In Pool 13 Victory of Japan over China in the Asian derby, while Canada defeat pool hosts USA in four sets. In Pool 14 important victory for Poland over Serbia, Argentina takes a great victory against Italy. In Pool 15 Iran hold the top position, Portugal fight, but France win in straight sets. In Pool 16 clear victory of Russia over Bulgaria, and Brasil-Germany end at tie break.
In Pool 13 Japan and China renewed their longtime rivalry, with Japan taking a 3-0 sweep of China in the first match at the Sears Centre.
Japan Player Tatsuya Fukuzawa: “I was happy to get the win in today’s match. It was very important. We had a good start.”
Japan Coach Yuichi Nakagaichi: “It was nice to win this game 3-0. Yesterday we could do nothing the way we prepared. Today, our sideout was pretty good. Their service errors helped us. Also, our serves worked pretty well. Last year, we lost a lot against China. This year, they are not in good condition.”
China Coach Raul Lozano: “Today, besides the match, I would like to say something. Today, very sadly, died a Spanish ex-player and coach Miguel Angel Falasca. I would like to send my condolences to the family and friends. I would like to remember him always. Because he was my player for four years. I know him as a colleague and coach. We trained together in Poland for four years.”
On the same Pool Canada used tough serving and blocking to quiet the crowd and beat the host United States, 3-1 at the Sears Centre! Stephen Maar and Ryan Sclatercwere top scorers of the match with 18 and 15 points respectively.
Canada Player Graham Vigrass: “The crowd here was great tonight. It’s fun to play and it’s fun to beat the team that’s hosting. There’s always great energy when we play the States. Both ways, we always want to beat each other.”
Canada Coach Glenn Hoag: “We’re happy with the win because the team played well and focused. We kept errors low, which is a big thing for us. They were able to play more. Block defence is one of our strengths and that worked really well tonight. Our serving was good.”
U.S. Player Garrett Muagututia: “Canada started figuring us out. They were making some good blocking moves; scheming a little bit. I don’t think we made those moves as well as they did. Tomorrow we hope to keep learning and keep going. I think our service wasn’t too good today. We didn’t put enough pressure on them from the service line.”
U.S. Coach John Speraw: “I’m disappointed in the loss. We never really put any pressure on them from a service perspective or the block and defense. When we did in certain stretches of the match, we played pretty well. But over the course of the match we just didn’t sustain it.”
In Pool 14 Poland have scored a very important victory in the competition.
The World champions have defeated Serbia in five sets 32:30, 21:25, 25:21, 19:25, 15:11 to keep the chances for advancing to the Final Six. It was an amazing game, especially in the first set that lasted much longer compared to other ones in this match. Bartosz Kwolek (Poland) and Miran Kujundzic (Serbia) were the best scorers of the match, scoring 24 points each. (Photogallery of the match)
Nikola Grbic, head coach of Serbia: “In the first set we had good chances but we were not focused enough. We lost consistency during the match and we were not clinical enough to close important points. We would need more training to improve our game.”
Drazen Luburic, opposite spiker of Serbia: “At the end we lost consistency, they deserved to win because they played better in the end. We knew it would be a difficult match, and it was.”
Vital Heynen, head coach of Poland: “A very important win because today played some players that yesterday in the opening match didn’t play. This is a win that cheers us up and it’s useful for the final six in Chicago. The match with Italy represents for us a chance for the finals.”
Karol Klos, Poland spiker: “We expected a point to point fight like this: our coach told us that tomorrow against Italy maybe it would be the same. We need to keep focused, and this is what we did today. The most important thing is always fighting for every ball.”
On the same Pool, Argentina claimed a second victory of the FIVB Volleyball Nation Leagues in Milan, defeating Pool Hosts of Italy in four sets and playing a really good game.
Gianlorenzo Blengini, Head Coach of Italy: “Argentina played better than us, they were more constant and they had a better rhythm. They received very well and they made their own game. We knew since the start it would be difficult; for a team with such young players every match is difficult because they play against expert and international talents. We need not to lose our mindset during the match.”
Daniele Mazzone, Middle Blocker of Italy: “In the third set our counter-attack was weak and than we lost consistency in the set. In the fourth set our game was not fluid and we started to be a bit tense. The match tomorrow is going to be crucial for the final six for both Italy and Poland, we will see who wants to be stronger. ”
Marcelo Mendez, Head Coach of Argentina: “I want to dedicate this win to Miguel Angel Falasca, my dear friend and a great player who helped me a lot during my career. We served very well, and we are satisfied with the victory even if we can always get better. Our goal is to get in good shape for the pre-Olympic phase.”
Luciano De Cecco, Captain of Argentina: “The match was interesting, we played well even if we committed some stupid mistake. In difficult moments though we were able to take advantage of the situation.”
In Pool 15 France claimed a three-set victory against Portugal ahead of the match against Iran in Ardabil.
France Coach Laurent Tillie: “It was very important for us to find a way to win this game, it was a very difficult game, it was very close, and in the end I guess we were more experienced or lucky to lead this game to victory. We are very happy to win two games, and ready to play against Iran.’’
