2017 FIVB WORLD LEAGUE
Both Team USA and Russia won their first match of Pool H1 in week three of the FIVB World League.
Team USA is coming off a hot three-set victory over Iran, where they made a tremendous comeback in the third set to take the victory 30-28. Ben Patch has been a solid player for the Americans, scoring 24 points in the win over the Iranians. Taylor Sander has become a rising star for the crew, helping the squad to their comeback and being named the MVP of the match.
Russia also won their match in a sweep, taking out Poland. The Russians have relied on a dominant serving game to propel them through the World League, posting seven or more aces in all but two matches played. Russia is, however, going to have to battle through an injury, as Ilia Vlaov, a middle blocker, went down with an ankle injury in the win over Poland. His status for the remainder of the weekend is up in the air.
Team USA and Russia both have a 3-4 record, with the United States winning out posting just one more point at 10 to 9. The Final Six will be selected off record first, but the points scored will become the tie breaker, becoming more crucial in week three play.
If Russia wins the match, they will move ahead of the U.S., but if Team USA wins, they will cement a higher chance of going to the Final Six.