2018 FIVB MEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, DAILY SUMMARY
After Day 6, many of the pools are taking shape, and more teams find themselves booking flights back home. .
- Italy created separation at the top of Pool A with a 3-0 win over the Dominican Republic. Belgium qualified for the next round after a 3-1 victory over Japan.
- The Netherlands stunned France 3-2 a day after surprising Brazil. Egypt gets their first win of the World Championships in 16 years with a 3-1 victory over China.
- The United States remained undefeated with a 3-0 sweep over Cameroon. Serbia remained in second place with a 3-1 win over Australia.
- Bulgaria knocked out Cuba with a 3-0 sweep. Finland clinched their spot in the next round with a 3-2 win over Puerto Rico.
MATCH OF THE DAY: NETHERLANDS VS. FRANCE
Dutch captain Nimir Abdel-Aziz started the game on fire, scoring 2 straight aces and allowing the Dutch team to open up an 8-3 lead. The team quickly saw its lead balloon up to 10-3, as it scored 4 service points in that short game span. The Dutch team continued to dominated and had a 22-19 lead, but were unable to close the set, as the French squad went on a 6-1 run. The Dutch squad felt the blow after losing the first set in absurd fashion, and gifted the French with an easy second set win. However, The Netherlands was determined to fight back and not let the game become a typical easy 3-0 win for the French team, and powered its way to a comfortable 3rd set win. It then gritted and gutted its way to a 4th and 5th victory to close the game.
Abdel-Aziz led the way with 31 points on 26 kills, 1 block, and a match-high 4 blocks. Maarten Van Garderen came off the bench to score 12 points from 10 kills and two blocks with a 71.4% hitting percentage. Michael Parkinson led with match with 5 blocks after coming off the bench in the 3rd set. Stephen Boyer had 21 points in the losing effort. Earvin N’Gapeth finished with match with 17 on 16 kills and 1 block from the left side. The French squad was once again its starting middle-blocker Kevin Le Roux, who is rehabbing a thigh injury.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: NIMIR ABDEL-AZIZ, NETHERLANDS
Maurice Torres put up an impressive 37 points in Puerto Rico’s loss to Finland. While he had more points, this honor goes to Abdel-Aziz due to the fact that they pulled out the win against one of the best teams in the world. Similar to Torres, the Netherlands tried to ride Abdel-Aziz’s shoulder to the win, and it worked. The opposite who plays for Andrea Giani at Revivre Milan took the Italian SuperLega by storm last year. He was the top-scoring player before succumbing to injury. He is now the second-leading scorer in the tournament, and much of that came on the back of this performance. Abdel-Aziz hit 56.5% on his way to 26 kills. He also led the match with 4 service aces. When he wasn’t getting an ace, he applied plenty of pressure from the service line. The Netherlands scored more from his service rotation than anyone else. His team sits in 2nd place in Pool B and has qualified for the next round.
STAT LEADERS – AFTER SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
- Best Scorer: Chuan Jiang, China (77 points)
- Best Spiker: Ivan Zaytsev, Italy (65.79% success rate)
- Best Blocker: Simon Van De Voorde, Belgium (0.88 blocks per set)
- Best Server: Ivan Zaytsev, Italy (0.85 aces per set)
- Best Setter: Harrison Peacock, Australia (9.69 assists per set)
- Best Digger: Steven Marshall, Canada (3.10 digs per set)
- Best Receiver: Jani Kovacic, Slovenia (51.16% efficiency)
POOL-BY-POOL RESULTS AND RECAP LINKS – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
- Pool A: Belgium def. Japan 3-1; Italy def. Dominican Republic 3-0 (LINK)
- Pool B: Netherlands def. France 3-2; Egypt def. China 3-1 (LINK)
- Pool C: United States def. Cameroon 3-0; Serbia def. Australia 3-1 (LINK)
- Pool D: Bulgaria def. Cuba 3-0; Finland def. Puerto Rico 3-2 (LINK)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 SCHEDULE
Pool A – Florence, Italy
- Argentina vs. Slovenia
- Dominican Republic vs. Belgium
Pool B – Ruse, Bulgaria
- Netherlands vs. Egypt
- Brazil vs. Canada
Pool C – Bari, Italy
- Cameroon vs. Russia
- Tunisia vs. Australia
Pool D – Varna, Bulgaria
- Puerto Rico vs. Cuba
- Iran vs. Poland