All four quarterfinals of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 in the Netherlands and Poland will be played on Tuesday. After Italy take on China and Brazil battle it out with Japan in Apeldoorn, and, over in Gliwice, the United States lock horns with Türkiye and hosts Poland challenge defending champs Serbia, the four semifinalists will be known.

· Watch all FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

Reigning Volleyball Nations League and European champions Italy and current FIVB Volleyball World Cup titleholders China will open the quarterfinal phase of the tournament as they go head to head at 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT) in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn. To get to this match, Italy topped Pool E on an 8-1 win-loss record and 25 points, while China finished fourth on 7-2 and 20 points. Both teams won their pools in the first phase of the World Championship.

The two sides will meet for the 49th time at a major world-level tournament. China won 26 of the previous 48 encounters, but Italy won the two most recent of the three games they played earlier this year. On June 4, China claimed a four-set victory over Italy in a VNL Preliminary Phase meeting in Ankara, but then, in a quarterfinal match played in the same Turkish city, the European champs got back at their Asian opponents and knocked them out in four sets on the way to the title. Last Saturday, in a Pool E match at the World Championship, Italian star Paola Egonu scored 27 points to lead her team to a 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-20) shutout of China, while Wang Yunlu produced 11 for the Asians.

The quarterfinal match programme in the Polish city of Gliwice, on the other hand, will open with a duel between reigning Olympic champions USA and VNL semifinalists Türkiye. The first whistle will sound at 18:30 local time (16:30 GMT). The Turkish team won Pool B and the Americans finished Pool C runners-up in the first phase. In the second, USA finished second in Pool F on a 7-2 win-loss record and 20 points, while Türkiye took third on 6-3 and 17.

Friday’s encounter between the two teams finished 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22) in favour of the United States, with middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu leading the way to victory with 15 points, including six stuffs, while her Turkish counterpart Zehra Gunes and opposite Ebrar Karakurt put away 16 each, on the other side of the net. The head-to-head record is well in favour of the Americans too. They won 18 of the previous 22 major world-level encounters with Türkiye and have been unbeaten by this opponent since 2019. However, at both last year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and this year’s VNL, the battles between the two sides were extended to five-set thrillers.

Back in Apeldoorn, the third quarterfinal will feature an unpredictable duel between South American champions Brazil and Asian champions Japan, starting at 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT). Japan and Brazil, in that order, finished second and third in Pool D of the first phase of the World Championship, but switched their positions in the final Pool E standings. Brazil finished pool runners-up on an 8-1 win-loss record and 23 points, followed by Japan on 7-2 and 21.

Japan were, in fact, the only team to beat Brazil at the World Championship so far. They did so in a Pool D match on September 30, led by outside Arisa Inoue with 27 points towards a 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 17-25, 25-20) victory, while Priscila Daroit led the Brazilian scorers with 17 points. It was the first time the Asian team defeated the South American standout since 2017. Earlier this year, Brazil claimed a four-set win over Japan in a VNL quarterfinal. The head-to-head record in major world-level tournaments is well in favour of the Brazilians, 61-15, ahead of the 77th meeting between the two sides.

While defending champions Serbia, still unbeaten at this World Championship, may be the clear favourites in their all-European quarterfinal encounter with Poland, starting at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT), their opponents will have the enthusiastic support of the home crowd in Gliwice as an advantage. Serbia cruised through the first two phases of the tournament to top Pools C and F, losing just two sets across nine matches played. Poland stayed just above the cut-off line in both phases, eventually finishing fourth in Pool F on 6-3 and 17 points.

Poland and Serbia have played each other 11 times at major world-level competitions since the latter started competing as a separate country. The Poles won three of those encounters, but none over the last 10 years. The two sides also met five times at continental level, where the head-to-head count stands at 3-2 Serbia’s way. When they met last Tuesday in Lodz, the southern Europeans hammered out a 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-18) shutout of the home team, with star opposite Tijana Boskovic spearheading the Serbian offence with 14 points, as many as her Polish counterpart Magdalena Stysiak, and three short of outside Olivia Rozanski’s match high of 17 points.