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the sport. “The 2014 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World

League was the best ever, bringing the competition to a

bigger and increasingly enthusiastic audience,” said FIVB

President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°. “And we hope for even more

in 2015.”

The hope is justified as the field is stronger than ever with

the increase in the number of contenders at this year’s


In Pool B of Group 1, defending champions USA – with

point maker Taylor Sander (Most Valuable Player at the

2014 World League) – will be challenged by a selection of

top-class teams from around the world.

Poland, on the back of a home triumph at the FIVB

Volleyball Men’s World Championship, are hungry to

add a second World League title to the one they won in

2012. USA and Poland are joined in Pool B by another

two favourites for the title – Iran and Olympic champions

Russia. The Russians, who are ranked second in the world,

have a score to settle, having missed out on the podium at

the World Championships and the FIVB World League in

2014. Iran showed they are a force to reckon with in last

year’s edition of the World League when they became the

first Asian team to finish in the top four in the history of

the competition.

The competition is sure to be intense in Pool A as Brazil

(nine-time winners and this year’s Finals hosts), Italy

(eight-time champions and 2014 bronze medallists), Serbia

(three-time silver medallists) and rising nation Australia

play against each other for their place in the Finals.

Already certain of their place in the Final Six is host country

and world No.1 Brazil who are eager to add another title to

their name after claiming silver at the World Championship

and in the FIVB World League last year. They will be joined

by the top two teams from Pool A and Pool B in addition to

the winner of the Group 2 Finals, which will take place in

Varna, Bulgaria from July 10 to 11.

Bulgaria, the hosts of the Group 2 Finals, will face Cuba,

Canada and Argentina in Pool C while France, Japan, South

Korea and the Czech Republic make up Pool D. The third

pool in the group, Pool E, includes Belgium, Portugal,

Finland and the Netherlands. It will be two teams from this

pool that kick off this year’s FIVB World League, as home

team Portugal play the Netherlands on the first weekend of

action. As in the top group, the format of these pools sees

each team play each other both home and away.

The remaining 12 teams make up Group 3.Two tournament

weekends will decide who progresses to the Final Four in

Bratislava, Slovakia from July 3 to 5. The spotlight will be

on the two World League debutants, 2014 Euro League

winners Montenegro (in Pool F with Tunisia, Puerto Rico

and Turkey) and Kazakhstan (in Pool H with the returning

Egypt and Venezuela, as well as Spain). Greece will meet

China, Mexico and Slovakia when they make their first

World League appearance since 2005 in Pool G.

Last year the United States defeated world No.1 Brazil

in the Final 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) to claim

their second World League title in front of 9,000 fans at

the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy. In doing so,

USA picked up USD 1 million in prize money. The Final was

the icing on the cake in a season that saw a 50 per cent

increase in crowds to matches, with hundreds of millions

of households also tuning in on television. Records are

guaranteed to be set again in 2015, when a 26



is added to the success story of the FIVB World League.