The second week of the 2022 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League started with the win of the Netherlands over one of the best teams in the world at the moment, Slovenia.
The Dutch players booked their third victory in the VNL 2022. ‘Oranje’, a former European powerhouse, swept current continental powerhouse Slovenia 3-0 in Pool 3 in Quezon City, Philippines. The team of head coach Roberto Piazza played its best game of the year. Heavily weakened, as they remained without covid-infected opposite hitter Tonček Štern and libero Jani Kovačič the night before the match, Slovenia couldn’t cope with the rival who is at 3-2 now. In addition to these two players, the side commanded by Mark Lebedew came to the Philippines without several important players (Čebulj, Gasparini, Šket), while their captain Tine Urnaut didn’t enter the field. The Dutch team broke a series of defeats against the Slovenes, which began in the quarter-finals of the 2015 CEV European Championship. Nimir Abdel-Aziz top-scored the winning side with 18 points.
Yuji Nishida was inspired in front of a large crowd in Quezon City, who openly supported his team, to lead Japan to their fourth win in five matches and to the top of the Volleyball Nations League 2022 standings. In the 3-1 triumph over Argentina (partially: 27-25, 25-18, 17-25, and 25-16), the Asian side’s servers did a great job, delivering 9 aces compared to one of the rivals. The South American-based Olympic bronze medalists in Tokyo 2020 now have a 1-4 win-loss record. Nishida recorded a match-high 25 points.
Led by Aleksandar Nikolov (20 points), Svetoslav Gotsev (6 blocks), and Martin Atanasov (4 aces), Bulgaria took its first victory in the VNL. The team coached by Nikolay Jeliazkov beat Iran in straight sets in Pool 4, making the home crowd in Sofia joyful.
Canada left Australia winless in the competition with a four-set victory in Sofia, reaching its own second success. Stephen Maar topped Canadian scorers with 23 points.
2022 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League – preliminary stage, Week 2, today’s matches: