GB v Japan - World Paravolley Championships
20th June 2014
The penultimate game of the World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships saw GB take on Japan in the 9-12th playoff semi-final. The 2 sides met twice at London 2012 and so it was a definite opportunity for both sides to see how they had progressed.
GB started with the same lineup as in other recent games this week with:
- Martine Wright
- Vicky Widdup
- Helen Sole
- Jodi Hill
- Claire Harvey
- Amy Brierly
The opening exchanges were relatively even but after a couple of aces from Jodi Hill levelled the score at 6-6, GB then pushed ahead to lead at the first technical timeout and then forced Japan to take their first time out soon after. The lead fluctuated throughout the set and were level at 20-20 as both teams pushed to win. Japan then opened up a lead to 24-21 but once GB sided out, Maurillia Simpson came on to serve and levelled the scores back at 24-24. Although the momentum was with GB, the Japanese team dug deep and won the set 26-24.
Japan established a strong, early lead in the second set and never really looked back, at one point leading 11-2. Danni Hampson-Carroll came on for Helen Sole midway through the set and she helped the team to rally but the gap was too large and Japan ran out 25-12 winners.
It was another strong start to the third set for Japan who lead 8-5 at the first timeout but GB got back into it and were only 16-14 down at the next technical. A great role shot from Vicky Widdup got GB to within 1 point at 17-16 and left it all to play for. Japan then extended their lead to 21-17 but once again GB came back into it and forced Japan into a timeout at 21-20. The timeout worked for Japan and they pulled away to take the set 25-21 and the match 3-0.
The result was disappointing for the team who wanted to finish inside the top 10 but the set scores were a significant improvement on the scores when the 2 sides met 2 years ago so it was a clear sign that progress has been made.
Elsewhere in the competition, the USA beat the Netherlands 3-0 in the first women’s semi-final and China then beat Russia 3-2 in an incredibly close match to set up a repeat of the London 2012 final. The results also see both sides become the first teams to qualify for Rio 2016.
In the men’s competition, Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Egypt 3-0 and Iran face Brazil in the second semi-final later this evening, aiming to again set up a repeat of the London 2012 final and qualify for Rio 2016.
GB’s final game of the week comes very early in the morning against Poland. Having beaten the hosts earlier in the week, the team are looking to finish positively and finish in 11th place.
The squad are supported by Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It, a charity partnership announced earlier this year. You can support the squad by downloading the splash the cash shopping app to your computer which will allow you to raise money when you shop online at no extra cost to you. http://volleyballengland.org/performance/gb_sitting_volleyball/dba
You can see GB take on Poland in their final match from 7.15BST tomorrow (Saturday) morning live online at http://www.paravolley.pl/Media/livestream/ or follow all the action on the @GBSittingVball twitter account.