team to find a new way of playing. It's easier to swap MBs. Lloyd is also not the first choice since ages as they had Glass, Kreklow and so on.


    Let's just take out 2 OHs and libero of Serbia, Brazil or whatever team and see what happens, they would be MUCH worse. What actually already happened to Germany, Poland, Netherlands before 2015, also a lot to Italy. Just without Werblinska, Glinka, Grun, Kozuch, Flier or Piccinini they can't live up to expectations.


    I would say USA results this year show the positive things- that they have good and long bench and many replacements for starting six rather than collapse or sth. All in all it's just a Grand Prix. And Kingdon/Courtney/Bartsch are USA 5th/6th and 7th OH...

  • Mazzanti said that he will have to carefully evaluate how to handle tomorrow match, since 4 matches in a row at the highest level possible are not easy to play and he have to consider the energy of the players. In conclusion, he may let someone rest.


    Fortunately tomorrow match doesn't decide if someone else is reaching the semifinal, but only who is the first and who is the second of the pool among the two opponents.

  • Unfortunately for Brazil... Tandara is limited with her offense. They need someone more reliable or else Natalia is going to be taken out of the play... :white:

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • Good game and congrats Brazil! :box:


    I like Daalderop, Balkestein and Plak today in Netherlands. Middles were so-so, setters were bad esp. Femke and Knip is always bad imo xD. Especially Balkestein was really fighting near the end and it was great to see.


    At Brazil Natalia is still a meh and not whats expected. Tandara is not bad but we will see if she can take the role of Sheilla which I doubt. I like Rosamaria a lot and think she's truly underrated! :rose:

  • Rosa Marie's casual approach to hair-bunning seems a little un-Brazillian, but she's starting to win me over--as a work in progress. Roberta concerns me still. A setter should exude more confidence. She always looks somewhere between nervous and terrified to me.

  • Rosa Marie's casual approach to hair-bunning seems a little un-Brazillian, but she's starting to win me over--as a work in progress. Roberta concerns me still. A setter should exude more confidence. She always looks somewhere between nervous and terrified to me.

    Rosamaria gives the NT a different vibe in a lot of ways, which is always a pleasure to watch. Roberta is like that all the time btw, I doubt she'll ever change her expressions durings matches. lol

    Gold - European Championship 2013 (M) Prediction Game
    Bronze - World Championship 2014 (W) Prediction Game

  • Things will be interesting tonight with Italy resting players I wonder if Serbia and China will do the same.
    I want Serbia vs Brazil and China vs Italy.


    Rosamaria seams really comfortable already and she will just get better. Bia helped Brazil a lot, she came in late and ended with 5 blocks. Anne continues to disappoint as she just can`t get it together. Daalderop is really pretty, she reminds me of Flier.


    I think Natalia is tired, especially mentally. If hard to find motivation after the Olympics, and especially for the Brazilians dealing all the pressure and everything that went down, and you add in she had her first season abroad. Ze Roberto did not give her any rest, she played against DOM, POL, Mountreux ...she needed a rest, remember Natalia is 27, it is not like she`s 20.

  • I`m always against resting players, but in this case it is totally fine if Italy does it. Because it is not fair that some teams would have to play 4 games in a row while others would play 2 take a day off and play 2 more.


    I think next year with 16 teams, the finals will have 8 teams and this kind of issue won`t happen anymore.

    Mazzanti said that he will have to carefully evaluate how to handle tomorrow match, since 4 matches in a row at the highest level possible are not easy to play and he have to consider the energy of the players. In conclusion, he may let someone rest.


    Fortunately tomorrow match doesn't decide if someone else is reaching the semifinal, but only who is the first and who is the second of the pool among the two opponents.

  • Natalia is playing a mix between Fe Garay/Jaque's role which could be hard for her being the babied player from last year. And since Rosamaria who is exactly not a player known for her reception YET then things can only go bad for Natalia who is exactly not known as the world's greatest passer.


