A short Summary? In Pool 5 easy victory of Poland over the hosts of China, and France suffered first defeat after a battle lasted 5 sets against Bulgaria. In Pool 6 USA win against Portugal in four sets, while first defeat also for Italy: 3:0 against the hosts of Russia. In Pool 7, Iran destroys the home team Japan in straight sets, Brazil needed five sets to prevail over Argentina, while in Canada, in Pool 8 another defeat for Germany, this time against Australia.
So, first defeat for France in 2019 FIVB World Nation League: Tillie’s side surrended to Bulgaria after five sets e after a 0:2 advantage. Rozalin Penchev was top scorer of the match with 17 points, while his team mate Krasimir Georgiev notched 13, the same number of points of Jean Patry, who was the top scorer on the other side. Bulgaria national team recorded their second victory (2-4) in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
France captain Antoine Brizard: “We played pretty bad today. We played two decent sets. Then Bulgaria played better. We served so bad today with a lot of mistakes, without pressure on the Bulgaria’s reception. So it was really hard to stop them after that. So we lost the following three sets.”
Bulgaria captain Nikolay Uchikov: “It is a perfect game for us. We did not play so well in the beginning two sets. Of course France is a great team. In some points, maybe they did not focus on things right and we had some luck. I am happy that we built our attack and it is a good thing for us.”
France Coach Laurent Tillie: “I think Bulgaria showed us how to play with fighting spirit. It was a good lesson for us. We did too many mistakes. After winning the first two sets, we just waited for the victory. But the fact is if you want to win, you have to go to look for the victory. But that did not happen today. Bulgaria played very well in reception, blocking and attacking. So it is difficult to win a team with these weapons. Congratulations to Bulgaria!”
Bulgaria coach Silvano Prandi: “France started a good match with great attacking. And we payed in the first part of the match because the defence and good attack of France was bad for us. But I would like to congratulate my players for their good mentality. It was not bad in the beginning but grew up during the match. We finished with good attacking, and only service was not good. At the beginning of the season, normally one team wins not because they produce great matches but because they have the capacity to reduce mistakes. The only way to win the matches now for us is to try to reduce mistakes.”
On the same Pool, Poland destroys the hosts of China taking a clear victory in straight sets, to reach their fourth win in the tournament (4-2). However, the middle blocker Michał Szalacha, who made his debut for the national team against France two days ago, suffered a fracture of the little finger of his right hand and will be sidelined for four to six weeks, which means that his playing in the 2019 VNL is over even if Poland qualify for the Final Six. Dawid Konarski and Mateusz Bieniek were top scorers of the match with 11 points apiece, while Dai Qingyao made 10 for China.
China captain Ji Daoshuai: “Congratulations to Poland. There is a gap between us and the world champion Poland. They did better in blocking and attacking. We had a good lesson from the match and we will prepare better for the next weeks.”
China coach Raul Lozano: “Firstly congratulations to Poland. They deserve the win. Today we lost the match 0-3. But in the first set, we played what we had. We stuck to Poland all the way. We lost the first set only due to missing some crucial points. There was a net fault in the second set, and after that, we made continuous mistakes and my players became not focused until we lost the match. However, Poland kept concentrated consistently even when leading with a big margin. Compared to the first week, the teams in Ningbo are even stronger. Poland has very good players, and France just lost their first match to Bulgaria. As for my team, I think there is progress overall. But I do not understand and do not accept what happened in the second and third set today. We will have a detailed review to find the reason.”
Poland Coach Vital Heynen: “Thanks for the congratulations from China. I think we played our best match of this weekend. We made very few errors. We played better and better with very good serves and spikes. It is a very good game for us. It is a normal victory for Poland and honestly speaking, we should be better than China. I wish China good luck in the next matches.”
In Pool 6, USA needed five sets to prevail over Portugal. Ben Patch was the absolut top scorer of the match with 20 points, while Marco Ferreira scored 16 on the other side.
USA capitan Taylor Sander: “We are happy to win. We are happy to perform a little bit better and leave with the win. We are looking forward to France next week. I’m excited to play in Russia and think Moscow is a great city. Me and my family are excited before a new adventure.”
Portugal captain Alexandre Ferreira: “We gained much more experience. This is the first time Portugal played against USA. This is something new for Portuguese volleyball. It shows that we are developing as a team, and it’s very important for us to remain in the VNL for the next season. We have three more rounds so let’s see what happens.”
USA head coach John Speraw: “This round in Ufa is quite important for us, we can evaluate some of our young players. Right now we have some experienced players out because we gave them some rest to recover after their professional season.”
