Flawless Poland lead 2024 FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League with excellent first week


Article Sun, May 19 2024
Author: Adrian Costeiu

The 2024 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League threw off last week, with eight European teams at the start, as seven of those sides featured in the Pool 1 in Antalya, Türkiye, with another one, Serbia, playing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Only two teams – Poland and hosts Brazil – stayed flawless throughout the four matches played last week, with Poland the only side to not drop a set, with a flawless performance for the team which finished fifth at the 2023 CEV EuroVolley Women.

Poland had an excellent start, with a 3:0 (28:26; 25:23; 25:21) win over Italy, as Magdalena Stysiak scored 17 points, leading her side to a crucial win, which set the tone for the whole week.

A 3:0 (25:20; 25:16; 25:17) win over France followed, as Poland also swept the Netherlands and Japan in the next two matches, setting them up nicely for a challenge towards the trophy, one which always evaded the European powerhouse, which saw their best finish last season, in 2023, when they ended up securing the bronze medal.

Stysiak was absolutely fabulous against the Netherlands and Brazil, leading the way with 16 and 22 points respectively in the two matches, helping Poland to secure the first place after the first week, as Brazil are now second, with four wins, but with two sets dropped.

Reigning champions Türkiye, currently the reigning European champions, had a mixed bag of results, winning two matches and conceding two losses, despite having their best players at their disposal.

Daniele Santarelli’s side conceded a loss in the first match, 2:3 against Japan, dropping the decisive set, 11:15, bouncing back against the Netherlands (3:1) and France (3:0). However, the rematch of last year’s CEV EuroVolley Women semi-final against Italy was won by Italy, with Ekaterina Antropova (23 points) and Alice Degradi (16 points) shining for the Italian side.

With Thailand being qualified to the final round of the 2024 FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League as the hosts, only seven teams will make the cut for the quarter-finals, therefore Türkiye, which are currently seventh after the first week, must tread carefully the next matches, as the room for mistake is now slimmer and slimmer.

Italy are the only European side to register three wins, only losing one match, the first one against Poland. Julio Velasco’s side created some excellent moments against Germany (3:1), Bulgaria (3:0) and Türkiye, dropping only five sets so far, with three coming in the loss against Poland.

The runners-up at the CEV EuroVolley Women 2023, Serbia, could only muster one win in Rio, 3:0 against Thailand, as they were thoroughly outplayed by the Dominican Republic (1:3), Brazil (0:3) and People’s Republic of China (1:3). Nevertheless, Serbia were without superstar Tijana Boskovic in the four matches.

The Netherlands (two wins and two losses), Germany and France (one win and three losses) and Bulgaria (four losses in four matches) will need to comeback in the next weeks, if they are to challenge for a place in the final round.

The 2024 FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League will continue in two weeks’ time, between 28 May and 2 June, in Macau and in the United States of America, with all eight European teams taking the court.