Five of the six spots in the Final Six are booked as Brazil and Serbia claimed their tickets to France with wins 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.
Hadrava’s 27 points pushed Czech Republic to the Finals where they will play Portugal for a spot in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League.
Serbia put up 10 blocks and had help from four double-digit scoring efforts in a four-set win over Japan to secure its spot in the VNL Final Six. Stephen Maar was back on his game for Canada with 16 points to lift his team to a sweep of China.
Five of the six Argentine starters scored in double digits as the team garnered its third win of VNL play against home-standing Australia. Brazil secure its spot in the VNL Final Six with a four-set win over fellow contender Poland with help from a 19-kill effort by Evandro Guerra.
Bulgaria won Pool B over Puerto Rico, although both advance, while Peru will join Colombia from Pool A in the semifinals.
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Coming into Friday’s action, the United States needed one point to secure its spot in the VNL Final Six and the Americans got just that with a five-set loss to top seeded France. Russia also earned the right to plan its trip to Lille, France, with a sweep of Italy.
Portugal wrapped up Pool A while Cuba punched a bid to the semifinals as Pool B runner-ups.
Both teams scored 109 points in the match, but it was Germany that rallied from down 2-1 in the match to steal away the five-set win over Bulgaria. Thirty-five errors were too much for South Korea to overcome in a four-set loss to Iran on Friday.
A sweep at the hands of Serbia eliminated Canada from its outside shot at Final Six contention. Japan also was knocked out of the race as Chuan Jiang carried China to a four-set win over Japan with a 26-point effort.
Even with top scorers Artur Szalpuk and Bartosz Kwolek on the bench for most of the match, Poland snapped its three-match losing skid with a sweep of Argentina. Wallace DeSouza scored a match-high 16 points and had help from Lucas Loh and Lucas Saatkamp in leading Brazil to a sweep of Australia, ending a three-match skid.
Colombia locked up Pool A while Puerto Rico clinched a semifinals bid in a sweep over Australia.
Czech Republic blocked their way to the Pool B win and Estonia improved to 1-1 on day two.
Australia is the only team of the three coming into the week on a victory, having found its stride, going 3-0 in South Korea, while the rest of the Pool 17 teams are looking to snap three-match losing streaks.
An adjustment to the rule will have the winners of the Challenger Cup go directly to the 2019 Volleyball Nations League.
Colombia blocked host-nation Peru into submission as they and Bulgaria earned opening day sweeps.
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