There's no end of intensity at the Rimini 'bubble' as the 2021 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League continued Tuesday with three more unbelievable five-setters and some performances for the history books. USA and Turkey remain in the lead after both scored their fifth wins in as many matches.
Yet more riveting tie-breaks mark Day 5 of Women's VNL
Canada finally win; Serbia get 18 blocks in one match; USA, Turkey still unbeaten
Published 10:20, 01 Jun 2021
With Micha Hancock on setting duties for the first time in this tournament, defending champions USA cruised past the Netherlands in three sets and under an hour and a half to remain the only team on full points.
Turkey also advanced to 5-0, following a sweep of Germany - Ebrar Karakurt scoring 21 in just three sets.
However, Turkey have already dropped two points and trail USA in the standings.
Top of the teams with four wins are Brazil following another show of power as they inflicted a heavy defeat on Russia with Carol Silva hammering six aces and reaching a match high of 15 points.
Carol's serving came just short of the all-time VNL high of seven aces in a single match jointly held by Turkey's Eda Erdem, the Dominican Republic's Bethania de la Cruz and Italy's Paola Egonu and Indre Sorokaite.
Canada, meanwhile, finally overcame their 'fear' of winning their first match and edged China in five sets - their second tie-break in two days and the rookies' first win of the tournament.
And the Canadians still can't believe their achievement. "It's surreal," said outside hitter Andrea Mitrovic in the virtual Mixed Zone after the match.
Opposite Kiera Van Ryk was again bringing in the North Americans' points - 25 in total, bringing her overall tally to 103 to remain in third place in the best scorers' table.
Serbia were back with a a full squad to take on Thailand - and did the youngsters again deliver. Straight sets against Thailand for the Balkan side's third win in five matches, which sees them firmly in sixth place of the standings.
Serbia's 18 blocks (6 from Sara Caric, 5 from Jovana Kocic) were not quite a VNL record for a single match. That remains 22 (by Russia against Turkey in 2018), but that was done in five sets - compared to Serbia's three on Tuesday.
Belgium were also delivering more brilliant stuff on Tuesday against Poland, when the tournament's two top scorers came head-to-head.
Scorers table leader Magdalena Stysiak beat Britt Herbots for the match high of 21 - but only by just one point. It was enough for Belgium to hold on for a five-set win, their second in as many days.
And Herbots continues to lead the overall scoring race. The Belgian opposite (at 107), alongside Stysiak (104) and Van Ryk at (103) are the first players to break the 100-mark.
In other action on Tuesday, Kim Yeon-Koung was also back on court with Korea - but this was not enough to prevent the Dominican Republic from scoring their second win of the tournament.
And Japan with Italy provided the latest of the tie-break excitement, as the hosts came back from two sets down to force a fifth, but couldn't quite finish the job as Japan held on to clinch their fourth win in five matches.
With four players scoring in the twenties, Anastasia Guerra (26) and Sylvia Nwakalor (24) brought in the two high scores of the match - but Sarina Koga (23) and Mayu Ishikawa (20) did enough to get Japan through.
This is Italy's first point in the tournament, though they're still searching for their first victory, alongside Thailand the only two winless sides of the tournament after Canada's earlier performance.