Portugal head coach Hugo Silva: “It was a difficult match for us , but if we compare it with the match yesterday we played much better. I think if we maintain this level our chance to reach the goal becomes more possible.”
On the same Pool, defeat for Italy, that are now at 4-2. after a balanced first set, the hosts of Russia didn’t have lot of difficult to take the victory. Viktor Poleataev played a really good match for Russia, scoring 17 points including two winning-blocks and five aces, while on the other side no played reached a double digit score.
Russia head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo: “I think that the first set was very important. We received well, I’m glad that we were not rushing. We scored a few important points in the end of the set. After that we became more confident. Our opponents made more mistakes in service. I suppose next weekend we will play with the same players. We have a short time to recover. We will try to improve our level.”
Italy coach Gianlorenzo Blengini: “The Russians played very well and we were upset with the result of the first set. We had an advantage but we failed in the set. Poletaev served very well.”
Italy captain Simone Giannelli: “It was a good weekend – we got two victories. Today we lost. Russia are the strongest team for now, we have a very young team and the Russians are more experienced. But we are satisfied with the results.”
Russia capitan Igor Kobzar: “We are glad with our results, our coach told us to get satisfaction from every match and to improve from game to game . Let’s see how we will play next round . This year in ufa the atmosphere was fantastic . Our fans added confidence to us . We had a good luck . Victor played well this Weekend. Now we have more balanced roster , we stared to play more as a team.”
In Pool 7, great victory of Iran, with Ghafour on the bench, in straight sets against the hosts Japan. Milad Ebadipour was the top scorer on the winning side with 14 points (including 1 ace and 3 kill blocks), while Yuki Ishikawa notched the same number of points for Japan.
Iran captain Mir Saeid Marouflakrani: “As I expected, it was a tough game with Japan. We managed to stay focused during the game, which was the key to this great victory. It was a good finale of the VNL in Tokyo.”
Iran player Yali Porya: “I am very happy for this victory. We were able to show our full potential. I hope to continue playing the games this way in the future.”
Iran coach Igor Kolakovic: “The game tonight was a very important game for us. Therefore, I am happy to end it with a victory, especially because the last time we played Japan, we lost. We managed to stay patient and focused throughout the game. It may look as if this victory against Japan was easy, but it was actually very difficult. We are very pleased to play in front of a big audience.”
Japan player Ishikawa Yuki: “I am very regretful of the fact that we lost against Iran, although Iran didn’t have their full team. We will keep fighting on in the next round of the VNL.”
Japan player Fukatsu Hideomi: “I am very frustrated that we only won once out of the three matches in Tokyo with many people cheering for us in the audience. I feel very responsible for not being able to create a good atmosphere during the game. There are many tasks. We will not do this kind of game again.”
Japan player Nishida Yuji: “I am disappointed that we could not win the final game in Tokyo. The cheer from the audience supported us a lot. Japan is getting better bit by bit but there are still tasks that we all need to overcome. Fukatsu set the ball for me just like I asked him to but I couldn’t strike the ball enough to win the game.”
Japan coach Nakagaichi Yuichi: “As we will play Iran in the future tournaments including the World Cup, we were eager to win the game tonight. I would say Iran is one of our big rivals in Asia. With Iran lacking 2 players due to injury, I thought that there was chance for us to win. However, we lost very easily. There were no scenes in the game where we were in the lead. Iran has gotten better than before especially with their serve receives, therefore we could not break them down with our serves.”
On the same Pool, Brazil needed five sets to prevail in South American derby against Argentina, despite a great performance of Federico Pereyra, author of a great performance in attack: 26 points for him. On the winning side, Yoandy Leal scored 18 points and Wallace de Souza 15. Brazil maintained their invincibility in the 2019 VNL.
Brazil player Lucas Saatkamp: “Just as I imagined, it was a difficult game. Argentina is very highly skilled with their dig and offence and the number of misses they have is very low. I think that we were able to win because every player played their very best.”
Brazil coach Renan Dal Zotto: “It was an intense game with the total score of 112 vs 108. It was a game that either of us could have won. Just as I expected, Argentina was a tough opponent. They performed very highly on court. I would like to acknowledge our team for doing our best.”
Argentina player Jan Martinez: “It was a good game. I think that it was a game that the audience could enjoy. The team is heading in a good direction. Although we lost, we were able to show our ability and strength during the game.”
