All East European clash in World League Match of the Week
The FIVB Match of the Week is distributed by IMG free of charge to all major international networks and the host broadcaster. The matches will include English commentary and will be shown live and on demand on FIVB Web TV, geo-blocked only in countries where respective rights have been sold.
In week seven it features the Pool B match taking place in the Arena Armeec in Sofia on Sunday, July 6, a match which starts at 20.00, local time.
Russia currently sit second in Pool B, three points behind leaders USA and one ahead of Serbia. As such they need to win to guarantee their progression as one of the two qualifiers from the pool into the Final Six.
Bulgaria are bottom of Pool B with four points and out of the race for qualification to the Final Six, furthermore they will be playing their first matches under former assistant coach Nayden Naydenov, who took over after Camillo Placi resigned following the last round of matches.
Russia go into the matches having won and lost to the USA in Kaliningrad and crucially the second of them was a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21) victory, meaning that the team is in good heart.
“The two tight matches against the USA last weekend made us stronger,” Russia coach Andrey Voronkov said. “We can still do better.”
The first World League 'Match of the Week' was Brazil, last year’s World League silver medallists and current world champions, against 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 Match of the week featured Serbia beating Russia 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20) and then in week three, the programme highlighted the outdoors 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 and the USA featured again in week six will, against Russia at the Yantarny Arena in Kaliningrad on June 28, a match the hosts won 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-14).
The FIVB Volleyball World League which began on May 23 will end with the Finals taking place in Florence on July 20.