Lausanne, Switzerland, June 2, 2014 – Italy
and France recorded two consecutive victories in straight sets on the second
week of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League Intercontinental Round to claim
Pool A and Pool D leadership, respectively.
In Pool A, Brazil and Poland settled for a draw on their second week encounters. Brazil finally snapped a three-match skid with their 3-0 win on May 29, then Poland reversed it the next day after they pulled off a straight sets win. It was the first straight-set win between these two teams in eight matches.
Italy grabbed the top spot in Pool A by beating Iran in straight sets twice. The Italians have only dropped two sets in the first two weeks of competition. Italy are off to a good start since they have started their World League campaign with four straight wins, their first since 2011.
Serbia stole the limelight from the defending champions Russia by winning both matches in Pool B. Serbia handed Russia its season opening loss in a five-set match – their seventh tiebreaker encounter which Serbia won for the first time. Serbia performed better the next day with a 3-1 victory over the strong Russian side. It was only the second time Serbia defeated Russia in consecutive World League matches, after winning three in a row in 2007-2009 in their 22 meetings.
Canada scored consecutive victories over Finland in their season debut. In their first match in Pool C, Canada obtained a 3-0 win after restraining Finland from making any surge. This defeat is their third time in World League history to win in straight sets over the Finns. The Canadians had a difficult second match with Finland as they were forced to play the tiebreaker. However, the Canadians prevailed in the end.
Argentina ended their 13-match losing streak in Pool D when they beat Germany in straight sets. The last time Argentina won in straight sets in the World League was in 2012 against Pool E contender Portugal. Germany made a huge comeback win 3-2 after dropping the first two sets in their second meeting.
Like Italy, France claimed two more victories on the second week courtesy of their 3-0 successes over Japan in the other Pool D matches. France achieved for the first time in World League history, a seven-match winning streak.
In Pool E, Netherlands, Korea, Portugal and Czech Republic made their season debut in the second week.
Netherlands won the first match in straight sets against a young Korean squad, their 18th win in 19 World League meetings. The following day, Korea retaliated with a 3-1 conquest of the Dutch team. Korea’s second match victory ended the 21-year winless drought with the Netherlands.
Portugal were held to a draw by Czech Republic. Portugal won the first encounter in a four-setter match. Czech Republic deadlocked Portugal with a 3-0 win, ending their three-match World League losing streak.
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