TT’s volleyballers endured a tough outing on the second day of the FIVB World Championships at the Kobe Green Arena, Kobe, Japan yesterday, going under 3-0 (75-33) to USA in both teams’ second match of the tournament.
The result was TT’s second loss in succession against another team ranked within the top five in the world by FIVB. In their first match a day prior, TT – the only team to debut at the tournament – lost 3-0 (75-44) to fifth-ranked Russia. USA, ranked number-two in the world, doubled-up to six points after their 3-0 win over Azerbaijan on day one. That fixture proved more difficult for the Americans than the scoreline suggested.
The results nevertheless meant USA would enter their third match tomorrow atop Pool C, while TT were left at the bottom of the standings. There were positives to take from the two encounters and reports out of Japan suggest TT head coach, Cuban Francisco Cruz, was satisfied with his team’s showing, particularly against Russia.
There is also the plus that TT have gotten their toughest opponents out of the way and will focus on the remaining teams ranked considerably below USA and Russia. Their next match is against Thailand tomorrow. Wing spiker Channon Thompson led the way for TT in both matches, scoring 10 and eight points against Russia and USA, respectively. Seventeen of her points were earned from spikes.
Krystle Esdelle scored nine points against Russia and seven against USA. TT started the tournament strongly, at least for the first set against Russia. They were edged 25-21. Russia picked up momentum in the second and third sets to win them comfortably, 25-11 and 25-12. The second defeat for TT was essentially a routine win for the USA in a match which lasted just over an hour. Following tomorrow’s clash with Thailand, TT will face Azerbaijan on Wednesday and finally South Korea on Thursday.
In other groups, Netherlands have taken charge of Pool A with two wins, the latest of which was a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the hosts, Japan, who sit second heading into today’s round of matches.
Italy started brilliantly with two easy wins, 3-0 against Bulgaria and 3-0 over Canada, as did China, who defeated Cuba and Turkey 3-0 each.
In Pool D, Serbia and Brazil have two three set wins from as many matches to occupy the top spots. The two leaders will clash today.