Summer 2015 - Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 6:50 am MST

posted Feb 10, 2017, 6:19 AM by Ashley Lee
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 6:50 am MST

Details to follow about CAN women's quarter final …

Updated at 9:50 am MST

Nice to see Canada’s logo in the top 8 pool. I hope that everyone got a chance in Canada to watch their match against Russia. Playing against the top team in the tournament Canada played a very respectable match. Serve receive broke down a few times but there were some special attacks, very good blocks and many broken play conversions. The first set was very close but Canada couldn’t get by the big block in the end and although they fought in the other two matches it was not as competitive in the home stretch. Down in the last two sets in the middle they managed to come back but couldn’t maintain the level of play needed to keep the Russians off balance. This Russian team has 4 players, I think, from Kazan FISU and they played in two tournaments prior to this event. So it was a ‘serious’ team that was well prepared. The completed in the Yelsen Cup in Russia and in Montreux (finishing a respectable 3rd in that event).

In other action Japan beat Colombia 3-0. Interesting to watch Japan with 3 coaches and 2 medical on the bench, 2 statisticians, radio contact, video and Colombia with 1 coach. In maybe the best match of the night, Ukraine beat Thailand 3-1 and Brazil thrashed China 3-0. 

I hate to say it but from a technical point of view it was not a good night. Thailand & Ukraine and Russia & Canada were the best matches. Each team has weaknesses and strengths but not all teams are using good game plans in preparation of their matches. Japan will have to receive better if they wish to move higher in the rankings. Ukraine showed a lot of attack power but little defense, China was just very average (almost like an average University team from Canada), Colombia played with heart but did not have enough size, although their defense was exciting at times. Russia was the most poised and Canada did not make a lot of unforced errors except in a few streaks which cost them a chance to get back in their match. Reception too, let Canada down.

Brazil plays Ukraine and Japan plays Russia. I would think that we will see if the Japanese can frustrate the Russians with off speed and wipe-off tactics at the net and add superlative defense to keep the Russians off balance. They will have to touch a lot of balls with their block, and if that fails it will be difficult. Russia is the kind of team that, if you can frustrate, will break and body language becomes bad. The same you can say about Ukraine, they can be their worst enemy as they give so many ‘dirty’ looks, don’t talk after a mistake or touch for support, etc. I guess Brazil is okay but not super. Russia and Brazil have to be the favourites to advance but they should be competitive matches.

In the 5-8 pools Thailand plays China which should be won easily by Thailand and Canada plays Colombia. It should be a Thailand vs Canada rematch of their round robin game for the 5th place match (Unless Canada gets frustrated by the play of Colombia and their tenacity to keep trying). 

In the 9-16 pool play there was a big upset by Switzerland who beat Turkey in 5. Athletes this is why you compete as no one in their right mind would have picked that result. I did not see the match but Turkey must not have brought their ‘A’ game today. The Swiss, my old National Team, should be very proud of that result as it was their first win in the competition. Finland beat Korea , the USA defeated Chile in straight sets and Taipei thrashed Zimbabwe. So the 9-12 placing pool it is USA vs Switzerland and Taipei vs Finland. I would think it would be a USA vs Taipei final.

In the other pool Chile plays Turkey and Korea plays Zimbabwe for the 13-16 rankings. Should be a Turkey vs Korea for 13th place.

Tomorrow the men resume their play and the following is the 1 - 8 schedule:
Taipei vs Chile - fast and quick vs power
Ukraine vs Iran - your pick both very good teams, probably Ukraine the favourite
Japan vs Argentina - again fast and quick vs power and blocking
Russia vs Latvia - the big favourites with 4 seven footers on the team and Latvia which I have not seen

For 9 - 16 :
Czech vs Colombia - should be the Czech’s
Mexico vs Switzerland - your call - two close teams
Brazil vs Korea - Korea improving should give Brazil and tussle
Thailand vs Venezuela - Thailand should prevail

And for 17-22
Hong Kong vs Australia - Australia most likely the favourite because of their size
with Canada getting a bye and the winner (the next day) while the USA gets a bye until tomorrow too when they play China. 

That is it for today, already looking forward for tomorrow.