World League week three begins with full 3-0 sweeps
Serbia, Cuba, Korea, Argentina and France didn’t have a chance, as their opponents won set after set on day one of the third week of the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World League.
Russia, Italy and Brazil remain undefeated in this year’s tournament, as Cuba and France have yet to win a match.
Russia and Serbia faced-off in Friday’s first match, with the home team winning 3-0 (29-27, 25-14, 25-20). Serbia’s captain Dragan Stankovic called his side's worst defeat in two years. Russia are top of Pool B with three wins out of three. Serbia remain in third place with two wins and one loss. The two sides will meet again at 18:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Saturday.
Russia remains undefeated in the 2013 World League, breaking Serbia’s winning streak. If Russia wins Saturday’s match against Serbia, it will begin the World League 4-0 for the third time in the last four years.
Italy also swept its match 3-0 against Cuba (25-20, 25-17, 25-23) in the first of two meetings between the teams on Friday at home. Italy are now second in Pool B, one point behind Russia, with eight points. Cuba lie in fifth after losing all three of their matches so far. The two sides meet in Florence on Sunday, 16 June at 19:00 GMT.
Italy also remains undefeated, marking the fourth consecutive year in which it has won at least its first three matches of the World League. If Italy wins Sunday’s matche, it will improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2011, when it started 6-0.
Brazil prevailed in straight sets against Argentina (20-25, 21-25 and 15-25). The away team proved they are serious about their commitment to this year’s World League.
“We have great expectations for this World League, after the two victories in Poland and the one tonight,” said Brazil’s head coach Bernardo Rezende. “Both teams are renewed and for us this is a very important chance to try new players, as it is for Argentina, as they are already qualified for the Finals. That, too, is our goal.”
Korea accepted weakness in their 0-3 loss (25-19, 25-10, 25-18) against home-team Canada. Korea started set one with some promise, but Canada regained its composure and confidence to win by six points in the first set, eventually taking the second and third sets.
"We were technically weak, especially in our serving. We weren't ready and we are looking forward to the next game,” said Korea’s coach Ki-Won Park.
USA wowed their fans at home with a full sweep against winless France (25-15, 29-27, 25-16). Team USA kept up a strong attack at the net and held off a second-set rally by France as it defeated the European side. USA’s Matt Anderson, who was named Player of the Match, led all scorers with 22 points on 17 kills, three blocks and two aces.
All teams will meet again this weekend, with Japan and Finland also joining week three matches on Saturday.span>
LIVE SCOREBOX | WEEK 3
2013 World League Live Scorebox