Cuba prevail double five-setters in Group 3 Final Four; Iran top Pool A
Iran are on top of Pool A standings after a double victory on Poland on the sixth week of the FIVB Volleyball World League in Tehran|
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 30, 2014 –
Cuba weathered two five-setters on the sixth week to win the Group 3 final of
the FIVB Volleyball World League, while the teams in Groups 1 and 2 are still
contending for the qualifying spots as the Intercontinental Round is in its
Cuba withstood a difficult Final Four but were rewarded in the end with a title
in Group 3. The Cubans prevailed in both five-set matches – their first
five-setters this season in the World League – against China in the semifinal
and Turkey on the final match. Cuba came back twice in the final against the
tough Turkish squad to win the final with a 16-14 score in the final set. China
finished third in Group 3 final four after a 3-1 victory over Slovakia.
In Group 1, Iran and Serbia made double victories in Pool A and B,
respectively. Meanwhile, Russia and USA had to split victories in their two
matches in Pool B on the sixth week.
Iran made a valiant effort of taking part for only the second year and yet
qualifying for the finals despite facing the toughest pool contenders – 18
World League victors such as nine-time winners Brazil, eight-time winners Italy
and title-holders Poland. Iran have also made a team record of wining four
matches in a row. Poland, on the other hand, doubled their total number of
World League losses against Asian teams, going from two defeats to four. Their
losses against Iran were their first defeats against an Asian opposition since
On their first sixth week meeting, USA claimed their third win against the
defending champions Russia this season. Russia made a comeback on the next
match with a convincing 3-0 win. USA committed 24 errors, accounting to almost
one-third of the 75 total points of Russia in the match.
Serbia felt a sigh of relief as they snapped a four-match losing streak – their
longest losing run in the World League since 2001-2002 – with a pair of
straight sets victory over Bulgaria. Bulgaria conceded their 400th set loss in
the matches against Serbia – their set balance in the World League now is 500
wins to 402 losses.
In Group 2, Belgium scored two victories over hosts Australia in Pool C. The
Belgians did not look fatigued by the long travel from their country to
Adelaide as shown by the performance of Simon Van De Voorde, who had five
blocks on their 3-0 win against Australia on Saturday – equalling the combined
output by the Australian players. This victory was the second straight-set-win
of Belgium in World League history. Their first had also come against Australia
earlier this season, in their first ever World League match.
Also in Pool C, Finland and Canada drew on their matches, both on 3-0
scorelines. The victory of Finland on Friday was their first straight-set-win
after 15 matches, their last 3-0 win was against Korea set in June 2013. Canada
bounced back on Saturday with their 13th straight-set-win and their fourth
against the Finns.
Japan finally broke into the win column in Pool D after their 3-2 win against
Germany on Sunday – making all 28 teams in this season’s World League to have
at least one match victory. This was the first win of Japan against Germany in
the World League since 2011, ending a five-match winning streak against the
Germans. Earlier, Germany won in straight sets, achieving their 10th win against
an Asian opposition.
France booked their place in the Group 2 Final Four in Sydney, by their 3-1
defeat of Argentina on Sunday in Pool D. Argentina, however, handed France its
second loss in the competition earlier on Friday. This was the seventh consecutive
win of Argentina until their streak ended on Sunday with the defeat against
Netherlands survived two cardiac five-setters against Korea in Pool E and now
have an equal record in five-set matches of 26 wins and 26 losses in the World
League. Netherlands had 23 block points on Sunday, a record for a single team
in a match in this season of the World League.
Czech Republic triumphed over Portugal with a 3-2 win on Friday and a 3-1 win
on Saturday. The Czechs are still in contention in Pool E. The 3-2 win marked
the fourth consecutive time Czech Republic won a match with a five-set
scoreline, before they beat again Portugal a day later.
World League Week 6 Statistical Review