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World League – June 15 – Russia and USA win in straight sets to keep Final Six hopes alive

 
Russia's block defence was too much for Poland's attack

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 15, 2017 – Russia and USA both enjoyed straight-set wins on day eight of the 2017 FIVB World League to maintain their chances of reaching the Final Six in Curitiba.

Russia defeated hosts Poland 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-21) in Katowice, while USA beat Iran 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 30-28).

It means that both teams now have a record of three victories and four losses and they will now go up against one another on Saturday. Poland take on Iran. 



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Opposite spiker Maxim Zhigalov produced another strong performance, adding fives aces to his 13 points, four more than teammate Egor Kliuka. Russia had a strong performance in defence with 10 blocks, outshining Poland's Dawid Konarski's 9 points.

The first set was nip-and-tuck at the outset but Poland went ahead and surged into a two-point lead at 8-6. The home side increased their lead, but Russia came back after the technical time and Vadym Likhoshertsov served an ace to win the set.

The Russians started the second set with a bomb from the service line by Dimitry Volkov and a block by Maxim Zhigalov  to take anearly 4-1 lead. The three-time World League gold medallists remained on top for the reminder of the set as Maxim Zhigalov and Ilyas Kurkaev came to the fore and they comfortably saw out the set.

Poland started the third set strongly to raise hopes of a comeback, but Russia’s defence held firm. Volkov served two aces to put his side 20-16 ahead and they saw out the match and won when Kliuka hit a powerful spike.



USA rookie Benjamin Patch continued his successful campaign as he led USA’s scoring in their victory over Iran.  

The 23-year-old Patch won the man of the match as the explosive opposite spike record a team-high 21 points. But it was the American performance at the block that made the difference (12) as Iran's Amir Ghafour was the best scorer of his team with 12 points.

With an all-round performance, Taylor Sander (nine points, two blocks, one ace) was also instrumental in his team's win.

John Speraw's men lost their three opening matches but turned things around by winning twice in Pau and have now tasted victory in three of their last four games.

With three wins and four defeats, the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallists maintained their hopes of booking a ticket for the finals in Brazil at the beginning of July.



Group 1 continues over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Group 2 and Group 3 also come to an end. Group 2 will now progress to the final stages on June 24 and 25, while Group 3's gold medal match takes place on Sunday in Leon, Mexico.

Top Scorer by Day

32 - Chuan Jiang of China v Turkey on June 2
29 - Tsvetan Sokolov of Bulgaria v Argentina on June 3
28 - Metin Toy of Turkey v Netherlands on June 4
17 - Urpo Sivula of Finland v Slovakia on June 8 (only two matches)
27 - Maxim Michshenko of Kazakhstan v Tunisia on June 9
25 - Hamza Nagga of Tunisia v Chinese Taipei on June 10
31 – Giulio Sabbi of Italy v Russia on June 11

Top Scoring Performances

32 - Chuan Jiang of China v Turkey on June 2
31 – Giulio Sabbi of Italy v Russia on June 11
29 - Tsvetan Sokolov of Bulgaria v Argentina on June 3
29 - Nathan Roberts of Australia v Portugal on June 2
28 - Metin Toy of Turkey v Netherlands on June 4
27 - Maxim Michshenko of Kazakhstan v Tunisia on June 9
27 - Evandro Guerra of Brazil v Iran on June 3

Top Individual Serving Performances

7 - Ahmed Abdelhay of Egypt v Czech Republic on June 9
6 - Pedro Rangel of Mexico v Greece on June 3
6 - Maxim Zhigalov of Russia v Argentina on June 2
5 - Masahiro Yanagida of Japan v Slovenia on June 10
5 - Rafail Koumentakis of Greece v Spain on June 4
4 – Cristian Poglajen of Argentina v Iran on June 11
4 – Wouter Ter Maat of Netherlands v Egypt on June 11
4 – Menelaos Kokkinakis of Greece v Estonia on June 11
4 – Egor Feoktistov of Russia v Italy on June 11
4 – Dmitriy Volkov of Russia v Italy on June 11
4 – Iacopo Botto of Italy v Russia on June 11
4 - Pedro Rangel of Mexico v Austria on June 10
4 - Aleksandr Minic of Montenegro v Kazakhstan on June 10
4 - Klemen Cebulj of Slovenia v Japan on June 10
4 - Sergey Antipkin of Russia v France on June 9
4 - Farhad Ghaemi of Iran v Belgium on June 9
4 - John Gordon Perrin of Canada v Brazil on June 9
4 - Lincoln Alexander Williams of Australia v Slovakia on June 9
4 - Nicolai Grabmueller of Austria v Kazakhstan on June 4
4 - John Gordon Perrin of Canada v USA on June 3
4 - Bartlomiej Lemanski of Poland v Italy on June 3
4 - Marko Ivovic of Serbia v USA on June 2