    Still not a bad day for Natalia. Netherlands wanted to silence her out of the play that's why they serve 75% of all the balls to her. She got it worst yesterday. Atleast here... Suelen was a disaster until her girlfriend Bia was inserted to the match by Ze. Suelen was much better with the coverage after that sibstitution. Maybe a little love and inspiration helped her get out of the mental blackout. I mean... That work out for them. :whistle:


    Anyway good job with Rosamaria holding her nerve. That was a great win despite not having the best support players in this tournament. I'm just hoping she improves her reception if they are lucky to get in the finals. Natalia was probably spooked with all the servers going to her and she collapsed as an attacker but atleast she wasn't that bad with passing the balls.


    Tandara was a little meh. Bit diesel-ish. Takes time to warm up which is kind of dangerous against good teams who could make you pay for all those mistakes you make so early on the game like China did to them yesterday.

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • I want the exact semi-finals of Serbia vs Brazil and China vs Italy!


    In addition, part of the reason why I really want China to beat Netherlands tomorrow (resting some of the players or not) is that Brazil beat Dominican Republic in 2014 WCH which helped (though not necessarily intentionally) China advance into the semi-final. Time to pay back if you can.

  • I still have hope for Natalia. This is her first time playing "on her own" without support from Jaque and Fe Garay (and Queen Yeonkoung). So it is still too much for her to handle -- to be the main passer and to be the main killer. I hope Coach Ze knows what he is doing. Clearly he wants Natalia to be her main weapon in Tokyo -- hence not giving her rest, putting her on court as much as possible. Hopefully, Natalia will learn as much as possible in terms of receiving and attacking. Who knows, maybe one day she can be one of those OH who can pass very good and attack with high efficiency. She already has the latter, it's just the former that she needs to learn a lot.


    Side question, anyone of you knows any OH that can pass and attack in good balance? Jaque (in her golden years) is the only one who comes into my mind. And maybe the legendary Picci and Mari Steinbrecher and Paula Pequeno around 2006-2008.

  • Side question, anyone of you knows any OH that can pass and attack in good balance? Jaque (in her golden years) is the only one who comes into my mind. And maybe the legendary Picci and Mari Steinbrecher and Paula Pequeno around 2006-2008.


    Sokolova and Logan Tom in theIr prime would be one of the best among them. Also Gözde and Artamonova.

  • I still have hope for Natalia. This is her first time playing "on her own" without support from Jaque and Fe Garay (and Queen Yeonkoung). So it is still too much for her to handle -- to be the main passer and to be the main killer. I hope Coach Ze knows what he is doing. Clearly he wants Natalia to be her main weapon in Tokyo -- hence not giving her rest, putting her on court as much as possible. Hopefully, Natalia will learn as much as possible in terms of receiving and attacking. Who knows, maybe one day she can be one of those OH who can pass very good and attack with high efficiency. She already has the latter, it's just the former that she needs to learn a lot.


    This is illuminating for me. I didn't know Natalia was the focus/hope for the team. I haven't noticed her much in this tournament. Maybe she's the silent assassin type, but it also tells me she's not making a lot of mistakes. I thought Tandara was the captain and main weapon. She seems to be one of a handful of players from any team that strikes fear into opponents when they see her flying in from the backcourt, or wherever. But she also commits service errors at set point :aww: And someone said she gets kill-blocked a lot for some reason. After reading that I did actually notice it.


    I'll pay more attention to Natalia. She seems friendly.

  • I hope the Brazilian team will play in the semifinals, they are much eager and working pretty hard to get there incl. the animated coach, Ze... amidst all the hardships and limitation they're still displaying the vigor and extra passion for this sport!


    I have confidence that the host will field the necessary line-up to not give the free pass to the Dutch team... moreover three teams from Europe in the semi are simply too many... rather not healthy for the women's volleyball development :P:D:lol:


    "The majority of men are not capable of thinking, but only of believing and are not accessible to reason but only to authority." -­ Arthur Schopenhauer