Russia claimed its place in the World Championships final six with a sweep of Finland, behind 18 points by substitute Victor Polataev. Italy rested all of its starters and still came out with a 3-1 win over the Netherlands to remain atop the group.
Although Finland will not be moving on to the FIVB Men’s World Championship Final Six and lost all three of its Round 2 matches, spirits are high as the team celebrates its accomplishments and looks to the future.
Sunday’s semifinals field is set for the King of the Court Huntington Beach with 10 teams per gender remaining, including teams from six countries on the men’s side, and duos from five countries on the women’s side.
Kim Willoughby, who was a member of the United States women’s indoor national team which won silver at the 2008 Olympics, was indicted on Thursday on first degree murder and child abuse charges in Puerto Rico in regards to the 2016 death of her then three-year-old adopted daughter.
Bulgarian outside hitter Valentin Bratoev described his team’s effort with a classic pop culture reference: “The Americans were like Monstars from Space Jam, we didn’t have Buggs Bunny and Michael Jordan.”
Russia topped Italy in five sets to hand the hosts their first loss of the FIVB World Championships. Meanwhile, Finland was eliminated from the race for the title with a four-set loss to the Dutch.
Outside hitter Urpo Sivula lamented that “Finland played good volleyball only for 20 minutes and this is not enough when you are competing in a World Championship,” after the team’s 3-1 loss to the Netherlands which knocked the Finns out of contention.
The home team won three of the four SEC openers on Friday night, with Tennessee upsetting Auburn in four sets as the lone exception.
Valparaiso senior outside hitters Allison Ketcham and Katherine Carlson both reached 1,000 career kills and became part of an elite group of nine players in school history with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.
Western Kentucky defeated Middle Tennessee State via sweep on Friday night, but that was only part of the story. It was part homecoming, part celebration of life and accomplishments and all love for a coach who has spent his whole career on the sidelines in Bowling Green, Travis Hudson, who recorded his 600th career win.