What happened until this moment?
Iran achieve hard-fought victory against a renewed team Italy in opener match, Germany down China in 5 sets, while Japan surprise Serbia in Novi Sad and Brazil smash USA in straight sets.
Iran became the first national team to score a victory in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League!
In Pool 1, that take place in Jiangmen, China, Iran exploited the fact that Italy came China with a very renewed and rejuvenated group of players and collected all three points out of the opening match in the tournament. The “Azzurri” took only the first set and had all in their hands in the second set but suffered Iran’s block. In the end, it was 3-1 for the current Asian Games champions, partially 20:25, 25:23, 25:23, and 25:23. Both teams made the same number of errors (33-33) but Iran played better in service (7-3). Both sides had a player with the same number of points as top scorers: Amir Ghafour from Iran and Gabriele Nelli from Italy, who scored 20 points each.
Despite a not very good match, their top scorer Moritz Reichert (12 points) scored only 36% in attack, and the three best scorers had 39.7% attack success rate on average, Germany managed to beat pool hosts China, and they needed five sets. The key player for the guests was probably the opposite Simon Hirsch, author of 4 aces in the tie-break. Jiang Chuan, the tournament’s Preliminary Round top scorer in 2018, scored 20 points for China of which he scored 5 in the tie-break. Liu Libin ended the match with 5 winning blocks.
Also Japan has opened the tournament in a good way, by defeating Serbia away in four sets with a clear 3-1 (25:17, 25:12, 24:26, 25:17). Yuki Ishikawa led his team to the victory with 17 points, while on the other side David Mehic scored 12 points.
A curiosity? It was the first victory of the Japanese men’s national team over Serbia in the previous 8 years!
Brazil have destroyed the U.S. team in straight sets 25:22, 25:22, 25:23. It was expected, because Brazil had some great champions on the court unlike the USA that played with a combined team.
Ricardo Lucarelli was the top scorer with 14 points, while Wallace de Souza added 12 points. On the other side, Torey Defalco scored 13 points. Yoandy Leal, the Cuban born player who made his debut with the Brazilian national team in this match, spent the entire game on the bench.
2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Week 1 – Day 1 (May 31):
Pool 1 (Jiangmen, China):
Iran – Italy 3-1 (20:25, 25:23, 25:23, 25:23)
China – Germany 2-3 (21:25, 21:25, 25:19, 25:19, 11:15)
Pool 2 (Mendoza, Argentina):
Canada – Bulgaria 1-3 (20:25, 24:26, 25:19, 17:25)
Argentina – Portugal 3-0 (25:17, 25:21, 25:21)
Pool 3 (Katowice, Poland):
USA – Brazil 0-3 (22:25, 22:25, 23:25)
Poland – Australia 3-1 (25:15 24:26, 25:21, 25:14)
Pool 4 (Novi Sad, Serbia):
Serbia – Japan 1-3 (17:25, 12:25, 26:24, 17:25)
France – Russia 3-1 (25:19, 25:22, 20:25, 25:23)
All Photos: FIVB