It was far from a clean game, but the United States got three points with a sweep of Italy in its VNL finale to claim third place in the standings through the preliminary round.
Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about, claiming the Ostrava Four Star title in the Czech Republic. Spain’s Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira earned gold with a tiebreak win over Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak.
France edged past an error-riddled Russian side for a sweep and the top spot on the VNL standings register heading into the Final Six.
Rozalin Penchev and Valentin Bratoev turned in 21 points apiece to lead the way for Bulgaria in a final five-set victory. Thirty-one errors were too much for Germany to overcome against host Iran, which ended its three-match homestand with a five-set win.
Graham Vigrass turned in a match-high 18 points and the Canadians strong-armed Japan in blocks and aces in a sweep to round out their VNL campaign. Top scorer Drazen Luburic poured in 28 points and Serbia owned the net in a four-set win over host China on Sunday.
Contenders Jeremy Casebeer/Reid Priddy and Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock made it through to the semifinals of the AVP Seattle Open on Saturday.
The semifinals are set for the Ostrava Four Star and the home crowd with have one team to cheer for on both the men’s and women’s sides in Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner and Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova.
Five of the six spots in the Final Six are booked as Brazil and Serbia claimed their tickets to France with wins on Saturday.
Italy put up 15 blocks and star Ivan Zaytsev chalked up a match-high 23 points to lift the team past first place France to keep its Final Six hopes alive on Saturday.
A 10-2 lead in blocks and help from 26 South Korean miscues lifted Germany to a sweep on Saturday. Meanwhile, Iran bested Bulgaria in every way in a four-set win for the home side.