Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament - News

Japan (JPN) vs. Brazil (BRA) women - Pool B #7065653

Triumphant Rosamaria, Gabi and Pri Daroit

Con due aces chiave nei tempi regolamentari del tie-break, la subentrante Priscilla Daroit ha timbrato il biglietto del Brasile per i Giochi Olimpici del prossimo anno: la squadra sudamericana ha infatti superato il Giappone, padrone di casa, in cinque set nell'ultima partita del FIVB Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifier di Tokyo, domenica, e si è unita alla vincitrice della Pool B, la Turchia, sulla strada per Parigi 2024.

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Brazil will compete at the Olympic Games for the 12th consecutive time since their debut at Moscow 1980. In their previous 11 appearances they have collected two Olympic titles (Beiing 2008 and London 2012), one silver medal (Tokyo 2020) and two bronze medals (Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000).

In a winner-takes-all encounter, Japan and Brazil engaged in an epic five-set battle. The Asians came back from a set down twice in the match before the South Americans could step in front again in the tie-breaker to claim a 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 27-25, 15-25, 15-10) victory and, with that, the second place in the final pool standings on a 6-1 win-loss record and 16 points, leaving Japan below the cut-off line, in third on 5-2 and 15.

Each of the first three sets in itself offered the fans plenty of nail-biting drama and was decided only in the last rallies. With their backs against the wall, Japan completely dominated a one-sided fourth set to push the match to five. The South Americans stormed the tie-breaker on a 3-0 run, but the home team gradually fought their way back to a 10-10 level. Brazil broke away again and after running off with a 12-10 lead, Pri Daroit came in for the serve. She immediately added another point to Brazil’s advantage with a clean ace. Then a kill block by Rosamaria Montibeller brought in match point, converted by Pri Daroit herself with another ace for 15-10.

While Japan did better than Brazil in serving (8-4 in aces) and in attack (68-66 in spike kills), the South Americans slightly outblocked their opponents (13-12 in stuffs) and showed better accuracy (18-21 in unforced errors). Brazilian star outside hitter and captain Gabriela Guimaraes was above all in scoring. She contributed 23 points, including an ace, towards the victory. Outside Julia Bergmann added another 15, while middle blocker Thaisa Menzes and opposite Rosamaria Montibeller finished with 13 points apiece. Captain Sarina Koga and Kotona Hayashi led Japan with 18 points each.

La Turchia, che ha prenotato il suo viaggio a Parigi sabato, si è assicurata di concludere la sua campagna di qualificazione da imbattuta. Domenica, le campionesse in carica della Volleyball Nations League e d'Europa hanno sconfitto il Belgio per 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-21) e hanno conquistato la vetta della classifica finale della pool con un record di vittorie e sconfitte di 7-0 e 21 punti. In soli tre set di gioco, l'opposto Melissa Vargas ha realizzato il massimo dell'incontro con 20 punti, tra cui quattro blocchi e un ace, seguita dagli esterni Derya Cebecioglu con 14 punti e Hande Baladin con 10, mentre nessuna giocatrice del Belgio ha raggiunto la doppia cifra. I belgi hanno concluso il torneo al sesto posto con un bilancio di 2-5 e 6 punti.

In the first match of the last competition day in Tokyo, Puerto Rico celebrated a 3-1 (25-14, 20-25, 25-18, 25-12) victory over Bulgaria to take fourth place in the final standings on 4-3 and 11 and leave their European opponents in seventh on 1-6 and 5. Puerto Rican opposite Brittany Abercrombie topped the charts with 21 points, including two aces and two blocks, followed by teammates Alondra Vazquez with 16 points and Pilar Victoria with 14.

Then, Peru earned their first point of the tournament, but stopped short of earning their first win and finished bottom of the table. They had a one-set lead twice in their South American clash with Argentina, but the opponents came back to claim a 3-2 (29-25, 25-12, 10-25, 25-18, 15-10) victory. Outside Daniela Bulaich led the winners with 15 points, including an ace, while Peruvian opposite Maria Paula Rodriguez delivered the match high of 20 points, including four kill blocks.