Kobe, Japan, May 12, 2017 - The two teams that had never played at the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championships before will face each other in a classification 5-8 semifinal at the 2017 edition in Japan. The third-placed team from Pool A, Russia’s Dinamo Moscow, will meet the fourth-placed from Pool B, Japan’s NEC Red Rockets Kawasaki, to open the penultimate competition day in Kobe on Saturday.
Dinamo had their chance to play for the medals, but lost the match with Brazil’s Rexona-SESC Rio de Janeiro, crucial for the second place in their pool, on Friday by 1-3 (23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 23-25) to finish third in the standings.
NEC Red Rockets, who did not have a shot at the semifinals, did not stand much of a chance against the reigning champions from Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul. The Turkish side needed to win just two sets, but did not waste any time and went for the 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-16) shutout.
Obviously, this encounter between Dinamo and NEC Red Rockets will be the first between the two rookies in the history of the Club World Championships. Since the competition was revamped in the 21st century, there have been two matches between teams from Russia and Japan. On both occasions, the Russian squads, Dinamo Kazan in 2014 and Dinamo Krasnodar in 2015, defeated Hisamitsu Springs Kobe in four sets.
Dinamo Moscow (RUS)
- This will be Dinamo’s fourth match in the Club World Championships. They have a 1-2 win-loss record so far.
- Dinamo’s Nataliya Goncharova continues to lead the Best Scorers individual ranking of the tournament after the pool stage. She has made a total of 61 points so far.
- Maja Poljak is another Dinamo player who tops one of the individual charts. With 1.50 stuff blocks per set, she is the best among the Best Blockers.
- Dinamo’s libero Anna Malova is the leader of the Best Diggers ranking with an average of 2.70 digs per set.
NEC Red Rockets Kawasaki (JPN)
- NEC Red Rockets’ have yet to win their first set at the Club World Championship level.
- So far NEC Red Rockets have played three Club World Championship matches, and in all three they suffered 0-3 shutouts.