Russia and USA rev up for another exciting encounter in the 'Match of the Week'
The 'Match of the Week' allows broadcasters to televise for free one match from each week of the FIVB’s premier annual tournament for men.
Week six sees World No. 4, USA - currently top of the Pool B leader board with 21 points - play against defending World League champions Russia (WR 2), who are in second place with 15 points.
Friday’s match between Russia and USA in Kaliningrad saw the visitors hold off a storming Russian comeback in a very tight 3-2 (25-18, 25-19, 25-27, 19-25, 21-19) victory – USA’s third straight win over the Russians in this year’s World League.
Matthew Anderson, who plays in Russia with Zenit Kazan, led the Americans with a tournament-high of 36 points, while Dmitriy Muserskiy of Russia put up 10 blocks, also a tournament high.
The US have eight wins so far in their 2014 World League campaign. Friday’s result saw them double their total number of wins of last season (4) to reach their 125th win in the World League. They suffered their first defeat of this World League season in Week 5 of the Intercontinental Round against Bulgaria
“It is always dangerous to give Russia any opportunity,” said USA captain Sean Rooney after Friday's match. “We did and we lost the third and fourth sets. Nevertheless we managed to keep the pace and we achieved an excellent result.”
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).
The week two 'Match of the Week' featured Serbia’s victory against Russia 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20). In week three, the programme highlighted the outdoor Pool A match between Italy and Poland from 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.
The United States’ 3-2 (25-22, 25-12, 26-28, 23-25, 15-13) win over Serbia at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago provided great entertainment for the watching fans in week four’s ‘Match of the Week’.
Following this weekend's 'Match of the Week', volleyball 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 in week 7 of the Intercontinental Round.