France Captain Benjamin Toniutti: “Today we played differently from yesterday. I believe this VNL is like a test for a lot of players, and it is good that we could gain another three to zero win, but like yesterday we were good some of the time but not at all moments of the game. But we have to practice on this for the future and also for the game against Iran. And regarding the next game, we do not know much but what we know is that the atmosphere will be against us. But we will do our best to win like always.”
Portugal Coach Hugo Silva: “One more good match for my team in general, but we lost the game. Of course what is important is tomorrow’s match, a big match for both Portugal and Australia. We need to do well in the last moments of the sets, and have to prepare ourselves fully for tomorrow.”
Portugal Player Miguel Tavares: “We played a game against one of the biggest teams. Even they are changing their players, let some rest and the others still play very well. We played well in some moments, but we always make mistakes in the last moments of the sets.”
On the same Pool Iran have scored the 10th victory in the Volleyball Nations League which is their best record in this competition ever. Igor Kolakovic’s team defeated Australia in straight sets to stay on top of the standings with only one loss out of 11 games. Amir Ghafour was the best scorer of the match with 16 points.
Iran Coach, Igor Kolakovic: “We showed how well Iran can play, and it was kind of an easy game and my team performed quite well. Tomorrow’s game is vital and we have not won against France that often, we need to perform differently from what we have done in the last two games.”
Iran Captain, Saeid Marouf: “At the beginning of the match, it was not as easy as we thought, but fortunately we managed to control the game. At first we were behind, but could fight back and we used different players in this game but the most important game is our game against France tomorrow and we need be more organized for it.”
Australia Coach, Mark Lebedew: “Congratulations to Iran they played a really good game today, they showed us how a top team play in games like this. We had a chance, specially in the first set. The VNL is a long tournament with lots of games, and also we have this small team, not like France or Iran which have more players. Tomorrow is like a final for us against Portugal.”
Australia Captain, Max Staples: “Firstly, it is not always easy to play in Iran against Iran – it is so nice to play in front of the fans, they really appreciate volleyball. Iran take advantage of the support of their fans, and in this game, it was not easy to play Iran.”
In Pool 16, Russia claimed their ninth victory in the 2019 VNL. The Russians dominated the match against Bulgaria and won in straight sets 3-0 (25:20, 25:20, 25:21).
Russia Captain Igor Kobzar: “It is always good to win a team that has the same characteristics of our own. Bulgaria plays a more physical volleyball, like us. Another important aspect of the game today was the support we got from the fans. Here in Brazil the people are passionate about volleyball, and the atmosphere was great.”
Bulgaria Captain Tsvetan Sokolov: “We did not play well tonight. We committed several mistakes, we got nervous. We needed to calm down and clear our mind. Russia played at its best. We tried all we could, all possibilities. Tomorrow we have the Germans, it’s a new day, a new opportunity to show our skills, but we cannot predict anything.”
On the same Pool, with over 6,000 fans, Brazil and Germany played a thrilling five sets in Aecim Tocantins Gymnasium. With a great performance of Alan Souza, the home team came back to beat the rivals. However, with that result, the Brazilians missed the chance to secure a spot on the Final Six.
Brazil Captain Bruno Resende: “We had some ups and downs during this match. We committed some silly errors, that are not common for us. Tomorrow we need to be more focused. Fortunately we managed to come back and get this important victory.”
Brazil wing spiker Ricardo Lucarelli: “We had to serve well to break their reception line. They worked very often with a good reception, making the setter comfortable to make the moves he wanted. That was tough for our block to follow. The key was to break the reception, when we did that, we could enhance our game.”
Germany Captain Christian Fromm: “For sure we served better, and finally we made some defences that allowed us to convert points. We played more consistently than yesterday. It was a nice match. We lost some easy points, but we improved. I am glad that we made a step ahead.”
Germany coach Andrea Giani: “Our system improved from yesterday. We had good attitude on court, but in this game you win or lose. We did better than yesterday, we did all we could do, but we lost.”
2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League, Week 4 – Day 2:
Pool 13 (Hoffman Estates, United States):
China – Japan 0-3 (19:25, 20:25, 23:25)
USA – Canada 1-3 (22:25, 25:22, 23:25, 17:25)
Pool 14 (Milano, Italy):
Poland – Serbia 3-2 (32:30, 21:25, 25:21, 19:25, 15:11) —GALLERY—
Italy – Argentina 1-3 (22:25, 25:23, 19:25, 19:25) –GALLERY–
Pool 15 (Ardabil, Iran):
France – Portugal 3-0 (25:23, 26:24, 25:23)
Iran – Australia 3-0 (25:19, 25:19, 25:14)
Pool 16 (Cuiabá, Brazil):
Bulgaria – Russia 0-3 (20:25, 20:25, 21:25)
Brazil – Germany 3-2 (20:25 25:18 21:25 25:17 15:13)
Source: Volleyball.world. Photos: Volleyball.world // randomvolley.com