China beat Italy in four sets when they met in Ankara during the first week of VNL 2022

After three weeks of competition featuring a total of 96 matches and the best 16 teams in the world, it is now time for the top eight to engage in the ultimate showdown and determine the medallists of the fourth edition of the women’s Volleyball Nations League. The Finals are set to take place in Ankara this week, from July 13 through 17, in a simple knockout format - quarterfinals, semifinals and medal matches – with two games a day, starting at 15:00 and 18:30 local time (12:00 and 15:30 GMT), over four competition days.

· Watch all VNL 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

The Finals in the Turkish capital will open on Wednesday with a quarterfinal between Brazil and Japan. The two teams met in the semifinals last season, when Brazil claimed a four-set victory and went on to win the silver medals, while Japan finished fourth. The South Americans also took silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Featuring the best blocker of this year’s VNL so far, Ana Carolina Da Silva, they finished the first stage of the competition in second place on a 10-2 win-loss record and 29 points. Japan finished fifth in the standings on 8-4 and 25.

The second quarterfinal will set the reigning Olympic champions against the reigning world champions. While USA are also the defending VNL champions, Serbia will be aiming at their first semifinal in the competition. The Americans qualified for the Finals as the Preliminary Phase winners on 11 wins and 1 loss, and 32 points, while the silver medalists of last year’s CEV European Championship finished sixth on 8-4 and 23.

The two other quarterfinals will take place on Thursday. First, 2021 EuroVolley title-holders Italy will take on China, who were the bronze medallists at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship, and of the first two editions of the VNL in 2018 and 2019. Unlike their Asian opponents, the Italians have never made it to the top four teams in the VNL. They arrive in Ankara as the third-placed team in the Preliminary Phase on 10-2 and 29 points. The Chinese took fourth place on 8-4 and 26.

The last semifinalist will be determined in a match between Thailand and Finals hosts Türkiye. Coach Giovanni Guidetti’s team made it to the semifinals of each previous edition of the VNL and will be aiming at their third medal in the competition, after claiming silver in 2018 and bronze in 2021. The EuroVolley 2021 bronze medallists, who won seven of their 12 matches and 23 points to place seventh at the end of the first stage, will play against 2021 Asian Championship silver medallists and winners of this year’s Southeast Asian Games Thailand, who made it to the VNL Finals for the first time after finishing the Preliminary Phase in eighth place on 5-7 and 15, led by the tournament’s best setter so far Pornpun Guedpard.

After Friday’s rest day, the two semifinals will be played on Saturday.

In the semifinals, the winners of the quarterfinal between Türkiye and Thailand will take on the winners of the quarterfinal between Italy and China. The winners of the quarterfinal between USA and Serbia will play the winners of the quarterfinal between Brazil and Japan.

Sunday’s programme will start with the bronze medal match and culminate with the final to determine the VNL 2022 champions.