March 22, 2023

In Ukraine’s first ever appearance in the World Championship quarterfinals, they will take on Slovenia.

On Monday in Ljubljana, during the first of two Round of 16 matches for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2022, Ukraine defeated the Netherlands to advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face the host nation of Slovenia. Ukraine played like a well-oiled machine to get the victory.

The team that took Russia’s place in the competition after it was suspended due to doping allegations defeated the Dutch 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, and 25-18) to become one of the top eight teams in the world for the very first time in the competition’s history. They were helped in this victory by their phenomenal blocking.

France and Japan will square off at Arena Stozice in the evening on Monday at 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT) to determine who Italy will play in the following round and to fill one of the remaining vacancies in the quarterfinals.

During the three sets of their victory, the Ukrainians racked up as many as 12 kill blocks, while the Netherlands were only able to muster up a single thing. In addition, according to the statistics of the match, they had five serving aces while their opponents only had two, and their overall success rate in attack was a respectable 64%.

Illia Kovalov, an outside hitter for the Ukrainian team, distinguished out as the team’s leading blocker with four stuffs and the team’s leading server with three aces. While everyone on the Ukrainian team played a fantastic match, Kovalov’s performance stood out. He finished with a combined score of 12 points. At 24-17 in the second set, one of his points from the end line put the team on the cusp of set point.

Opposite Vasyl Tupchii scored the most points in the match with 14, spiking with a success rate of 69% and adding three kill blocks to his stat line. He won the first set with a hit that involved both hands going over the net. Soon after the start of the second set, he erased the three-point advantage that the Dutch had built up for themselves. It was his tremendous block that brought the score back to 5-5.

Oleh Plotnytskyi, who plays outside hitter and is also the captain, was a leader of the squad once again. He also contributed with 11 points, including an ace that brought Ukraine back to within one point at 5-4 in the second set and an off-the-block hit that finished the set off at 25-19. Both of these plays were a part of his contribution. He also brought in set point at 24-16 in the opening set with what was nearly an ace, but it did not get counted as such because the opponents managed to put two touches on the ball before it dropped.

In addition, Ukraine’s middle blockers performed exceptionally well throughout the contest. Yurii Semeniuk started the game off with an ace, which gave him the first break point of the match (2-0 in the first set), and then he pounded the game-winning shot down the middle of the court to reach double figures in points, which included three blocks and an ace. In the third set, Maksym Drozd was responsible for five points, one of which was a massive block that brought the score to 11-7.

Dmytro Kanaiev, the libero, and Vitalii Shchytkov, the setter, both contributed to the victory. Shchytkov placed his name on the scoreboard with a kill block for 11-5 in the first set and a spiking point at his sole effort in offensive. Kanaiev contributed to the victory as the libero.

The sole blocking point earned by the Netherlands during the match was by Outside Thijs Ter Horst, who did so to cut Ukraine’s early advantage in the opening set down to 5-3. With 11 points to his name, he finished as the top scorer on the team.

Nimir Abdel-Aziz, the opposing player and the leader of the team, finished the match with the only two aces scored by either player, both of which came in the second set. The first one brought the Dutch advantage to 10-8, and the second one merely prevented Ukraine from gaining its second set point, which brought the score to 24-19 in the Netherlands’ favor.

Nimir ended the game with ten points. Fabian Plak, who played in the middle, had the highest success percentage (71%) in attacks against either side of the net. Out of the seven opportunities he had to score, he was successful in scoring five points.

“I can’t believe it!” After the game, an emotional Plotnytskyi remarked, “It’s the consequence of our effort over the past five years together – all this team, the boys, the coaches, the federation, and everyone.” “I’m almost to the point where I’m going to start crying because it is so critical for our nation to win right now.

Although the Netherlands have a very great team, we were absolutely incredible today. After our final game in Poland, we were able to get some much-needed relaxation and regain our strength. When we play in an environment like the one that we will have on Wednesday, I will be glad to do so. There are a lot of spectators cheering for Slovenia, which is fantastic, but it will also give us energy, and I think it will be a wonderful contest.

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