2018 FIVB MEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST, DAILY SUMMARY
The Second Round of the World Championships kicked off on Friday, and there were quite a number of surprises. Italy and the United States remained the only undefeated teams left in the field, which has been reduced to 16 teams. Australia and Finland have been eliminated after their defeats to Brazil and Italy respectively.
Slovenia and Russia made a case to qualify for Round 3 as they sit in 2nd place in their pools at this point. Russia got themselves back into a rhythm after dismantling a potential Cinderella in the Netherlands. Serbia’s won over France has them as the top runner-up at this point, but levels them with Poland on a 5-1 record. Argentina knocked off the defending champions in 5 sets to show they are not quite done yet.
MATCH OF THE DAY: SERBIA VS. FRANCE, POOL H
Stephen Boyer and Aleksandar Atanasijevic exchanged blows in a heavyweight bought between two of Europe’s top teams. Atanasijevic tied the record for points in a match at the FIVB World Championships with 38 points, and Serbia needed every single last one of them to get the victory. This point total included a match-high 6 points in the tie-break set. The opposite for Perugia tallied 35 kills on 54 swings for a 64.8% attack efficiency. He also chipped in 2 blocks and an ace.
Uros Kovacevic scored 16 points from the left side on 13 kills, 2 blocks, and 1 ace. Serbia used Marko Ivovic to start the match at the other outside hitter position, but after only scoring 1 point in the first few sets, he was replaced by Nemanja Petric. Serbia‘s captain scored 8 points on 6 kills and 2 blocks.
Srecko Lisinac scored 12 points in the middle for Serbia. His points came on 8 kills, 3 blocks, and 1 ace. Nikola Jovovic set Serbia to a 51.9% hitting percentage as a team.
France got 34 points out of Stephen Boyer. The opposite who just signed with BluVolley Verona in Italy put away 29 kills, and a match-high tying 5 blocks. Nicolas LeGoff also contributed 5 blocks from the middle blocker position. He finished with 10 points as he also tallied 5 kills. Earvin N’Gapeth was held in relative check by Serbia. The flashy outside hitter scored 15 points on 13 kills, 1 block, and 1 ace.
Kevin LeRoux was back in the starting lineup for France, but only scored 1 point in 3 sets of action. He was replaced by Barthélémy Chinenyeze, who only scored 2 points on 2 kills. Kevin Tillie came off the bench in the 3rd set and scored 9 points from 9 kills with an amazing 91% attack average on the outside.
France‘s head coach Laurent Tillie voiced his frustration with his team’s inability to close out tight matches. “We lost too many matches 3-2 in this World Championship and it is always the same – we think we have the match in our hands and then we make some bad choices, bad mistakes. It is pity because we were playing well today.”
PLAYER OF THE DAY: ALEKSANDAR ATANASIJEVIC, SERBIA
There is no possibility that a player can tie the record for most points in a match in a dramatic tie-break win and not be named the Player of the Day. An exception to that rule would be if another player broke that record on the same day. Atanasijevic did what he characteristically does for Serbia and Perugia: produce high amounts of points on a high volume of swings. Not only did he score 38 points on 35 kills, 2 blocks, and 1 ace with a 64.8% hitting percentage, but he also came up huge down the stretch. He scored 6 points (33.3% of his team’s total) in the tie-break.
STAT LEADERS – AFTER FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST:
- Best Scorer – Wallace De Souza, Brazil – 99 points
- Best Spiker – Ivan Zaytsev, Italy – 61.98%
- Best Blocker – Simon Van De Voorde, Belgium – 1.09 blocks/set
- Best Server –Ivan Zaytsev, Italy– 0.70 aces/set
- Best Setter – Harrison Peacock, Australia – 10.30 running sets/set
- Best Digger – Steven Marshall, Canada – 2.18 digs/set
- Best Receiver – Taylor Sander, United States – 39.68% excellent
POOL-BY-POOL RESULTS AND RECAP LINKS – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
- Pool E: Russia def. Netherlands 3-0; Italy def. Finland 3-0 (LINK)
- Pool F: Brazil def. Australia 3-0; Slovenia def. Belgium 3-0 (LINK)
- Pool G: United States def. Canada 3-1; Bulgaria def. Iran 3-0 (LINK)
- Pool H: Serbia def. France 3-2; Argentina def. Poland 3-2 (LINK)
POOL STANDINGS AFTER SEPTEMBER 21ST
RANKING OF THE SECOND PLACE TEAMS
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22ND SCHEDULE
Pool E – Milan, Italy
- Netherlands vs. Finland
- Italy vs. Russia
Pool F – Bologna, Italy
- Australia vs. Belgium
- Slovenia vs. Brazil
Pool G – Sofia, Bulgaria
- Iran vs. Canada
- United States vs. Bulgaria
Pool H – Varna, Bulgaria
- Serbia vs. Argentina
- Poland vs. France