2018 FIVB MEN’S VOLLEYBALL NATIONS LEAGUE – WEEK 5/POOL 17
- June 12th-June 14th, 2018
- Stuttgart, Germany | Porsche-Arena (Capacity: 6,181)
- Time Zone: Central European Summer Time (UTC + 2)
- World Rankings: #1 China, #8 Netherlands, #12 Turkey, #13 Germany
|Date||Time||Score||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5||Total||Report|
The table this week features three teams who would make the Final Round together in Pool 17 in Turkey, Netherlands and China. Germany meanwhile sits on the outskirts of it all, and is eliminated from playoff contention.
That’s what it’s all about this week for the overall standings – securing a bid to the next round. China has already done so because they are the hosts of the event. Turkey and Netherlands are a 2-1 week or a 1-2 week with one Italian loss away from clinching a spot as well. There are set distinctions as well for the tiebreaker, with all of the scenarios seen here.
However, if Turkey or the Dutch side had a down week at 1-2 and Italy went 3-0 in their pool, things would get very interesting based on tiebreakers. That’s why even though the probability of making it to the Final Round is on the side of Turkey and Netherlands, they still have work to do in joining China this week.
The story of this week in Pool 17 regards around nations’ abilities to make it into the Final Round. It’s possible that all three teams that would currently be in stay there, but that might require a 2-1 record from all three or that a team who goes 1-2 gets some help with Italy losing.
Turkey just needs to win one match in under five sets to earn three points. Netherlands meanwhile would need a bit more after that. The picture should become a bit more clear after the first day of action on Tuesday though, because Turkey and Netherlands face off. That means if Italy wins on Tuesday, things will look a lot tighter with just a one-match lead.
At the end of the day though, if Turkey and Netherlands can just continue what they’ve done to this point they should be okay. China might throw a wrench in the plans as the top ranked team in the world, but they haven’t found their top gear yet – whether that’s just because they haven’t gone all in yet or are looking to find it still. If they do turn things on as final preparation to the next round, they could become a threat to preventing Turkey or Netherlands from making the Final Round. Still, a 1-2 record for either team could be enough to make the cut.
Although the spotlight will be put mainly on Turkey and Netherlands as teams looking to punch their bid and China as the top ranked team in the world, Germany will be very dangerous. Not only is the German side playing in front of a home crowd, but they are eliminated from making the Final Round, so are playing with no expectations and nothing to lose. They also have shown the ability to pull off an upset and downed Brazil earlier in the tournament.
No one will be more of a fan for Germany than Italy, who could use an upset loss thrown into the mix for the teams they are chasing in Netherlands and Turkey. Should things hold up at the top though, the Dutch and Turkish sides will have a great chance to move on to the next round with China.
STORIES/PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- China – After joining the team just two weeks ago, Zhu Ting (92 spikes, 112 points) has already emerged as the second leading scorer for China to this point – and amazingly she is only eight points behind team-leader Liu Xiaotong (97 spikes, 120 points) despite six less matches. With a spot already secured in the Final Round, it will be intriguing to see whether China opts for rest this week or kicks up their level of play as practice for the next round.
- Germany – Playing in front of a home crowd, Louisa Lippman is worth the price of admission for Germany. She has posted 204 kills and 224 points, both of which rank third in the tournament thus far. Maren Fromm (122 spikes, 137 points) has been a solid secondary option, but Germany will look for more players to step up around Lippman. Regardless, she should put on another show with an onslaught of points coming as the German side looks to play spoiler.
- Netherlands – Coming into the tournament, Netherlands was known for their size, depth and balance. Those things have all come to fruition thus far and they have six players with 59 or more points with five at 82 or more. That gives them five of the top 55 scorers individually while none are in the top 16. Give plenty of credit to Laura Dijkema and the other Dutch setters for facilitating the attack and keeping the opposition guessing for who will strike next.
- Turkey – The Turkish block and balance will be on full display once again this week, with both led by an individual in Eda Erdem Dundar (0.83 blocks per set, 153 points) and Meryem Boz (144 spikes, 166 points). Each sit in the top 11 for individuals in points, and Dundar is third in blocks per set. The balance also sticks out, with three others over 100 points thus far.