Russia (Pool B, 1-0, 3 points)-QUALIFIED: Russia was the first team to qualify for the semifinals on Thursday. After beating Poland 3-1 on Wednesday, they needed the United States to win or lose in 5. When Aleksander Sliwka served it long when his team was down 24-17 in the 2nd set, that punched Russia’s ticket to the semifinals.
United States (Pool B, 1-0, 3 points)-QUALIFIED: The United States guaranteed Russia’s spot in the next round when they went up 2-0 over Poland on Thursday. They qualified themselves when they finished off Poland in the 3rd set. They may have a potential setback since Taylor Sander left the match injured, but they will have a day to get their starters rest and time to recoup.
Brazil (Pool A, 1-1, 4 points)-QUALIFIED: Brazil may have lost to France on Wednesday, but the point they earned by taking the match to 5 sets proved to be vital. Even with 3 of their outside hitters injured, Brazil was able to beat Serbia in a 3-0 sweep. That sweep put them at 4 points and guarantees them a 1st or 2nd place finish in Pool A.
France (Pool A, 1-0, 2 points): The Brazilian victory over Serbia on Thursday made the match on Friday a lot more serious for France. While they were hoping for a Serbian win that would see them qualified for the semifinals, they now need to beat Serbia or lose in 5 sets in order to advance to the next round.
Serbia (Pool A, 0-1, 0 points): Serbia can earn a spot into the semifinals on Friday, but their backs are up against a wall. Serbia needs to beat France in 3 or 4 sets to earn 3 points and advance. If they lose in 5 sets, they will be level with France on 2 points, but they will still be 3rd place in the pool due to sets ratio.
Poland (Pool B, 0-2, 0 points)-ELIMINATED: Poland needed a victory against the United States in order to remain eligible to qualify for the semifinals, but a 3-0 defeat on Thursday has eliminated them from the competition.