Lausanne, Switzerland, July 8, 2014 – The
FIVB Volleyball World League 2014 Intercontinental Round wrapped up on Sunday
with the completion of the Group 1 Final Six and Group 2 Final Four
In Group 1, Italy have qualified as hosts, while Iran qualified earlier as the second team in Pool A. Brazil, USA, Russia have advanced to the Final Six, awaiting the winners of the Group 2 Final Four in Sydney, Australia.
Out of the Group 1 teams that have earned back-to-back wins over the weekend, only Brazil and Russia have advanced to the Final Six, as Poland dropped last in Pool A.
Meanwhile, Group 2 Final Four hosts Australia ended the Intercontinental Round with two successive wins and eliminated Canada in the process, to set a positive tone when they host respective pool winners Belgium, France and Netherlands on July 11 and 12.
· Brazil side-stepped the danger of missing the World League Finals for the first time since 1991 as the nine-time winners secured a place in the Final Six by routing Italy in both matches, simultaneously tendering the Italians’ worst run in the World League with six successive losses.
· Poland failed to qualify in the Final Six but managed to end this season’s campaign with double victories over the season’s surprise team Iran, who have earlier qualified to the final round.
· USA finished first in Pool B and claimed a ticket to the Final Six via a 3-1 win against Serbia on Sunday, even though they lost in straight sets in their earlier encounter with a 58-point total output – their fifth match in which they scored less than 58 points since 2000.
· As the team with the least defeats in Group 1, USA’s potent offence is powered by the Intercontinental Round top scorer Matthew Anderson who charted a total of 259 points.
· Russia had complete control of their latest matches, winning by 3-1 and 3-0 scorelines to record their 13th and 14th win out of their 18 World League matches with Bulgaria.
· Belgium fascinatingly became the second debutants this season to reach a Final Four, even though they have lost all four five-set-matches they have played, while their opponents Finland had their best streak as they won their last four five-set-matches.
· Australia have recorded all their victories only in this World League season – they have won five matches so far, including their first back-to-back wins in the World League against Canada.
· The Netherlands clinched a spot in the Final Four of Group 2 after defeating Czech Republic twice, to add up to their seven previous wins – their most since achieving 13 wins in 1998.
· Portugal failed to qualify in the Final Four but managed to split the wins in their last two matches this season with Korea, who have won at least one match against all their three opponents in this World League season.
Click here for the Week 7 Statistical Review
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