With both teams qualified for the semifinals, both Brazil and the United States are resting their starters for their last match of Pool I. Brazil came back from a 0-2 deficit and beat Russia 3-2 on Wednesday. The United States beat Russia on Thursday in a 3-0 sweep. That pair of losses eliminated Russia from playoff contention, and meant that the United States and Brazil qualified for the semifinals on Saturday.
There is still the matter of the match between Brazil, ranked #1 in the world, and the United States, ranked #2. The lineups for both teams look decidedly different than their opening matches of Pool I and if they face each other in the finals.
Lineup for the United States vs. Brazil
- Outide Hitters: Dan McDonnell, Jake Langlois
- Middle Blockers: Jeff Jendryk, Taylor Averill
- Opposite: Ben Patch
- Setter: Kawika Shoji
- Libero: Dustin Watten
Dan McDonnell is being utilized as an outside hitter instead of his usual role as middle blocker. He was used in this capacity in the last match of the Second Round against Iran.
Lineup for Brazil vs. the United States
- Outide Hitters: Douglas Souza, Carlos Eduardo Barreto Silva
- Middle Blockers: Maurico Souza, Eder Carbonera
- Opposite: Evandro Guerra
- Setter: William Arjona
- Libero: Maique Reis Nascimento
While all of these players have seen time in meaningful matches, especially against Russia, this is not necessarily the preferred starting lineup. There is no Bruno, no Isac Santos, no Wallace, and no Lucas. It will be interesting to see what Brazil will do in the semifinals at the setter position since William staged an epic comeback against Russia to qualify Brazil for the playoffs.
It is also important to note that, Renan Dal Bosco, head coach for Brazil, has been suspended for the match due to conduct in the tiebreak of the match against Russia on Wednesday.