10. 06. 2018

VNL M: Japan’s teen revelation Nishida takes Italy’s F6 train to a bumper, France ruthless vs. Serbia

Source: volleyball.world; Photo: fivb.org

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Japan staged a major upset in the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League as they overpowered Italy by a 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 15-10) at Week 3 closing in Pool 10!



Australia prevailed in a rollercoaster against Germany, upsetting the current CEV European Championship runners-up in five sets in Ottawa, Canada, to end their 3-game winning streak – 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 17-25, 25-18, 15-11). Jordan Richards delivered 17 points for “Volleyroos”. On the other side, Christian Fromm tallied 21 points. Jakob Günthör made 6 kill blocks of Germany’s 13 while Moritz Reichert served 4 of Germany’s 11 aces. Despite showing a good team’s blocking and serving performance, the European side committed as much as 40 errors. 

The United States improved their record to 7-2 after edging past North American neighbors Canada, coming from a one-set deficit – 3-1 (23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20). When you see teams like these two on the court, it is hard to expect some tensions or arguments of any kind, knowing how disciplined their players are, but sometimes even the cold-blooded players can boil. Especially when they are dissatisfied with the referee’s calls. The nervousness of the U.S. players in the fourth set resulted in a yellow card for their head coach John Speraw. Benjamin Patch led the way for the United States to the win with 18 points while Maxwell Holt added 5 kill blocks. Stephen Maar scored 14 points for Canada.



Japan flustered Italy in front of own fans in Osaka, proving that defense can sometimes be crucial in volleyball. The Asian side took advantage of the absence of Italy’s two best scorers Ivan Zaytsev and Osmany Juantorena but also of too many errors committed by the European side – 43! What might worry Italian fans, even more, is the knee injury of their starting setter Simone Giannelli who left the court in the third set and never came back. By losing to Japan, the „Azzurri“ have seriously jeopardized their promotion to the Final Six as they recorded the 4th defeat in 9 games. Japan’s teenage sensation Yuji Nishida once again shone as he spouted 24 points. Gabriele Nelli scored 21 points (3 kill blocks, 2 aces) for Italy.

The defending world champions Poland have continued their bright campaign by adding the 8th win and making a huge step forward to progressing to the Final Six. Bulgaria could not hope for more knowing the fact they committed 38 errors which were 18 more than their rivals. Dawid Konarski delivered 18 points for Poland while Piotr Nowakowski adjoined 5 kill blocks. Rozalin Penchev highlighted Bulgaria with 15 points.


Russia recovered from losing the first set against Iran to win all three points and move from the sixth to the fourth place in the standings. Dmitriy Muserskiy governed the court in Ufa, making more than 6,000 fans in Ufa Arena cheerful. Despite playing as the middle blocker, most of the Russian attacks went through him as he finished the match with 24 points (29 spike attempts). Ilya Vlasov contributed to the win of “Zbornaya” with 4 kill blocks. Ali Shafiei top-scored for Iran with 18 points (2 kill blocks, 3 aces).

Brazil joined Poland at the top of the standings with both teams collecting 23 points and 8-1 record. By sweeping China in straight sets, partially 25-20, 25-19, 27-25, the “Seleção” extended the most notable winning streak in the tournament which now consists of seven games! China were close to extending a duel to four sets but failed to keep their momentum at 17-12. The Asians even had a 22-20 before Brazil went on a 3-1 run to take the lead and seal the second match ball later on. Wallace de Souza was Brazil’s highlight with 21 points (2 kill blocks, 4 aces). Jiang Chuan scored 13 points for China.



France were ruthless against Serbia, 3-0 (31-29, 25-16, 25-15), in Aix-en-Provence, to continue their hard-shell display on home soil in the Nations League. France hosted two weeks of the tournament and did not suffer a single loss during that time, 6-0! All in all, the “Les Bleus” lodged at the 8-1 record which means that if they did not organize the Final Six, they would already be on the final tournament with one foot. After dropping a 15-11 in the opening set, Serbia fell apart in the rest of the match in which they did not serve a single ace and set up only 2 kill blocks. Stéphen Boyer finished top scorer for France with 17 points (71% attack) while Nicolas Le Goff recorded 5 kill blocks. Uroš Kovačević scored 11 points for Serbia whose 5-game winning streak came to an end.

Argentina kept their slim chances of advancing to the Final Six alive by toppling winless South Korea in three sets with 13 points from Cristian Poglajen and 5 kill blocks from Agustín Loser. Moon Sung-Min scored 19 points (2 kill blocks, 2 aces) for South Korea.


To see complete results, stats, and standings, visit our FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2018 / Male / Seniors page.


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Latest comments

WCH 2018 W: The MVP award goes to Tijana Boskovic!

I thought the same based on performance in the final match, but then I check the official stats for setters, and Malinov is #1 while Ognjenovic is #6, https://japan2018.fivb.com/en/competition/statistics

However, it is completely ridiculous that Serbia beat Italy twice in World Championship and still 4 players from Italy (2nd place) are in dream team, 2 from China (3rd place) and only 1 from Serbia (1st place) Reply

WCH 2018 W: The MVP award goes to Tijana Boskovic!

What about maja, I think she deserved it more than the other setter, malinov was taken out of the games several times it doesn't make sense. Reply

How to qualify for the Olympic Games 2020 volleyball tournament? One place already guaranteed!

In Women's competition Netherlands (6) will face Italy (7), Mexico (18) and Azerbaijan (19). Very strange to see the numbers 2 and 4 of the WCH in the same poule. Reply


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