Top Team Serving Performances

12 – Italy v Russia on June 11
12 - Egypt v Czech Republic on June 9
12 - Turkey v Netherlands on June 4
11 - Serbia v USA on June 2
10 - Venezuela v Kazakhstan on June 3
9 - Canada v Serbia on June 4
9 - Serbia v Canada on June 4
9 - Belgium v USA on June 4
9 - USA v Canada on June 3

Top Individual Blocking Performances

9 - Peter Ondrovic of Slovakia v China on June 10
7 - Graham Vigrass of Canada v Bulgaria on June 10
7 - Nikolay Nikolov of Bulgaria v Canada on June 10
7- Simon Van De Voorde of Belgium v Argentina on June 10
7 - Samuel Walker of Australia v Slovakia on June 3
7 - Bozidar Cuk of Montenegro v Tunisia on June 2
6 - Hamza Nagga of Tunisia v Montenegro on June 11
6 – Ardo Kreek of Estonia v Greece on June 11
6 - Denis Biriukov of Russia v Bulgaria on June 4
6 - Emerson Gonzalez of Venezuela v Kazakhstan on June 3
6 - Filip Cveticanin of Portugal v Japan on June 3
6 - Ales Holubec of Czech Republic v Finland on June 3
6 - Alen Pajenk of Slovenia v Korea on June 3

Top Team Blocking Performances

21 – Qatar v Venezuela on June 11
21 - Slovakia v China on June 10
21 - Slovenia v Korea on June 3
21 - Montenegro v Tunisia on June 2
18 – Tunisia v Montenegro on June 11
18 - Russia v Bulgaria on June 4
18 - Australia v Slovakia on June 3
18 - Czech Republic v Finland on June 3
17 - Russia v France on June 3

Highest Scoring Sets

45-43 – Qatar v Venezuela on June 11
33-31 – Italy v Russia on June 11
30-28 - Kazakhstan v Tunisia on June 9
30-28 - Slovakia v Australia on June 3
30-28 - Canada v Bulgaria on June 10
29-27 – Spain v Austria on June 11
29-27 – Iran v Argentina on June 11
29-27 – Venezuela v Qatar on June 11
29-27 - Qatar v Greece on June 10
29-27 - China v Netherlands on June 3
28-26 – Turkey v Slovenia on June 11
28-26 - Germany v Spain on June 10
28-26 - Belgium v USA on June 4
27-25 – Poland v Canada on June 11
27-25 - Japan v Turkey on June 9
27-25 - Bulgaria v Russia on June 4
27-25 - Mexico v Qatar on June 4
27-25 - France v Argentina on June 4
27-25 - Netherlands v Egypt on June 2
27-25 - Tunisia v Montenegro on June 2
27-25 - Netherlands v Egypt on June 2
27-25 - Slovakia v Japan on June 2

Highest Scoring Matches

231 – Italy v Russia 2-3 (33-31, 23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 10-15) on June 11
223 – Qatar v Venezuela 3-1 (27-29, 25-16, 45-43, 25-13) on June 11
222 - Korea v Czech Republic 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 25-20, 15-12) on June 2
220 – Iran v Argetnina 3-2 (29-25, 25-20, 20-25, 23-25,15-11) on June 11
220 - Turkey v Netherlands 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 24-26, 17-15) on June 4
219 - Czech Republic v Egypt 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 16-14) on June 9
219 - Korea v Finland 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13) on June 4
219 - Australia v Portugal 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 20-18) on June 2
217 - Belgium v Canada 2-3 (22-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-23, 13-15) on June 2
215 - Turkey v China 3-2 (25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 24-26, 15-12) on June 2
214 - Bulgaria v Argentina 2-3 (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 12-15) on June 3
212 - Belgium v Argentina 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 15-6) on June 10


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