USA host Serbia in World League 'Match of the week'
The two teams will play at 19.00 local time at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago, in the second of two meetings between USA and Serbia this weekend. The United States (WR 4) and Serbia (WR 9) are on ten points after four matches each in pool B, which also features Bulgaria (WR 6) and defending champions Russia (WR 2), both on two points.
Saturday's match will be a replay of the 2008 World League final, when USA beat Serbia 3-1 to grab their first ever World League title. USA and Serbia (including Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro), however, have met eight times before in the World League, with Serbia winning on six occasions.
The North American team have begun their World League campaign with four wins, two away to Bulgaria and two hosting Russia. Their first matches against the two teams both went to five sets. Serbia, on the other hand, won their first two matches against Russia, before pulling off victories away to Bulgaria. Players to look out for this weekend include Erik Shoji of the United States, who has a receiving efficiency of 62.5%, which is the best of all players in group 1 (Pool A and B) this World League season. Serbia’s Uros Kovacevic has a spike rate of 52.8%, making him the most efficient player of group 1 (Pool A and B) in this category.
Speaking ahead of the two-match encounter this weekend, US Head Coach John Speraw said: "That’s always fun when you have a match between two teams at the top of the pool. (Serbia) are an exceptional volleyball team. They play the game very well. They control the ball very well. They have a really high-level service game. It will present us with another really unique challenge."
The first World League 'Match of the Week' saw Brazil, last year’s World League silver medallists and current World Champions, take on Italy in a pool A match on May 24 in Jaragua Do Sul, Brazil. The Italians defeated Brazil 3-1 (17-25, 26-24, 23-25, 20-25).
Week two of the competition saw the 'Match of the week' programme zoom in on Serbia's victory against Russia 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20). In week three, the programme highlighted the pool A match between Italy and Poland at the spectacular outdoor venue at the Foro Italico in Rome, which the hosts won 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 15-25, 25-17) in front of 11,000 enthusiastic fans.
This week fans will be able to watch the United States take on Sertbia in a pool B match on June 14 at 19.00 local time at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago.
Week five will see Poland take on Brazil on June 22 at 19.30 at Luczniczka Hall in Bydgoszcz. Week six will feature Russia again, this time taking on USA in a pool B match on June 28 at 18.00 at the Yantarny Arena in Kaliningrad. In week 7, fans will be able to watch Bulgaria host Russia in a pool B match on July 6 at 20.00 at the Arena Armeec in Sofia.
The FIVB Volleyball World League which began on May 23 will end with the Finals taking place on July 20.
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