Argentina captain Sebastian Sole: “Both teams were at an equal level and we were both able to play well on court. Brazil is highly experienced and very powerful. Although we lost, we were able to grow as a team.”
Argentina coach Marcelo Mendez: “I would like to congratulate Brazil on their win. Brazil gives us motivation. I think the game tonight was the best one during the Tokyo round. I am glad that we were able to fight as a team.”
In POOL 8, played in Ottawa, Canada, Australia litterally destroyed Germany in straight sets without lot of difficults: 25:20, 25:20 and 25:16. Lincoln Alexander William was the top scorer on the winning side with 15 points (14 in attack and one block), while Simon Hirsch scored 13 for Germany.
Mark Lebedew, Head Coach, Australia: “We did a fantastic job of managing the situation. We had a little bit of a longer break than the Germans which can make a difference. The way that we could use the whole squad and the work of the team, the medical staff and the recovery and everything we did between the games, accounted for today’s win. We had a bad Friday, but we bounced back with a strong game yesterday. Today we didn’t give them a chance to play or to get energy from the crowd so it was a deserved win for us and I’m pleased with this weekend’s work.”
Samuel Walker, #13, Australia: “It was great to get our first win of the tournament, we’ve had a couple of hard games so far and today felt really good to win. Next weekend we’re going to Bulgaria. We took it back to the basics today and that gave us some things to focus on. We’re going to keep doing that this week at training, rest up a few guys who need it and hopefully come back next week and play well again.”
Andrea Giani, Head Coach, Germany: “For us these were important matches to have the chance to arrive in the final six. We lost 3-0 and it puts us in a tough position for our future in the VNL. I think the difference was the preparation of the team for the game. This sport is about the mind and it’s not easy at this level.”
Christian Fromm, Captain, Germany: “We didn’t play even close to the level we wanted to play or usually play and it’s pretty disappointing to lose in this way. We were not precise technically and Australia were running their game and played well. We came here and wanted to win three games and we just had one victory. It was a tough event like every weekend and we have to keep working.”
Pool hosts Canada were defeated by Serbia on the last match of this week of VNL in Ottawa. Canadian Sharone Vernon-Evans was the top scorer of the match with 24 points (including 3 winning-blocks and 3 aces), while Dusan Petkovic scored 18 for Serbia.
Glenn Hoag, Head Coach, Canada: “We’re a bit disappointed with the loss but we tried hard, some of the players were pretty tired. Serbia served really well so it was really hard for us. We came back in the fifth set and got a point, so that’s positive for us. The style of play is important and we did some good things. Today our blocking wasn’t working so well which is a sign of fatigue. Every match prepares us for our future objectives.”
John Gordon Perrin, Captain, Canada: “Serbia played well, they served very aggressively at the start which got us out of our side-out game. It was a good game for the fans; both Serbia and Canada. You could notice that we were a little bit tired. It’s the third game and we couldn’t find our level. We took a step backwards, but we’ll find it and move forward to Iran. We’re still building on the court since we’ve only had a couple days together as a team after our professional seasons, so we’re trying to come together on the court in front of everyone. It’s not always pretty but by the time we arrive in August for the Olympic qualifier we’ll be playing our best.”
Dusan Petkovic, Captain, Serbia: “We played with a little more energy and we wanted to win. Canada is a really good team and played really good volleyball. We tried to play for every ball and we’re very happy to win.”
Nikola Grbic, Coach, Serbia: “It’s the third day and my players have played 15 sets from the first day until now, so they’re a bit exhausted. The good thing was some new players went in and brought new energy, and that’s why I’m really happy—the guys who almost never played went in and really played good volleyball. It’s a great experience for them and a good result for us.”
2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Week 2 – Day 3
Pool 5 (Ningbo, China):
China-Poland 0-3 (22:25, 13:25, 15:25)
Bulgaria-France 3-2 (18:25, 23:25, 25:21, 25:23, 15:11)
Pool 6 (Ufa, Russia):
Portugal-USA 1-3 (20:25, 25:22, 22:25, 17:25)
Russia-Italy 3-0 (29:27, 25:16, 25:18)
Pool 7 (Tokyo, Japan):
Japan-Iran 0-3 (22:25, 21:25, 19:25)
Argentina-Brazil 2-3 (20:25, 25:21, 28:26, 23:25, 12:15)
Pool 8 (Ottawa, Canada):
Australia-Germania 3-0 (25:20, 25:20, 25:16)
Canada-Serbia 2-3 (17:25 26:24 21:25 28:26 12:15)
Source and photos: FIVB – volleyball.world