China won its fourth title at the Women’s Volleyball World Cup. The 12 team tournament was held in a round robin format where each team played the other 11 teams over three rounds to determine the world champion. The winner and runner up will qualify to the Olympics. The Women’s World Cup was held across six cities of Japan from August 22nd to September 6th 2015.
The first round contained a grueling five matches over six days. One of the first big matches was between Japan and Russia. The match lived up to its hype as the match went the distance and to a deciding fifth set which Russia won by a slim 15-13 margin. Later Japan almost suffered an upset when the Dominican Republic went up 2-1, including a 32-30 win in the third set. Japan was however able to recover and won the next to sets to win the match. The upset of the round came from Serbia as they defeated number one ranked United States in a five set match. The United States recovered from that loss by defeating a strong China 3-1. After five matches Russia led the table as they were undefeated while United States, China, Japan and Serbia followed with only a single loss.
The second round added another three matches for each team. The star of the round was easily Serbia as they defeated two of the strongest teams in five set thrillers. Serbia ended Russia’s undefeated streak though not before Russia took a 2-0 lead. Serbia went on to win the next three sets to win the overall match 3-2. In the other match Serbia was able to take a 2-1 lead over Japan, but Japan was able to force a fifth set. Serbia won the fifth set 15-9 to move with on with a 7-1 record along with the United States, China and Russia. Japan was also still within the hunt with a 6-2 record.
Going into the final round and three matches Serbia was looking the best as their final matches were against relatively weak opponents while the other four nations had two matches against other members of that group, but if it came down to tiebreakers Serbia would likely lose out. The United States took a large blow to their chances as they were defeated in straight sets by Russia. In the next set of matches the United States eliminated Japan by winning the match 3-1 while China took pole position of the leader board by defeating Russia 3-1 with one match remaining for all teams.
Serbia was able to do its part by winning all three of its matches though Argentina put up a strong fight where they came back from 2-0 down to force a fifth set. Serbia then proceeded to hammer them 15-4 to win. This gave Serbia at least second place and guaranteed them a spot at the Olympics. Russia was able to defeat Algeria 3-0, but was eliminated from Olympic qualification by the United States when they defeated the Dominican Republic 3-0. The final match between China and Japan not only decided the final Olympic qualifier, but the overall winner. China won the first set, but Japan won the second to tie things up. China however would win the match by winning the next two sets in close encounters to win the World Cup and a spot to the Olympics.
As expected this will make the Asian and European qualifiers a bit easier now two of their stronger teams have qualified. Likewise things will become a lot harder for the North American qualifier where the United States will attempt to qualify through the continental route.
- United States
- South Korea
- Dominican Republic
- FIVB. 2015 Women’s Volleyball World Cup Results. Access on September 6 2015.