What happened until this moment? In Pool 1, Iran remain perfect after Germany, Italy leave China in a victorious way. Canada win against Pool 2 hosts Argentina, and historic victory of Portugal against Bulgaria. In Pool 3 USA score first victory, using their setter as outside hitter, while Brazil down down the hosts of Poland in 4 sets. In Pool 4, France conclude first week in a beautiful way, while Serbia fall under Kliuka’s service bombs, with Russia that win at tie-break.
In Pool 1, after three rounds of the Volleyball Nations League, Iran have remained on top of the standings. This time, Igor Kolakovic’s team defeated Germany in straight sets to leave China in a very good mood. Seyed Mousavi and Purya Fayazi were the best scorers in Iran with 13 points each, while Simon Hirsch scored 20 points on the other side. Iran’s next stop is Japan and beside the host team there will be two teams from South America: Brazil and Argentina.
Italy have also scored the victory, beating China in straight sets (25:21, 25:13, 26:24). Blengini’s team are leaving China with a 2-1 score and for the next weekend they will travel to Russia, where they will play against the host team, USA and Portugal. In this match, Gabriele Nelli was the best scorer again with 18 points.
Canada emerged victorious in a battle against Pool 2 hosts Argentina, that were unable to finish the first week of Nations League with a perfect score. In fact, they succumbed to Canada in four sets in front of 6,000 home fans in Mendoza, partially 25:21, 29:27, 16:25, and 26:24. So, both sides will go to the second week of the competition with a 2-1 record. Canada will host Pool 8 in Ottawa, competing against Australia, Germany, and Serbia, while Argentina will continue in Japan. In this match, Canada’s opposite Ryan Sclater was the absolut top scorer with 21 points, including 3 aces, while Federico Pereyra scored 20 for the hosts.
Historic victory of Portugal against Bulgaria, 3-1. Portugal won their first-ever match in the Nations League history on their debut appearance in the tournament. In the same time, Portugal scored their absolut first victory against Bulgaria in the major world-level competition to finish the first week with a 1-2 record, just like their rivals today. Marco Ferreira was Portugal’s top scorer in the match with 21 points, including 3 winning-blocks, while Nikolay Uchikov and Rozalin Penchev scored 15 points each on the other side.
In Pool 3 in Katowice, Poland, the USA beat Australia (0-3 record) on Day 3 after losing the opening set, partially 19:25, 27:25, 25:16, and 25:16. So, the USA will travel to Ufa, Russia, for the second week of the tournament with a 1-2 record. The U.S. head coach John Speraw introduced his third different lineup in Week 1: he used Micah Ma’a as an outside hitter although the UCLA Bruins player has been registered on the roster as a setter. His versatility as either being able to be used as an outside hitter or a setter is already known from his NCAA games. Taylor Sander was the top scorer of the match with 19 points, while Lincoln Alexander Williams scores 12 points for Australia.
On the same Pool, Brazil finished the first week by keeping an unbeaten record: after beating the United States (3-0) and Australia (3-2), the Seleção faced the hosts of Poland in Katowice. And, in this match, they prevailed 3-1 (22:25, 25:15, 25:21, 25:17).
Led by Ricardo Lucarelli, who scored 17 points and the cuban-born Yoandy Leal (15), who made his debut for Brazil yesterday, Brazil inflicted the first defeat to Poland in the competition. Artur Szalpuk scored 15 points for Poland who are with a 2-1 score.
In Pool 4, France defeated Japan in four sets (25:22, 25:27, 25:19, 25:15) to conclude their Week 1 in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Novi Sad, Serbia, with a perfect score. Actually, the Les Bleus beat all three good rivals: the European champions Russia, Serbia, and Japan, respectively, by losing only one set. Next destination for France in the tournament is in China, where they will face Poland, the host nation and Bulgaria in the second week.
A huge display of a young opposite hitter Yuji Nishida was not enough for Japan (now with a 1-2 record) to extend the match. He scored 24 points with 59% in attack. However, France had the answer, scoring 14 kill blocks as a team while, individually, Jean Patry was the best with 19 points.
Russia were very near to lose against Serbia, but made a big comeback in the tie-break of the last match of Pool 4. They broke a three-game losing streak against Serbia by beating the rivals in front of their fans in Novi Sad 3-2 (20:25, 26:24, 25:23, 22:25, 15:10). Russia made a big comeback in the tie-break from 2-6 to 8-7, scoring their second victory (2-1), while Serbia are among four teams in the tournament with no win on their account.
Egor Kliuka played an excellent match in the service (6 aces). He was very good also in the block, with 4 points, collecting 25 points in total. Lazar Ćirović scored 16 for Serbia.
2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Week 1 – Day 3 (June 02):
Pool 1 (Jiangmen, China):
China – Italy 0-3 (21:25, 13:25, 24:26)
Germany – Iran 0-3 (28:30, 27:29, 20:25)
Pool 2 (Mendoza, Argentina):
Portugal – Bulgaria 3-1 (25:21, 19:25, 28:26, 25:23)
Argentina – Canada 1-3 (21:25, 27:29, 25:16, 24:26)
Pool 3 (Katowice, Poland):
Australia – USA 1-3 (25:19, 25:27, 16:25, 16:25)
Brazil – Poland 3-1 (22:25, 25:15, 25:21, 25:17)
Pool 4 (Novi Sad, Serbia):
Japan – France 1-3 (22:25, 27:25, 19:25, 15:25)
Russia – Serbia 3-2 (20:25, 26:24, 25:23, 22:25, 15:10)
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