Even Ben Patch’s 2 service aces and 13 service errors in week 1 were a big improvement from last year.
Yuji Nishida downed 18 kills, part of a team-best 21 point effort, to lead five double-digit scorers in a 3-1 win for Japan and regional foe Iran, while Stephen Boyer crushed 16 kills and led all scorers with 18 points as France overpowered Australia in a Sunday sweep.
Argentina put up a good fight, winning the first set despite resting middle blocker Pablo Crer and outside hitter Ezequiel Palacios for the entire match, but ran out of gas in the end against a strong Bulgarian block.
The United States staved off the Chinese attack throughout the match, including a set-point attempt in Set 2, en route to its third win of Volleyball Nations League play.
After Day 2 of action, only four undefeated teams remain: Poland, France, Italy and the United States. The biggest team to fall on Saturday was top seeded Brazil, which fell victim to Ivan Zaytsev’s 32 points and No. 4 Italy in five sets.
Michal Kubiak and Lukasz Kaczmarek combined for 35 points to guide Poland to a sweep of Russia to put the team atop the VNL standings, while Canada stifled the Korean offense with eight blocks and kept the team off balance with tough serving, including six aces, in a quick sweep and its first win of Volleyball Nations League action.
Lincoln Williams scored a match-high 18 points, but it was not enough to help Australia overcome 24 errors in a 3-0 loss to Iran. Japan gave away 28 points on errors and trailed France at the net in kills and blocks in a four-set loss.
Italy served up 14 aces and put up 12 blocks, while Ivan Zaytsev racked up a tournament-best 32 points to lift the team past World #1 Brazil in five sets on Saturday. Drazen Luburic and Uros Kovacevic teamed up to lead Serbia to a four-set victory over Germany.
Chuan Jiang starred for China, racking up 23 points, as Argentina struggled to find its footing in a shocking sweep on Saturday.
The USA bested Bulgaria in every statistical category behind an 18-point effort by Taylor Sander in a four-set win in VNL Pool 2 on Saturday.