World Cup Volleyball News
World Cup Volleyball News on both sides are 3-3 in VNL heading into this continental champions match. Brazil and Iran have had a rollercoaster ride in this year’s Volleyball Nations League, so the result of their meeting in Sofia on Friday is difficult to predict. The match between the reigning South American and Asian continental champions is scheduled to begin at 16:30 local time (13:30 GMT).
Brazil ended a three-game losing run on Thursday with a straight-set victory against Serbia, improving to a 3-3 win-loss record and 11 points, and occupying seventh position in the current rankings at the World Cup Volleyball News. Following a three-set loss to winless Bulgaria on Tuesday, Iran swept undefeated USA, handing them their first defeat of the tournament and improving to 3-3 to sit ninth in the rankings with 9 points.
Brazil and Iran will meet for the 19th time in significant world-level tournaments. The Asian team has only won three of the previous 18, going back to the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League. The South Americans are on a nine-match winning streak against Iran. Four of the previous five Brazilian triumphs have come in VNL matches, with a four-set victory in the 2019 FIVB World Cup Volleyball News sandwiched in between.
Brazil and Iran’s first three VNL games, one in 2018 and two in 2019, were decided in five-set fights. When they last met on June 16, 2021 in Rimini, the South Americans won 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21), with outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli scoring 20 points, followed by opposite Alan Souza (on 16), who is the greatest scorer of VNL 2022 thus far with 110 points in six games played.
Brazil went on to win the VNL 2021 Preliminary Round with a 13-2 win-loss record and then added two more wins in the Finals to capture their first championship in the tournament, while Iran ended 12th with a 5-10 record. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the South Americans advanced to the semifinals and finished fourth, while the Asians finished ninth after failing to advance beyond the pool round at the World Cup Volleyball News. In September, both teams secured their continental titles to round out the 2021 season.
Brazil’s current squad in Sofia this week includes up to eight Tokyo Olympians, including Lucarelli, Alan, second setter Fernando Kreling, outside Yoandy Leal, middle blockers Lucas Saatkamp and Isac Santos, and libero Thales Hoss.
Only two of last year’s Olympians are on Iran’s team in Bulgaria: outside hitter Morteza Sharifi and captain Milad Ebadipour. The latter was also a member of the team that won the 2021 Asian Championship in Japan, along with setter Ali Ramezani, opposite Amin Esmaeilnezhad, outsides Esmaferdashliboroun and Amirhossein Esfandiar, middles Mahdi Jelveh Ghaziani and Amir Hossein Toukhteh, and libero Mohammadreza Hazratpourtalatappeh.
Following their match against Iran on Friday, Brazil will face host Bulgaria on Sunday before traveling to Osaka for the last competition week of the Preliminary Round at the World Cup Volleyball News. Iran will play Canada on Saturday before traveling to Gdansk for week three.
The VNL action on Friday will begin in Quezon City with a game between Germany and the Netherlands, followed by Argentina vs. China and Japan vs. Italy at the World Cup Volleyball News. The day’s schedule in Sofia begins with a match between Serbia and Canada and concludes with a vital clash between Australia and Bulgaria that might prove essential in the effort to escape relegation.
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